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Muskingum University Students Participate in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) Activities

Students, faculty and staff gained an opportunity to develop a daily writing practice, thanks to the efforts of Dr. Vivian Wagner, associate professor of English and Director of Muskingum’s Writing-Across-the-Curriculum Program.

Vivian Wagner“I’ve done the challenge on my own for several years now, and I started partnering with the staff at Muskingum’s Roberta A. Smith University Library last year to offer write-ins and workshops on campus,” explained Wagner. “We also had the chance to discuss our projects, ideas, and challenges.

The write-ins were informal – involving writing prompts, freewriting, word wars, and other games.

Linda Hatfield, reference instruction librarian, collected everyone’s word count each week and awarded prizes to those who wrote the most words over the course of the month. The top winner, Tawna Alice, Roseville, wrote 50,147 words.

MacKenzie DickersonParticipants in Muskingum’s NaNoWriMo project worked on novels, but they counted essays, short stories, poems, journaling, or academic writing toward their word count. A total of 316,900 words were written by 11 participants with two reaching their goal of 50,000 words. Seven student writers wrote more than 25,000 words.

“Our NaNoWriMo events encouraged everyone to write and to have fun with their writing,” said Dr. Wagner.

Dr. Wagner is a prolific writer, recently authoring a column titled “Nature Mothers,” in the Fall 2016 “Learning From Nature” issue of Creative Nonfiction which is published by The Creative Nonfiction Foundation, Pittsburgh, PA.

Wagner’s work has appeared in special publications such as Fracture: Essays, Poems and Store on Fracking in America, and in The Atlantic, O: The Oprah Magazine, The Kenyon Review Online, Zone 3, Narratively, and other publications. She is the author of Fiddle: One Woman, Four Strings, and 8,000 Miles of Music.

She joined Muskingum in 2003 and holds a B.A. from University of California at Irvine, an M.A. from The Ohio State University, and a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.