The Great Pittsburgh NaNoWriMo Book Drive in the media

Press Release

Contact: Kelly Thomas, Book Driver-in-Chief



Group of Pittsburgh writers aim to collect 5,000 books for nonprofit, write novels in one month

More than 1,500 books collected so far during the Great NaNoWriMo Book Drive

Pittsburgh — More than 700 Pittsburgh area writers hope to collect 5,000 books to benefit the Office of Letters and Light, a literary nonprofit that runs National Novel Writing Month — NaNoWriMo — a writing challenge in which participants write 50,000-word novels during the month of November.  These “Wrimos” come from all walks of life, and while most don’t expect to wind up on the bestseller list, they have fun exploring their creativity, and that’s what NaNoWriMo is all about.

The Great NaNoWriMo Book Drive (and The Great Pittsburgh NaNoWriMo Book Drive, the local version) is a fund raising effort for the Office of Letters and Lights’ free writing programs for kids and adults, including NaNoWriMo and the Young Writers Program, a classroom initiative to help teachers get their students excited about writing.  The books collected between Oct. 1 and Dec. 15 will be sold through Better World Books, an online, socially conscious bookseller, and the proceeds donated to the Office of Letters and Light.

Aside from the Pittsburgh region’s 700+ writers, more than 165,000 writers worldwide let their creativity shine during NaNoWriMo in 2009.  This year, more than 30 schools across Pennsylvania (and 1,000 across the United States) participated in the Young Writers Program.

One thing each Wrimo knows is how difficult it is to write a novel, especially in 30 days (participants must write at least 1,667 words per day to reach 50,000 by the end of the month).  The idea behind NaNoWriMo, though, isn’t to write a perfect book.  Instead, participants are encouraged to simply write, and let their imaginations take over — at least until December, when Wrimos start their novel revisions!

Although November is over, the Great NaNoWriMo Book Drive runs until Dec. 15, and Pittsburgh Wrimos will work diligently until then to collect 3,500 more books to help support their favorite writing challenge.

“It may seem a little daunting to collect 3,500 books in a week and a half, but Wrimos are used to near-impossible odds,” said Book Driver-in-Chief Kelly Thomas.  “As long as we work toward our goal every day, I believe we can reach it.  Regardless of how many books we collect, we’re happy that we can find new homes for unwanted books and help the Office of Letters and Light at the same time.”

To make a donation, drop off your gently used books at one of the drive’s 4 drop off locations: Phantom of the Attic Comics (411 S. Craig St., Pittsburgh, 15213), 61C Cafe (Squirrel Hill – 1839 Murray Ave., Pittsburgh, 15217), Bistro to Go (Northside – 415 E. Ohio St., Pittsburgh, 15212), Robert Morris University English Department (Nicholson Center 423, 6001 University Boulevard, Moon, 15108).

For large donations, contact Kelly Thomas at to arrange pick up.  For more information, visit

For more information on the Office of Letters and Light, visit  For more information on Better World Books, visit


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