Muskoka Novel Marathon Goes Virtual This Year

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Muskoka Novel Marathon writers and volunteers in 2017. Photo courtesy of the Muskoka Authors Association

A message from the organizers of the Muskoka Novel Marathon:

In a year that has seen the majority of events cancelled due to a global pandemic, the committee of Muskoka Novel Marathon has been actively working to ensure their event doesn’t have to follow suit.

Led by co-convenors KM Wehrstein and Colum McKnight, the literary marathon has adapted to an online platform for its 19th year while attempting to maintain as many of its traditional aspects as possible, including fundraising for Muskoka literacy programs provided by the Huntsville YMCA office.

“Nothing stops the Muskoka Novel Marathon,” says Wehrstein. “Not even COVID-19. We’re just adapting how we do it a bit.”

The online delivery has created an opportunity for more writers to register as the event is not limited by venue capacity. Registration in previous years often brought a race for seating, leaving some writers disappointed – this year the sky is the limit for space.

“What’s cool is that we’re seeing a lot of writers who participated five or 10 or 15 years ago signing up, and also people from far away taking advantage of the savings on travel,” says Wehrstein.

During the 72-hour event, each writer will be attempting to complete a manuscript – be it a novel, a screenplay, a collection of short stories or whatever their discipline may be – for a chance to have it reviewed by a publisher or an agent. There will also be social programming, meal-time gatherings and fun activities such as a selfie scavenger hunt and an inspirational walk lead by MNM alumna Sue Kenney – all online and respecting social-distancing guidelines.

As in previous years, writers will also fundraise for the Y’s adult literacy programs. Since starting its fundraising efforts years ago, the Muskoka Novel Marathon has raised more than $220,000 to help fund classes for reading, writing, numeracy, computer literacy and English as a Second Language, ensuring they can be offered to people in the community free of charge.

The Muskoka Novel Marathon: Quarantine Edition is happening July 17 to 20. Registration is open on the Muskoka Novel Marathon website! If you’ve ever wondered what the marathon is all about, this is the year to check it out – registration is free! MNM2020:QE is a fantastic opportunity to network with other writers who share a passion for literacy.

For more information, visit the Muskoka Novel Marathon website and be sure to check us out on our social media through Facebook and Instagram.

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