Virtual Write-a-Thon will benefit local writers, literacy group

The Kamloops Society for the Written Arts' annual Write-a-Thon event is going virtual this year.

Writers will hunker down and connect online this year on Sept. 26, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., with an open mic event to follow.

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Organizers plan to use Zoom's breakout room feature to randomly break writers into small groups, where they can briefly introduce themselves before getting to work.

Participants can join for an hour or the whole day.

"We know one of the things our participants enjoyed most last year was the opportunity to connect with other writers," said KSWA vice president Catherine Schmidt. "COVID-19 has made finding those personal connections much harder, so one of our main goals this year is to foster those connections."

The event is open to all types of writing. Last year, work included poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction, essays, school work, letters, grant applications and more.

At 7 p.m., writers can opt to share what they created at the virtual open mic event. Prizes for the top three fundraisers will also be announced.

Other events, such as optional group activities, guest speakers and door prizes will occur throughout the day and the organization's annual general meeting will span the lunch period.

Writers can either pay a registration fee or collect pledges, with funds going toward KSWA and Raise a Reader in support of Literacy in Kamloops.

Door prizes include books by featured authors, local art, a Calisto Crate box, a Writerly Kit and a T-shirt and mug from DopeyArt.

Last year, 75 writers brought in a little over $4,000 and put more than 60,000 words on pages.

To register and for more information, go online to kswa.ca.

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