For immediate release: April 18, 2019
When local blogger Amy Scott Grant decided to boldly explore the craft of fiction writing in 2012, the first thing she did was check out Douglas County Libraries’ website for resources. There, she discovered a free fiction writing workshop and the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) contest. It was the beginning of “Annabel the Lost,” Grant’s recently published juvenile fiction novel.
NaNoWriMo challenges aspiring authors to write an entire novel—50,000 words—in one month, November. The New York Times bestseller “Water for Elephants” by Sara Gruen was a NaNoWriMo novel.
Four Douglas County Libraries (DCL) branches hosted the contest in 2012: Castle Rock, Highlands Ranch, Lone Tree and Parker. Each branch held special events during the month to help the writers accomplish the challenge. Winning manuscripts from contestants at each branch were then judged to determine one districtwide winner.
“I didn’t even have an idea for a novel, but that [writing] workshop really prepared me to start plotting a story, developing characters … essentially everything I needed to start writing,” said Grant, who participated in Castle Rock’s contest.
Following the recommendations of the writing workshop instructor, Grant set clear and specific goals for herself and carved out time every day to write. She pushed herself beyond the goal of writing 50,000 words in 30 days to finishing with 94,662 words. “I achieved more than I ever thought possible,” she said.
Grant’s story of fourth grader Annabel Parsons was DCL’s districtwide winner. Her prize package included professional manuscript editing and an ISBN number. At the time, Grant didn’t feel like the book was ready. After what she described as an overwhelming editing process, she set it aside to focus on other work. It wasn’t until late 2018 when she decided to finish the book and bring it to market.
In addition to her now-published middle-grade novel, Grant has written 10 nonfiction books. She is one of several local authors who will be featured at DCL’s upcoming Local Author Showcase on Saturday, April 27, at the library’s Highlands Ranch location (9292 S. Ridgeline Blvd.).
DCL regularly hosts writing workshops and local author events, giving readers and aspiring writers a chance to hear from published authors in their own communities about their work and experiences.
To learn more about DCL’s Local Author Showcase and other author events, visit DCL.org/authors-events or call (303) 791-7323.
Douglas County Libraries elevates our community by inspiring a love of reading, discovery and connection.