About Direct Relief
Direct Relief works to equip health professionals in resource-poor communities to meet the challenges of diagnosing and caring for people in need.
Additionally, they prepare the most vulnerable communities worldwide for more frequent, more destructive emergencies. And when disasters strike, Direct Relief responds fast, effectively, and efficiently to get medical resources where they need to be to save lives.
Nongovernmental, nonsectarian, and not-for-profit, Direct Relief relies entirely on private contributions—which is why WE are planning to raise money for them and support their important cause!
Each year on November 1, hundreds of thousands of people around the world begin to write, determined to end the month with 50,000 words of a brand-new novel. You may know this mass creative explosion by the name National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo—but that’s not all that NaNoWriMo is!
NaNoWriMo is also a nonprofit organization that supports writing fluency and education. And it’s a real-world event, during which 900+ volunteers in places like Mexico City, Seoul, and Milwaukee coordinate communal writing sessions in thousands of partnering libraries, coffee shops, and community centers like… well, like nothing else.
Nothing empowers writers to finish a novel quite like NaNoWriMo does!
About the Mighty Pens
WHAT DO WE DO?
Our mission is to raise $10,000 for our selected annual charity, bringing awareness to the issues that face our planet and our peoples!
We also want to encourage authors to finish their books!
HOW DOES IT WORK?
Basically, it’s just like people who run in races and have each mile sponsored. Instead, we get the words we write sponsored!
- You’ll be instructed on how & when to make a fundraising page. In the meantime, you can join the discord! You should receive an invite link when you sign up to participate.
- Starting on November 1, friends, colleagues, strangers– whoever! — donate to your fundraising page at agreed-upon word goals. Your friends, colleagues, and strangers can also just donate whenever and however much. You can even donate in your OWN name!! See below for more information.
- When you hit certain fundraising and/or word count goals, you may win prizes!
–> (Note: To be eligible for any prizes, participants must donate an initial $10 to NaNoWriMo.)
- All participants must also be a member of NaNoWriMo and provide their NaNoWriMo name upon joining.
- Write, keep track of your word count, join in the sprints or discord (if you dare!), and help raise money that will grow more trees!
We try to make it as flexible as possible, so please ask questions on the discord if you’re confused.
WHAT DO YOU MEAN, “PLEDGES”/”SPONSORS”?
We mean asking the people in your life — friends, family, colleagues — to sponsor your words!
For example, you might ask a sibling to donate $1o to our fundraiser for every 1,000 words you write. Or maybe your cubicle neighbor at work (who is now your Zoom neighbor, sigh) to donate $1 for every 1,000 words. The monetary amount and word count are entirely up to you and them!
But don’t worry if you have no one to ask. Every year, we have extra sponsors to help out.
CAN I PARTICIPATE EVEN IF I DON’T RAISE MONEY OR IF I DON’T RAISE MUCH MONEY?
Of course!! All that we ask is that you donate the initial $10 to NaNoWriMo before November 1. That enters you into tight-knit group of writers dedicated to awesome — a.k.a. the Mighty Pens.
If you don’t ever get any more donations than that initial $10, that’s totally okay. You’re still eligible for some of our super cool Writing Prizes and will be entered into the raffle!
IS THE FUNDRAISER WORLDWIDE?
Absolutely! Participants and volunteers can be located anywhere in the world. You might not be able to claim certain prizes as industry professionals who offer prizes that require shipping do so with their own money. But that would be the only difference!
DO I HAVE TO WRITE 50,000 WORDS?
Heck no! You can set whatever goal you want to set for the month. Due to Life and the Universe, Kat may only answer short prompts, and Sooz has an infant to deal with but would love to tackle some short stories.
Everyone writes at different paces, and we don’t want to exclude anyone because of that!
I’M NOT SURE HOW TO ASK FOR SPONSORSHIP — HELP?
We’ve got you covered! Just head here for some templates and scripts!
WHAT ARE THE PRIZES I CAN WIN?
Check out the Fundraising or Writing Prizes pages. These pages should be updated as the campaign ramps up and more authors, agents, and editors hear about the effort, so keep your eye out!
HOW DO I COLLECT FUNDRAISING PRIZES?
You’ll receive an email with instructions on how to set up your fundraising page after you initially sign up. Those instructions will also include a discord invite link and more information about the Mighty Pens. You must set up a fundraising page to collect fundraising prizes, but if you get donations outside of November, they will not count towards your fundraising total. Don’t get us wrong, it’s still awesome, but donations before or after November do not count!
We are revamping how we’ll be giving out Fundraising Prizes this year, so please stay flexible & always feel free to ask questions!
HOW DO I COLLECT WRITING PRIZES?
Unlike our fundraising prizes, you can collect writing prizes at any time in November! Once the page is live, we’ll share it!
Make sure to keep your word count updated on your NaNoWriMo profile. Our volunteers will be monitoring them and will contact you once you qualify!
WHAT IF I WANT TO DONATE STUFF FOR PRIZES? OR I WANT TO SPONSOR A WRITER?
We’re always looking for more contributors. If you’re an author, agent, or editor, contact us or use this handy form. Contributions can be pretty much anything—bookmarks, signed books or signed series, critiques of pages or query letters, one-on-one skype chats, a silly video, an interview, deleted scenes from earlier books—the sky is the limit, and there’s nothing too big or too small. Let us know!
Want to sponsor a writer? Then you can contact us or fill out this form here. While donations before or after are of course going to a great cause, they will not help that writer get more prizes.
WHAT ABOUT THE COMMUNITY STUFF — WHERE IS THAT?
After you sign up, you’ll get an email with a link to our discord server! We’ve got lots of community activities planned there, but joining is totally optional. It’s also a great place to get advice for fundraising or prompts for writing if you’re feeling stuck with either.
If you don’t join the server, be sure to check out our Sprint Schedule (coming soon!) to write with fellow Mighty Pens! Or set up your own sprints with #TheMightyPens hashtag!
Finally, keep your eye on the News & Updates page for the latest happenings.
About Kat Brauer
Kat loves reading—fantasy, science fiction, romance, historical novels—and occasionally writing. She imagined the Mighty Pens as a way to force the muse into gear by harnessing the power of positive peer pressure and forging a strong, supportive community.
The 2020 apocalypse (…ongoing?) show that the effects of climate change will spread past the environment. Planting trees seems like a small, but easy way to make a difference.
About Susan Dennard
Sooz is a New York Times bestselling author of a lot of novels and a few short stories in there too.
Sooz has run lots of charitable causes over the years (YA Gives Back Tour, YA Runs a 5K, etc.), so when Kat mentioned her idea for The Mighty Pens, she was ALL IN.
With a background in marine ecology—and a specific research focus on the impact of global climate change—protecting our world’s forest is a cause she has championed for almost two decades!
About Our Volunteers
Rachel Hugg | Rachelhugg.com
Rachel is a graphic designer and avid writing fan who specializes in logos and media graphics. She’s been coordinating graphics with Mighty Pens NaNoWriMo charity event for the last three years and has been honored to participate in their creative and charitable endeavors.
Abigail Welborn is a former programmer fueled by dreams and tea, Earl Grey, hot. She recently abandoned the Pacific Northwest for Jacksonville, Florida, where she lives with her husband and their two boys (and nearer to grandparents). They recently adopted/are now ruled by a tiny black cat named Jack. She loves beaches, pools, and drinks with little umbrellas in them. You can find her on Twitter and Instagram.
After growing up in the middle of nowhere Wyoming, Kaite currently lives in DC. In order to balance out the nitty-gritty of policy jargon she flings herself joyfully into each new creative endeavor that makes her heart sing. You can find her cheerfully devouring books with ink stained fingers and at least one cup of tea within arms reach. Otherwise she is figuring out how to run off on the next adventure and hoping that this time she’ll finally get to meet a dragon. You can find her on Twitter, Instagram, and on her blog.
Samantha Tan is a writer, a professional advocate, and an author’s assistant. You can summon her with a swoony kdrama and a bottle of wine. She spends her (extremely limited) free time reading romance novels, crying over musicals, and convincing everyone to stan Kim Namjoon from BTS.
Mel (they/them) is a writer, reader, drinker of coffee, and herder of cats. Most likely to be found misbehaving on discord and joyfully failing in their quest to discover a sense of chill. May be perceived as @wildfaeriecaps on most platforms.
Amy lives in Southern California with her husband and a big timid cat named Monster. She writes YA fantasy, romance, and contemporary fiction about complicated girls who are Doing Their Best. She works as a tech producer by day and is thrilled to use some of those skills as a volunteer for The Mighty Pens.
Hailing from central Texas, Asteria is a yet-to-be-published author with a love for character-driven stories, ancient history, and video games. Currently, she is hard at work on a fantasy horror standalone. She has been a Mighty Pen since its inception in 2017 and looks forward to leading sprints and mentoring this November, all while in graduate school. Find her on Twitter.
Katie Passerotti (she/her) is an educator by trade and an author by choice. She writes young adult stories about fierce girls going on adventures to discover their truest selves and the found family that welcomes them. When Katie’s not writing, or fangirling over a favorite book or TV show, she’s exploring the woods with her Irish Wolfhound and looking for her own adventures. Follow her on Twitter & Instagram.
Casey is a youth services librarian, working mostly with teens, in Massachusetts. She usually writes ‘low’ fantasy and has done the Mighty Pens since 2017 and NaNoWriMo since 2003. She’s happy to be helping out again this year.
Leslie Arambula has been reading and falling into new worlds since she was young. Now, she writes her own and helps other gamers and writers develop theirs as well. She also teaches, raises humans, and, if missing, is probably buried deep in a book or game somewhere.