Introducing The Novella Concept, Our 2016 Writing Challenge


So I’ve been doing some thinking lately. Dangerous, I know.

I’ve been thinking a lot about writing. Obviously. About how, as much as we all would love to get paid to write (and many of us do), that’s not really why we do it. We simply want to be able to do what we love while making a decent living doing it.

But here’s the thing. I think we can do better than that.

I think there’s a way we can all accomplish our overall goal – to write as much and as often as possible – while contributing to something much bigger. A cause, or multiple, that satisfies much more than our desire to put our ideas into words.

Friends. Fellow writers. I think we can take it a step further, and turn our words into actions. To promote change, just by sitting down and writing.

That’s why I’m taking a risk this year. Not for myself, but for hundreds of thousands of people I’ve never met. You can join me, if you want. Here’s what I’m going to do.

I’m going to write 12 novellas this year. You read that right: 12. One novella per month. Each covering a different topic. Each addressing an issue that needs attention, the kind of attention only storytelling can  gift.

I’m going to take those finished novellas and self-publish them on Amazon throughout the year. And I’m going to donate the money, every cent, to 12 different charities, each representing one of the causes I address in each of my novellas.

That might seem like a lot of work to do if I’m just going to give the money away.

I don’t see it that way.

I see it as a chance for me to give something to someone in need when I have nothing to give other than my ideas and my words.

I’m telling you this so I don’t brush this idea off to the side like we’ve all done so many times before. It’s been rolling around in my head ever since Project for Awesome, in that way good ideas do. I waited for it to go away and it hasn’t. So that’s how I know this is meant to be. And I hope, if you are willing, if you have the time and words to spare, you will join me, and write at least one novella this year to contribute to the cause.

There will come more info as the month goes on about how we can make this more of a community effort. I will probably start a Facebook group as a place where I, or a few of us, can share our finished work with one another and help promote this totally awesome (and terrifying) idea I’ve come up with.

For now, check out this page with more general info about The Novella Concept.

I’m not asking you to make a commitment to writing one novella or 12 or anything in-between. You have your own goals to achieve in 2016. I am asking for your support. There will be periodic updates, because to be honest, I’m a bit terrified this will not actually happen. I can write a lot in a short amount of time, but I’ve never done anything like this before.

Then again, it’s not about me, is it? It’s about everyone else. I’m not just donating to charity. I’m using my words to make a difference, which is all I’ve ever wanted to do anyway.

I don’t know. I think it’s a great idea.

I’ll keep you updated.

Love&hugs, Meg<3

Image courtesy of Novelty Revisions.

Meg is the managing editor at College Lifestyles magazine, a guest contributor with Lifehack and a guest blogger for Food & Nutrition Magazine. She is an eight-time NaNoWriMo winner and has also written for Teen Ink and USA TODAY College. Follow Meg on Twitter.

Ways to Support Your Favorite Charities … By Writing


Project for Awesome 2015 is in full swing! The cause has raised, in total, over $1 million so far. While it can be fun and fulfilling to help raise awareness for a variety of great causes, it’s not always feasible to donate money (no matter how much you want to).

Spreading the word, especially via social media, is still an effective tactic for supporting causes you care about. But sometimes, individually, we don’t have a huge social media following. Or it’s seemingly not very effective when our friends don’t care about the same things we do.

But you forget, Noveltiers. YOU ARE WRITERS!

Believe it or not, not everyone on the planet can do what you do as amazingly as you do it. In much of the world, writing is a necessary functional skill. But writing well is an acquired skill, one, it just so happens, you can use to help raise money for charities supporting causes you care about.

How so? Glad you asked.

Start a blog about your cause

Not necessarily about a specific charity – they probably have their own blog already. But if there’s a cause you love, such as hunger relief, it’s likely there’s probably more than one charity that supports that one general cause. You can highlight different charities, educate the internet about world hunger and help people just like you get more involved, all by using your writing skills.

Self-publish and donate the proceeds

Storytelling can get the point across more effectively than you might realize. If you’re passionate about a cause, even if you haven’t dealt with it firsthand, you can use your creativity (and hopefully some good journalism skills) to tell stories that highlight why supporting that cause is important. The beauty of self-publishing is that you can write those stories, put them online and do whatever you want with the money you raise. And you can put that money toward the cause your stories support.

Work behind-the-scenes on a video any time of the year

Video is a very powerful persuasive tool in the social media age. Project for Awesome takes place the second week of December every year, but you can make a video promoting one or multiple charities you love any time of year. You don’t even have to be on camera or speak if that’s not your thing. Writing a killer script is the key to any great promotional content, and of course, if you can tell a good story, that’s really all that counts.

See? No monetary donations required. Just your ideas and your words.

You can watch Meg’s P4A2015 video here and vote for it here.

Image courtesy of Project for Awesome.