COLUMBIA — As word counts all over the world are jumping and individuals tried to reach 50,000 words by midnight Friday for National Novel Writing Month, the Fulton region is still ranked ninth in average words per person. Around the world, 349 regions are participating in the contest. At its highest, the group briefly ranked third.
According to the Callaway Writer’s Group Web site, 11 out of 13 participants have exceeded the goal before the deadline.
Lori Robinett, co-municipal liason for the region, explained that the success is brand new. Robinett reached the goal on Nov. 24.
“This is the first time this many of us have made it,” she said. “This is the first time we’ve had so many people finish this early.”
The Fulton group met at least once a week throughout the month for support and word wars, where participants write as quickly as possible for a designated amount of time.
Many participants, such as Ericca Thornhill, have full-time jobs and other obligations, so they allow time every day to write.
“I had a full-time job this November, and even only writing a couple of hours a night, I had no trouble reaching the 50,000 word limit,” Thornhill said. “Going into the assignment was nerve-wracking, and I limited my other engagements, but when I do this next year, I don’t think that I’ll have to.”
Fulton welcomed new participants this year, among them Thornhill and Teresa Burgher, who described the experience as “fabulous.”
“I read about this last year and thought ‘I’m going to do that, I’ve always wanted to do that.’ It was very inspiring to have a group of people to work with to try to cheer you on and watch the words grow.”
Burgher reached the goal Wednesday. She describes her writing as “by women, targeting women,” and said she would encourage anyone to participate who has expressed interest in writing a book.
Robinett said there are factors that make Fulton unique from other regions. Most notably, residents remain loyal even when they are not currently living in Missouri. Robinett said one participant lived in Hawaii this month and continued to work with the Fulton group via the Internet.
“You don’t see that a lot, people keeping that connection with their home region,” Robinett said.