The Muskoka Novel Marathon is a fundraiser in support of Adult Literacy initiatives in Huntsville, Ontario. But more than that, it’s an opportunity for writers to come together in a supportive environment and spend an entire, (mostly) uninterrupted weekend writing. Friends are made, stories are shared, and the occasional midnight desk chair race breaks up the late-night silence. ~ From the Muskoka Novel Marathon Website
If you have been reading my blog, you will know by now that I am passionate about the Muskoka Novel Marathon. And extremely passionate about literacy.
Two out of every five Canadians struggles with basic reading and writing. It affects their jobs, their health and their family. Funds raised at the Muskoka Novel Marathon are donated to YMCA Muskoka Literacy Services (part of YMCA of Simcoe Muskoka) and help keep the doors open to those in the community that want to overcome literacy challenges for a better life. ~ From the Muskoka Novel Marathon Website
In the world of reading, I firmly believe that nobody should be left behind. To be illiterate in today’s society is to live every day with a dark monster at your heels…eating away at your potential, your light, your self-esteem. When you are unable to read, it negatively impacts every single aspect of your day to day life.
I could ask you to try to live in this world for an hour as though you cannot read. You might even think you would be able to do it…to grasp the concept…to walk (or drive) down the street and pretend to be unable to read all the words that come your way inside of that hour. You would be able to imagine some form of empathy…as you would think that not seeing the words would be a reasonable facsimile to illiteracy. You could pretend to be unable to read traffic signs, directions, a cereal box, an ingredient list for possible allergy foods, advertisements, your mail, you name it. But the bottom line is that reading is something you can’t be unfamiliar with once you have a grasp of how to do it. You can’t put yourself in the shoes of someone who struggles with literacy. It’s impossible. The closest you can get to experiencing it would be for me to pick you up and plant you down in the middle of a country where all the signs are in a language you’ve never seen before. How quickly would you feel lost? Alone? Scared? Judged? Segregated? Marginalized? Disoriented? Angry? Sad? Disillusioned? Incompetent?
So, I can’t ask you to imagine the struggles you would face if you were illiterate. I can only ask you to sympathize with those who do struggle with literacy.
On July 11th, I head up to Huntsville, Ontario, for my 7th Muskoka Novel Marathon. Yes…I will have a hell of a lot of fun at the novel writing marathon. I will write my face off. Hopefully I will walk away from the weekend with a new completed novel under my belt. Maybe I will, maybe I won’t. One never knows going in if they’re going to achieve their goal. It’s a lot of fun to be locked in with a room full of writers. A LOT OF FUN. But it’s also a hell of a hard thing to do…write a novel in one sitting. At any rate, I get a great weekend of writing out of this commitment. A gift you couldn’t imagine!
I can’t arrive to the marathon empty-handed. I need sponsors. I need for people to see the value in donating money to literacy efforts in Simcoe County/Muskoka. Your donations can help chase away that dark monster that bites at the heels of those who struggle with literacy. The programs in place to assist them are designed to get them on their feet and fully integrated into the world currently beyond their comprehension. Your donations can turn on the light and make the darkness vanish. What say you? I will sit on my keister for 72 hours and write non-stop and hope that the media spotlight that hits the marathon brings in some much needed funds and awareness. That’s the easy part (and as mentioned above, a lot of fun). Will you make a small donation to help me to help them?
Click on the image below to go directly to my CANADA HELPS GIVING PAGE, where you can donate online:
If you would rather donate to a literacy program in your own community, please do so. If we inspire anyone to donate money to literacy anywhere, we have won.
Thank you in advance!