36 esteemed Northwest authors. 6 days. 1 epic novel.


Imagine Charles Dickens, sitting at his weathered secretary desk with his quill pen, parchment paper and a pensive look on his regal face.

Now fast forward to today, mass chaos ensues as 36 crazy authors decide to collaborate on one epic novel. Computers are short-circuiting, Starbucks coffee containers are everywhere, and there is a faint stench of B.O. and alcohol in the air. This is “The Novel: Live!.”

From October 11th to the 16th, our humble state of Washington will go down in history, as 36 well-known Seattle-based authors will come together to write a marathon book and will be doing this all in the name of literature and, of course, charity.

The six-day event will go down at the Richard Hugo House on 11th Street in Seattle—an appropriate spot being that it has been the center for literary arts for almost 4 years. The House offers classes, residencies, and events, such as the upcoming one of writing “The Novel: Live!”

“The Novel: Live!” Is the title of the 60,000 page novel that will result from this six-day relay writing session with various authors. There are already established plotlines, conflicts, characters, and plot points, but everything in between and how the conflicts will play out is entirely up to the different authors.

The authors will write a few chapters during their allotted time slot and give their own spin to the novel whether they specialize in romance, mysteries, or thrillers. There will be one computer and keyboard on the Hugo House’s The Cabaret stage, where each author will take his or her place and continue to run his leg of the writing race.

The whole event will stream live on the event’s website at http://www.thenovellive.org. On top of the insane writing extravaganza, there will be a Happy Hour for all the lucky people who would like to witness the madness first hand. Monday through Thursday plus Saturday from 5 pm to 7pm you with your fake ID (I mean, your 21-year-old-self), and all your friends can take part in history.

Sleep-deprived authors writing a book before your very eyes and half-priced alcohol? What could be better? I mean, to watch a person furiously type, delete, and re-type on a computer might require some vodka or Parton in your system. You could even come up with some drinking games to pass time. For example, every time the delegated author who’s up to bat looks like their going to pass out or yell out a expletive, take a shot!

Other than drinking and watching the author type away, readers will also be able to participate in the entire process. As the author types, readers and fans can read along—online or at The Cabaret—and provide feedback and plot suggestions. Readers can also receive updates on Twitter and Facebook about the progression of the novel.

The event is not a publicity stunt for all these authors to promote their upcoming books but is  actually for a good cause, with all the proceeds and profits from the sales of the book going to literary causes. Some of the authors involved includes Garth Stein, the author of New York Times bestseller, “The Art of Racing in the Rain”; are part of Seattle7Writers, which is a group whose primary function works to raise money for all literary causes and charities.

“The Novel: Live!” will be available for purchase only as an e-book due to it’s length of 60,000 pages. One can only imagine what this “mystery” novel will read like, what the story and plot lines will consist of, and how the whole event will play out.