Guest Post from Grammarly: Is Group Writing the Wave of the Future?

Let’s face it – for even the most seasoned writers among us, it is difficult to find the time and inspiration to write a publishable novel. In addition to deciding what type of novel to write, we need to develop a series of believable characters and orchestrate their participation in an interesting story. Then we need to start writing.

Typically, novels are penned by a single author and can be divided into three categories:

1. Genre fiction includes romance novels, thrillers, mystery novels, and more.
2. Literary novels are popular pieces of fiction that have typically earned some acclaim. Many literary novels are assigned reading in high school or college, and some have even been deemed “classics.”
3. Mainstream fiction (think: Twilight, Fifty Shades of Grey, etc.).

Thinking about the type of novel you want to write can be as overwhelming as actually writing it, so many writers seek inspiration before they begin to write by reading voraciously. Samuel Johnson, a poet, essayist, moralist, literary critic, biographer, editor, and lexicographer, said: “The greatest part of a writer’s time is spent in reading, in order to write; a man will turn over half a library to make one book.”

Other writers find inspiration in begin held accountable for their work. Many participate in writing groups, forums, or national writing events such as National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), an event that takes place every November to hold writers accountable for writing at least 50,000 words. As part of NaNoWriMo, writers report their progress and become inspired by other writers to complete the first draft of a novel.

However, despite the adequate inspiration and accountability, some writers simple do not have the time to complete a full novel. For these writers, there is collaborative fiction. Collaborative fiction involves two or more authors sharing creative control of a story. The best example of collaborative fiction is Caverns, a 1989 novel written collaboratively as an experiment by Ken Kesey and a creative writing class that he taught at the University of Oregon. Another example is the novel, No Rest for the Dead, in which 26 best-selling crime writers teamed up to create a mystery story.

Grammarly, an automated proofreading company, is in the process of completing its second annual collaborative writing event, GrammoWriMo. GrammoWriMo is open to all writers, and has been an attractive option for those who want to be involved in writing a novel – but simply do not have the time to complete the piece on their own.

In November 2013, around 300 writers from 27 countries (and 44 U.S. states) worked together with Grammarly to write a group novel during NaNoWriMo. The resulting book clocked in at a total of 130,927 unedited words, and was among the 41,940 novels completed! Writers and participants of GrammoWriMo have reviewed the book, and their experience writing it, on Amazon.

In November 2014, 496 writers from 54 countries signed up to participate in the group-writing event. Together, these writers drafted 38,093 words and three pending vignettes to be added to the novel.

Although the future of collaborative writing remains to be seen, it is clear that many writers appreciate the opportunity to work with others to complete the time-consuming task of writing and publishing a complete novel. Many hands make short work, and the initial success of a group novel often inspires writers to go forward in writing their own novel.

Do you find inspiration in your writing through others? Are collaboratively written novels the wave of the future?

Audrey Braun’s novel, “A Small Fortune” intrigued me with its light and deftly drawn writing. Braun doesn’t bog the reader down with cumbersome scene-setting and the descriptive language is brief and vivid–like flashes of light that make you blink.

I did love the heroine. She is just the right mix of reflective and impulsive. Passionate, smart, sensitive, and confused–she seemed so real. Nothing like the stereotypical passive, blushing damsel in distress, Celia is clearly the strongest character in the novel but she doesn’t have to prove this to anyone. She just naturally assumes this mantle. The other characters are also delightfully complex, filled with human imperfections and instants of redemption. There are so many watercolored shades of grey. And, of course, the plot was compelling. Filled with twists, turns, and exotic locals. And an enigmatic past that merges seamlessly with the present. Braun dances on the edge of belief with a story that is almost too crazy to be true, but not quite. Her skillful blend of concrete, everyday details and high drama was delightful

So, in summation, “A Small Fortune” is a pretty damn good read. It’s a fast-paced, thrilling, and romantic novel that also has an elegance of language and description that sets it apart. I picked it up, and devoured it, and it left a vivid, lingering, and refreshing memory.


Synthetic. Collaborative. and perhaps divisive. That’s how I think I would describe prismACTIVISM!. At the opening Friday night, at Launchpad Gallery, I was struck by the artwork, but mostly, I was intrigued by the people. The opening night was also the CD release party for “Actually Happening, ” from DMLH. And you could feel that this event was fueled by a whole lotta love and enthusiasm.

These artists were united in this collection by the songs on the album. Which is why there was a dizzying diversity of medias and styles. Sam Arneson’s comic-book like ink drawing, “Stream of Consciousness,” lodged itself firmly in my subconscious. Partly because of the imaginative, malicious character it represented, partly because it reminded me of someone I love. David Walker’s work “Unfinished Businesses” was also cartoonish, yet sinister. In fact, the overarching theme was a mixture of the innocent and the corrupt. The artists played vice against innocence, nature against construct. And themes of death, toxins, and corrosion ran underneath.

DMLH, who is complicit in all these works, was previously unknown to me. I’m not quite sure how I feel about him. I wouldn’t call him brilliant, yet. His lyrics have a stark sincerity–without ornamentation, sometimes mundane. And it’s not super catchy, dancy, or driving. But intriguing. And his approach–blending visual and performance and oral and aural art–complicates matters just enough.

~ By Staff Writer, Sarah Hoffer

New Doings Around the MindBuck Media Blog

Hi All,

For the next several months, I will be having some guest staff writers reviewing lit and the arts for MindBuck Media. I’m really looking forward to reading what they have to say. Suggestions for a newly released book or art show to review? Feel free to send them on to me at



Literary goings on…

Happy Fall!

It’s book release season, for sure. Viva Las Vegas has a new release coming out at the end of October, 2010, “The Gospel According to Viva Las Vegas.” Viva will be doing several panels at Wordstock, as well as hosting the Text Ball on Friday, October 8th.

David Michael Slater’s highly anticipated 3rd book in the 5-book Sacred Books series, “Book of Maps”, will be released December 5th. Despite threats, no book banners will stop his fans from reading their favorite YA series.

Deborah Reed (pseudonym, Audrey Braun) will be releasing the first of 3 books with Amazons publisher, Encore, starting this spring.

Portland photographer, Cheyenne Glasgow, just landed the cover of Stephen King’s new UK release! See pic…

MindBuck Media friend, Peter Mountford, will have his first novel published with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in the spring of 2011.

New email address! is no more…. It is now

Thanks, all

D’Merde Salon at The Woods!

Hello All-
D’Merde Salon is moving to The Woods for a gathering on October 29th, 2009 at 8pm. Here’s the release:



Portland, Ore. – September 21th, 2009 – While best known as the secret absinthe party where you could meet rock stars, mingle with film directors or get publishing deals; D’Merde Salon has a new space. After finally growing out of the tiny garage in which it resided for a year, D’Merde is moving to Portland’s newest popular venue: The Woods, for a flagship event October 29th, 2009.

“I couldn’t have found a more perfect home for D’Merde,” says creator and host, Jessica Glenn. “The otherworldly, funeral home atmosphere is the kind of secret society meets clubhouse vibe that’s essential for D’Merde Salon’s mix of geniuses, patrons and absinthe whacks.”

As with previous D’Merde Salons, guests will be treated to a mix of mediums including four bands, a one night only art show with notable Portland artists, readings from celebrity writers, and the crazy feeling that no one will ever believe who you ended up talking to last night…

Sponsored by KZME, this evening’s participants are some of Portland’s most eccentric, flamboyant artists: Death by Doll (with Dame Darcy), The MoonShriners (with members from LSD&D, Slack, Peter Pants and The Freight train Casanovas), Judson Claiborne (from Chicago), and local shoe-gazers, Josh and Charlotte. Painters include Miss Mona Superhero, Private Mike Albano (of Chariots of Rubber), Dame Darcy and more. Readings by Monica Drake (author of Clown Girl as well as the intro to Chuck Palahniuk’s new release), Jessica Glenn (of MindBuck Media), Viva Las Vegas (from new release, Magic Gardens) and Dame Darcy (of Gasoline, Meatcake and more).

Boys, Books and Bildungsroman

Yesterday, there was a really interesting article in the NY Forward that featured, SELFLESS, the new book by my client, David Slater.

Here’s an excerpt:

“It turned out that getting ready for the birth of my elder daughter I’d missed the furor surrounding Ian McEwan article to which Shteyngart’s comment referred. In it McEwan had concluded “when women stop reading, the novel will be dead.” His conclusion was based on a mishmash of statistics and anecdotes (most notably his inability to give away excellent free books to men in central London). But the reductive truth of it seems based on the notion that stories are for girls and facts are for boys.

I find terribly sad the idea that people would not want to read roughly in accordance to their ability. Reading is how we learn to imagine others — not the outcomes of the plot, but how characters, events and language flow around each other: how other people exist. Novels expose you to new people, worlds and aspects of worlds. Reading a good novel though is not about its internal facts, but their apprehension and representation by the author: If you read “A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man” for Catholic theology or Irish history, you are missing the point.

Check it out!


So many interesting things going on, yet so hard to go to all of them! I just got married… (yea!)
So that has taken a bit of time out of the old schedule. But other than that, I have a fab new book I’m promoting: SELFLESS, by David Slater and I’m planning on going to see LSD&D at O’Malley’s on Foster this Saturday.

See you there!

D’Merde Salon: Models in Vintage Swim wear and Beehives Hairdos Parade Through Crowds of Fiendish Geniuses, Consuming Absinthe. See ya!

To the brilliant underground loves of our life,

June 27th will be the 7th D’MERDE SALON

And artists, writers, musicians, designers, patrons and You are invited…

Friday June 27
6310 SE Steele St. PDX 97206
Food, Beer, Wine, Absinthe, Entertainment, Music, Free Love
$10 – $15 Suggested Donation a
t the door

Please RSVP to either myspace events(events/ or
Peace, Love and Kisses

Jessica Buck:503.998.8770 –
Trina Giese –

  • Local Designer Pamela of Popina hosts vintage inspired fashion show
  • The Underscore Orkestra
  • Kate’s Mirror
  • The Absinthe Assassin makes a return appearance
  • Readers/Writers include: Tiffany Stoneman, Viva Las Vegas, Lovely Urchin and Mykle Hansen
  • Painters include below list but we may have a few surprises:

Tyler Spencer of Pirate Satelite TV:
Anna Todaro: –
Heidielise Wirz –
Theo Holdt:
Victor Fitzsimons –
Lisa Albinger (who made the lovely graphic!)-
Christopher Sage of ‘Behold Her’:
Troy John –
Mike Albano –
Ilon Laks of audio cinema –
Mario – h

At the May 16th D’Merde we had the pleasure of hosting
107 people including:
34 artists,
23 writers,
12 designers,
24 musicians,
6 film companies,
5 publishing companies
57 lovers!
Peace, Love and Kisses.
Jessica Buck:503.998.8770 –

Trina Giese –

Please RSVP to either myspace events, or: