Our GrammoWrimo Group Novel Is for Sale on Amazon!
When everything is about to change, the air becomes still. The sky turns a nondescript color of gray and people throw themselves into normalcy with a sense of purpose usually reserved for special occasions. They’ll walk through town and wave brightly to familiar faces, laugh a little too loudly, and buy a loaf of bread for dinner. All the while, they’ll readjust protective amulets and spend an extra minute in front of a household lararium, understanding that their reality will soon shift ever-so-slightly from its axis and life will never be the same again. They feel it in the air, and so do I. — Excerpt from Frozen by Fire: A GrammoWriMo Group Novel about the Ancient City of Pompeii
During November 2014, Grammarly gathered nearly 500 writers from 54 countries to write a group novel together online as part of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). We called our effort GrammoWriMo, and as of last week, our novel is finally published!
GrammoWriMo was crowdsourced from the beginning, starting with a poll sent out to participants to let them vote on the theme for our novel. From a short list of historical events, our participants chose the destruction of the ancient city of Pompeii by the eruption of the volcano Mt. Vesuvius.
Next, it was time to get our writers organized. In order to make the project manageable for such a massive group, we came up with 20 story ideas, or vignettes, around the theme of the destruction of Pompeii. A group of writers was assigned to each vignette and given the chance to brainstorm around their topic.
During the month of November, writers contributed to their vignettes using Penflip, an online collaborative writing platform. In addition to the 20 vignettes, we also solicited submissions for our GrammoWriMo short story contest.
Once the writing period was complete, we ran contests to come up with the title and cover design for our novel. We took the submitted text from our contributors and ran it through Grammarly’s automated proofreader, then had a human proofreader read over the text for historical accuracy and consistency.
After months of hard work, our novel is now available for sale as an eBook on Amazon! 100% of the price of the book ($.99) will be donated to a literacy-focused charity. Frozen by Fire is a collection of short stories that centers around the destruction of the ancient city of Pompeii by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD. The novel features various perspectives on the event—ranging from the viewpoints of everyday citizens, to the experience of an archeologist uncovering the city years later, to a literal bird’s-eye view of Pompeii—creating a dynamic portrait of what it might have been like back on that fateful day in the doomed city.