Crowdsourcing a new write-in location

As you’ve probably heard, Borders will be closing three local locations, including Monroeville.  That is where the National Novel Writing Month east write-ins have been held.  We would gather in the cafe, people watch, be amazed at the random electrical outlet up at the ceiling (we called it the spiderman plug) and work on crafting great novels.

Now however, we’re going to need someplace new, so I’d like to ask for some suggestions.  Barring in mind that I’m not actually in charge, I’m just trying to help out our Municipal Liason (who is awesome by the way, I’ll be writing about her awesome blog probably next week).  Here’s what we need in a location:

  • Ability to seat about 10 people (we usually get about that many on the weekend write-ins, and about half that during the week).  We’re not the biggest write-in location, but we’re dependable six or seven write-ins a month
  • Two electrical sockets.  We bring our own surge protectors/power strips.  We’ve learned that lesson from experience.
  • Wi-Fi.  You know, for research… And I wrote my book in Google Docs last year, so it was nice to just write in the cloud.
  • Caffeine.  Totally optional, but we’ll buy food and drink from the location we’re in, and probably whatever else is for sale (I usually left Borders with new books to read)
  • A fondness for strangeness.  We wear funny hats when we write, it helps with the creative process, and allows us to find each other easier.  So when you see me come in wearing a Viking helmet, Mad Hatter hat, or something else equally odd, you’ll know we’re there.

Barnes and Noble is an option, although they have a smaller seating area, and the last few times I was there, their Wi-Fi was pitiful.  We’ve used the Panera in Penn Center in Wilkins, and that was a good spot (plus, unlike the Panera in Monroeville, the staff is friendly and gets my orders correct).

But I guess I’m kind of interested to see if there is some place off the beaten path, I know we had tried to set up some write-ins in Oakmont last year, but I don’t think that ever got off the ground.  We’re generally fairly quiet, bring in business (as well as publishing the fact that we’re at your location a lot), and I can even get you a cool “Write Your Novel Here” window cling to hang up.

So, any ideas?

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