Twilight: The Best of 2008

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As 2008 comes to a close, and we ring in the New Year, NNT would like to take a moment to reflect on the last year and everything awesomely Twilight that we got to celebrate this year. So join us as we take a look back at the Best of 2008, Novel Novice Twilight style!

10. Novel Novice Twilight

novelnoviceicon-1We launched our site in 2008 — first in May, as Ms. Truitt’s blog for her classroom’s projects relating to Twilight. We expanded to a full-blown fansite, with a staff, in July and we haven’t looked back since. We’ve grown in numbers and visitors every month since then (just yesterday, we surpassed 500,000 page hits!), and we continue adding new projects as more people visit our site.

We were even shown some love in October, when The Movie Fanatic mentioned us in an article:

Numerous Twilight fansites concentrate on the latest news and updates, but there is one fansite that puts the spotlight on education – giving both Twilight readers and fans a chance to learn more about the Twilight Saga and making them aware of the issues surrounding the series. Twilight Novel Novice also boasts of an amazing news blog and contests to make it a favorite Twilight destination. The site has both the substance and the form to become one of today’s most authoritative sites on the net. Highly recommended for lovers of Twilight-related fan fiction.

We got more love in Blast Magazine for our election coverage.

But by far the best support has been from you — and our fellow Twilight fansites. Our affiliates and the other big sites who mention our work and link back to us have been key to our success, and we couldn’t have gotten to where we are now without you all. So thanks for supporting NNT, and we look forward to doing more with you in 2009!

9. Staff Videos

staff-videosWe have some pretty talented staff members here at Novel Novice, and many of them have gifted us throughout the year with their video creations. From campaign videos for our Team Edward vs. Team Jacob campaign (still to come on the countdown) to music videos and original trailers. You can see all of our staff’s creations on our staff videos page.

8. Twilight Lesson Plan

lesson-planNovel Novice Twilight was, after all, started by a teacher — Ms. Truitt — and she started the site, originally, to chronicle her students’ work related to Twilight. As her classroom work continued, she developed a teacher’s lesson plan for Twilight — and when she posted it here, it unleashed a fury of debate in our comments.

Many teachers stopped by to say thank you for the lesson plan, telling us their own stories about using Twilight in the classroom. The lesson plan also sparked a heated debate between Twilight supporters and the haters. Though the debate was never fully resolved, it also lead to Ms. Truitt writing a paper about the Twilight fandom and female fans for her Pop Culture class.

7. Novel Novice Interviews Solomon Trimble

solomon1Novel Novice launched after the Twilight movie wrapped filming, and many of the biggest fan sites had already snagged some awesome interviews with actors and others involved in the film. But we were lucky enough in August to score an in-depth interview with Solomon Trimble, the actor playing Sam Uley in the Twilight movie (though the credits only listed him as “Jacob’s Friend”). The interview was a huge success — Solomon, himself, said he enjoyed answering our questions — and your response was overwhelming. At the time, his interview set a new record for page hits for our site (it’s since been shattered several times over) and to this day, we are still getting new comments about his responses. So thanks, once again, to Solomon for answering our questions — and here’s wishing him all the best in 2009 and beyond!

To see Solomon in action, check out this clip of him in Twilight:

Novel Novice also has some other awesome interviews … check them all out here.

6. Back to School Week

nnt-home-back-to-schoolIt’s only fitting that an education-based website such as Novel Novice Twilight mark the beginning of the school year — and that’s exactly what we did, with NNT’s Back to School week, Sept. 8-14th. During the week, we shared back-to-school downloads, Ms. Truitt’s Lesson Plan, Twilight History Lessons, unveilved our Twilight Yearbook and launched Friday Night TwiLights. We even made our September Fan Fiction Challenge back-to-school themed. (Check out the winning entries, here).

5. 30 Days of Twilight

30daysoftwilight_bannerWe called it the Ultimate Countdown to the Twilight movie — that is, our 30 Days of Twilight celebration! Every day, for the last 30 days until the movie’s Nov. 21st release, we here at NNT unveiled something new and exciting to help tide you over until the movie hit theaters. 30 Days of Twilight included new, original videos, dozens of new downloads, new designs in our shop, original activities (like a Twilight word search & mad libs), greeting cards, a weekly Twi-Magazine and more! And we compiled everything into one spot, so even now, you can go back and check out your favorites and everything you might have missed. And you can bet we’ll have another awesome, ultimate countdown in 2009 for the release of New Moon.

4. Novel Novice Twilight’s Original Downloads

1121_live-foreverYou love them, and we love to make them for you — I’m talking, of course, about NNT’s original downloads! Our downloads include desktop wallpapers, bookmarks, icons, greeting cards, banners & more. We even share downloads created by you — NNT visitors & supporters!

And, not only are they popular with our regular visitors, but our downloads have helped bring in countless new visitors to our site everyday. In fact, our site statistics show that the search engine terms most commonly used to find our site are related to Twilight backgrounds, or desktop wallpapers. We even recently presented you with our Christmas gift, a downloadable desktop wallpaper calendar for 2009.

3.Team Edward vs. Team Jacob — The Campaign & Election

cullen-vs-black_the-debate1 2008 was a big year in the United States, since it was an election year — and Americans voted for a new president. As a way to educate & involve Twilighters in the election process, NNT launched its Team Edward vs. Team Jacob campaign — a way for all Twilighters to understand the election process in a fun, Twilight-related way.

The campaign ran all year, with fans and staff members creating campaign material — like buttons, fliers and stickers declaring support for either Team Edward or Team Jacob. The campaign grew, as we presented campaign videos for both sides. And then, Nov. 4th — election day in the U.S. — we opened the polls for you to choose from Team Edward, Team Jacob or Team Switzerland. When the polls were closed, we tallied the results and presented them to you in our own NNT Newscast:

2. Twilight — The Movie

twilight_teaser_newdateline1Fans have been fantasizing about seeing Bella & Edward come to life on the big screen for years. In 2008, it finally became a reality — and the movie was a smash hit, too! The hype started building about a year ago, as Summit began annoucing casting decisions — first Kristen Stewart, then the controversial casting of Robert Pattinson as Edward (whatever happened to those naysayers, anyway?) and the highly criticized first publicity photos of the Cullen family, pre-hair-makeovers.

The hype continued growing, as filming got underway in and around Portland, Oregon. Photos and videos from the set started leaking online. A few news reports surfaced. And then MTV (& Larry Carroll) arrived and brought us Twilight Tuesday. Even after filming wrapped, Twilight Tuesday helped satisfy our hankerings for the latest movie news every week until the film’s release.

Then, Warner Brothers delayed the opening of the sixth Harry Potter movie and Summit jumped at a bright opportunity — moving Twilight‘s release up from Dec. 12th to Nov. 21st. Twilighters everywhere rejoiced!

And when that day finally arrived — Twilight took the box office by storm, raking in nearly $70 million in its opening weekend and breaking all sorts of box office records. We here at NNT even helped you celebrate, by sharing opening weekend photos from around the globe. The movie was a smashing success! Even before the weekend was out, Summit had announced that the movie adaptation if New Moon was a go! Twilight has gone on to become one of the top movies of 2008.

Want to reminisce about your favorite parts from the movie? Then enjoy this ultimate, extended Twilight trailer I created:

1. Breaking Dawn

breaking-dawn-coverBy far and away, the highlight of 2008 was the release of Breaking Dawn, the final novel in the original Twilight saga. Sure, Stephenie Meyer may eventually write Midnight Sun. Sure, she may write other stories about the characters. But Breaking Dawn marked the conclusion of the original series — the story of Bella and Edward. Eagerly anticipated, with the hysteria and hype only building exponentially to the book’s August 2nd release, Breaking Dawn hit bookstores around the world with a bang — selling one-million copies within the first 24 hours!

We here at Novel Novice even celebrated with fans worldwide, as you sent us your photos from midnight release parties from all across the globe! Even the controversial reaction to the book (some fans loved it, others loathed it) is proof that Breaking Dawn was huge. It was the biggest book release since the final Harry Potter novel, and all series comparisons aside, that is saying alot.

So cheers to Breaking Dawn, and here’s hoping for even more fantastic surprises in 2009!

Feel like we left something out? Tell us your favorites of 2008 in the comments!

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Milestones, and more!

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First things first … a little pat on the back and a congratulations to my fellow NNT-staffers … because in less than a year, we have passed 500,000 hits here at Novel Novice Twilight!! So thank you to everyone who has supported us over the last several months, and we look forward to sharing more great things with you in the coming year!

And now, in other news …

* The Improper looks at the phenomenon Twilight has become.

* Yahoo! reports about how Twilight made the most money, compared to original budget, of any movie in 2008 … even besting The Dark Knight.

* ComingSoon wants to know what your favorite movie of 2008 was … go vote for Twilight!

* Stephenie Meyer is included in a poll on AOL Money & Finance on who will cash in the most on their success in 2009.

* ExtraTV has a new video about Taylor Lautner competing for the role of Jacob in New Moon.

Last call!

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As of this posting, you have 24 hours left to send me your entries for the Nov-Dec Fan Fiction Challenge!

For this month’s challenge, write about any of the Twilight characters celebrating the holidays (any holiday, really). Be sure to read the complete rules & guidelines before submitting.

Send your entries to sara.novelnovice@comcast.net as a .doc or .txt attachment, including your story’s title and your author’s name. Entries are due tonight by midnight (pst)!

You could be as dazzling as Edward …

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Want to look just as dazzling as Edward Cullen? The blog spoiled pretty is running a new Twilight-inspired giveaway, in partnership with Benefit Cosmetics. That’s the makeup brand used on Robert Pattinson in Twilight.

Now you can use some of the same stuff!

If you’re a fan of my Twilight-inspired posts, you already know that Van Phue used Benefit’s Silky Finish Lipstick in Ms. Behavin on Robert Pattinson, who plays Edward Cullen in the film. Well, I had such a positive response to that article that I’m partnering with Benefit for a giveaway – Twilight style.

Five readers will win Benefit’s Silky Finish Lipstick in Ms. Behavin, a mulberry glaze (retail value $18).

Just visit spoiled pretty for details on how you can enter. Thanks to Daneen at the blog for letting us know!

Extra, extra! Read all about it!

* EW has named the Twilight premiere one of the biggest events in 2008 for showbiz.

* Reelz Channel has a new video about the controversy surrounding New Moon.

* Stephenie Meyer made Time magazine’s list of Persons of the Year 2008. Congrats, Stephenie!

UPDATE: Stephenie Meyer.com has been updated, with a look at some of the accolades she’s received this year.

* Reuters has a new article about Amazon’s “Best of 2008” — including lots of accolades for Twilight and Breaking Dawn. You can also read about it at the NY Times. In fact, the Amazon factoids include this little tidbit:

… [Amazon] sold enough “Breaking Dawn” books that, if stacked end to end, they would reach the summit of Mount Everest eight times.

* Reuters also talks about how 2008 was the “Year of the Vampire,” and of course Twilight was a big part of that.

* Proving once again the power of the female fan, “Twi-Hard” has been nominated as the word of the year.

* We also want to wish a big happy birthday to Pel, at the Lex! (It was Monday). She’s done a lot to help us out at NNT, and we send her our best wishes!

* And don’t forget to give us your Twilight Characters’ New Years’ Resolutions!

Twilight Characters’ New Year’s Resolutions!

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Remember we need your help NNT-ers, please click here to see how you can help us with our Twilight Character / New Years project. I will be closing the comment section on the project post on Wednesday morning! Don’t forget to check back for some really cool Novel Novice Twilight year end treats!

New Jackson Rathbone Interview

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Bloody-disgusting has a new interview with Jackson Rathbone on the set of his new horror film, Dread. Please be aware that the video does contain some adult language: