Novel Novice Twilight’s Best of 2009

Happy New Year!

To kick of 2010, we want to look back at what we consider the best of 2009 for Novel Novice Twilight, and the Twilight fandom at large.

10. Team Switzerland Project

“I am Switzerland. I refuse to be affected by territorial disputes between mythical creatures.”  – Bella Swan

It all started with this tiny quote; essentially, can’t we all just get along? Well, the series would have been much shorter if everyone had. Remember the fridge magnets Bella unsuccessfully tried to force together? It didn’t stop us from trying to forge a truce of our own with the Team Switzerland Project (TSP).

NNT invited fans to submit their videos, artwork, poetry and other creative works to show how Team Edward and Team Jacob can peacefully co-exist. Every Friday of 2009 was declared Team Switzerland Day – fan sites Twilight Lexicon, His Golden Eyes, Twilight Parents Examiner and Twilighters Anonymous also joined in the effort.

The result was phenomenal: Blue Foundation, who performed “Eyes on Fire” on the “Twilight” soundtrack, even got involved by sponsoring a contest and offering prizes. Submissions included original artwork, photo manipulations, poems, video montages and jewelry creations, among others.

Team Switzerland also became a viable option for those who, like Bella, refused to take sides. Taylor Lautner essentially declared himself Team Switzerland on “Saturday Night Live” with this skit.

9. 30 Days of New Moon

The countdown to the theatrical release of The Twilight Saga: New Moon was meteoric, it seemed, in the media — and it was certainly a long wait for eager fans. But as with last year’s countdown to Twilight, Novel Novice was here to make the final 30 days a little easier with 30 Days of New Moon.

This was our special countdown to the movie’s release, and provided visitors with all sorts of features. Every week, we shared a collection of the 10 best quotes from New Moon based on a variety of themes, like “most romantic” and “best Alice” quotes. We offered new desktop wallpapers and other downloads twice a week. We gave away 30 goodies courtesy of author George Beahm (copies of Twilight Tours, Bedazzled and the Tim Kirk illustrated map of Forks). We highlighted some of the best New Moon fan fiction around, and introduced you to the new characters that came out of New Moon. We updated our party guide, and created new original videos for you. We looked back on what things were like a year ago for the premiere of Twilight, and we even provided an advance review of New Moon, written for fans, by a fan.

And of course, you can bet we’ll have another awesome 30 day countdown later this year for the release of Eclipse. We can’t wait … can you?

8. Novel Novice Twilight adds seven new staff members!

With the meteoric rise of the “Twilight” franchise this year, so too, grew Novel Novice Twilight, expanding its staff of two, Ms. Truitt and Sara, with seven new contributors: Libby, Theresa, Christie, Stephanie, Melody, Lee and another Stephanie!

  • Libby is a writer for online and print publications about relationships, education, finance and everything in between.
  • Theresa, an avid reader originally from Washington State but now living in Texas, reconnected with the Pacific Northwest through “Twilight.”
  • Christie is a stay-at-home mom in Maryland, but was previously a Web developer. Thanks to “Twilight,” she got involved with fan fiction and discovered her passion for writing and editing.
  • Stephanie is a graphic designer from Ohio, who makes many of the downloads featured on NNT and has written some fan fiction. She heard about “Twilight” through her mom, a school library worker.
  • Melody is a mom and horticulturalist who does it all: cooking, reading, writing, garden designing, Yoga, curling  and training for a half-marathon. She’s also read the series at least six times and dabbles in fan fiction.
  • Lee is a mom who works in customer service. After initially resisting the lure of “Twilight,” she finally read the book and hasn’t looked back. She is currently waiting for her husband to start sparkling. (Aren’t we all?!)
  • Steph (yep, another one), is a stay-at-home mom who was formerly a copy editor/paginator at several newspapers. She, too, initially resisted “Twilight” but needed a diversion from mommyhood. She’s sure Stephenie Meyer is her long-lost sister.

7. Tweets from the Twi-Verse (and interaction between fans & actors/Summit)

Novel Novice Twilight finally caved and joined Twitter this year — and yes, we begrudgingly admit it has been a good thing. (Okay, so NNT’s Sara may not be Twitter’s biggest fan … yes, it’s true.) Not only has Twitter helped us connect more with visitors and other fan sites, but Twitter has also been huge for the Twi-verse at large.

Eclipse director David Slade tweeted continually throughout the production of the movie (and continues to do so during post-production). And many actors from the series routinely keep in touch with their fans — including Peter Facinelli, Edi Gathegi, Christian Serratos, Gil Birmingham and Anna Kendrick. Billy Burke even used Twitter to encourage his followers to give him a bump in IMDB’s tracking numbers.

Summit Entertainment also created the official Twilight Twitter this year, offering up contests and goodies to its followers — including messages from Rob Pattinson, Kristen Stewart and Taylor Lautner. (None of them have official Twitter accounts.)

As we head into 2010, it’s clear that Twitter is only going to get bigger — so be sure to follow Novel Novice Twilight for all the latest.

6. Vampire Baseball coverage

The stars of Twilight and New Moon took some time off during their 4th of July holiday in 2009 to play baseball for a good cause. The Vampire Baseball Event at PGE Park in Portland, Oregon gave fans a chance to mingle with their favorite Twilight actors, catch a fun baseball game and help support the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

NNT’s Sara snagged media credentials for the event, and covered the entire thing from start to finish. We brought you photos from right along the baseline, video highlights from the baseball game, and exclusive video interviews with Peter Facinelli, Edi Gathegi, Rachelle LeFevre, Michael Welch and Kiowa Gordon. Sara even contributed a chapter about the event to George Beahm’s new book Bedazzled.

Here’s one of our favorite video interviews from the event:

5. Novel Novice Twilight on TV

In 2009, we brought you an updated, new and improved Twilight Saga Party Guide. It included tips for decorations, party favors, entertainment, menu selections and lots more. Our comprehensive guide also caught the eye of the folks at Better TV — and NNT’s Sara was invited to talk about the party guide in an on-air segment. Thus, Novel Novice Twilight made our TV debut. Of course, we also got some great news coverage from other folks, including our friends at Reelz Channel, but the party guide was especially fun. Check it out:

4. NNT teams up with Brian Leaf & Others

Novel Novice Twilight teamed up with some great folks this year to offer some exciting features and contests. We brought you goodies from The Mortal Instruments series, the bands Ha Ha Tonka and Blue Foundation, our friends at CafePress, and authors George Beahm and Brian Leaf. We love everyone we’ve teamed up with for contests, but we’re especially fond of the work we’ve done with Brian Leaf.

Why? Well because he combines Twilight with education, of course! His books Defining Twilight and Defining New Moon are ingenius, and combine Stephenie Meyer’s books with study tools to help build your vocabulary and prepare you for standardized tests, such as the SAT and ACT.

Leaf isn’t done, either. He’s got Defining Eclipse on the way in 2010, and we can’t wait to get our hands on it!

3. Novel Novice celebrates 1 year, 1 million visitors … then 1 million more!

2009 was a big year for everyone here at Novel Novice Twilight. Besides adding all our new staff members, we also marked our 1,000,000th visitor in April, followed by our first year anniversary in May.

To mark the occasion, we sponsored contests, shared retrospectives on the site’s first year, spotlighted some of our favorite visitors, featured new videos, and showcased some of our favorite (and most supportive) affiliate websites.

But that’s not all. In December, we surpassed 2,000,000 visitors! As we move into 2010 and prepare to launch a sister site, we’re more excited than ever to see where we can go.

2. Filming of The Twilight Saga: Eclipse

The Twilight franchise is nothing if not efficient — The Twilight Saga: New Moon hadn’t even been released in theaters yet and David Slade had already finished filming Eclipse on Oct. 29.

But before filming got underway, a controversy was already brewing when Summit let go of Rachelle Lefevre as Victoria, replacing her with Bryce Dallas Howard. After the initial uproar subsided and filming got underway, fellow cast members gave her a warm welcome and have been complimentary about her performance. In recent interviews, Howard promised dramatic fight scenes and a grand finale.

Although Slade has been able, so far, to play things closer to the vest than Chris Weitz (who was plagued with on-set fan interruptions and leaked video), Slade appeased the fandom by taking advantage of Twitter, sending random Tweets on the film’s progress. His most recent Tweets are updates on the editing process and the up-in-the-air date for the release of the first trailer.

For a complete list of scenes that reportedly made it to film, visit Portland Books Examiner, written by NNT’s Sara Gundell.

The official release of Eclipse is June 30th.

1. Theatrical release of The Twilight Saga: New Moon

By far the number one event of 2009 in the Twi-Verse was the theatrical release of The Twilight Saga: New Moon. Fans waited eagerly for the movie’s release, following the success of 2008’s Twilight. And filmmakers did not disappoint.

While there is no pleasing everyone, the vast majority of fans agreed that New Moon (the movie) was much better than Twilight (the movie) — even those who feel the other way about the books.

For the most part, the world seemed to agree. The movie set new box office records for a midnight release and its opening day box office haul. It’s since gone on to earn more than $665 million worldwide … so-far.

What do you think were some of the best of Twilight & NNT in 2009? Tell us in the comments!

NNT’s Steph #2 and Sara contributed to this article.


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