NaNoWriMo, AKA: National Novel Writing Month is Here!

Do you have what it takes to write an entire 50,000 word novel in four weeks?

Do you have a great idea or story that only needs to be written down to come to life?

For thirty days in November, It's just You and your Imagination.

The plots & possibilities are limitless!

First launched back in 1999, NaNoWriMo is attempt to write an entire 50,000 word novel within the month of November.

The initial year that it was held, 140 people participated and 29 managed to finish. Since then, nearly eight hundred thousand people have tried the challenge and over three hundred and fifty thousand have completed their novels.

Participants register on the NaNoWriMo website ( ). Once you are set up there, progress reports and chapters from your emerging novel can be posted for others to critique. Likewise, you can sample other people’s work and give your honest opinion.

For all amateur writers, aspiring novelists and unpublished wordsmiths, this is your opportunity to show the world what you can do.

And, any genre or format is allowed. As the event runners’ note on the website: "If you believe you're writing a novel, we believe you're writing a novel too.”

In addition to the main event, numerous other side events, such as local meetups and specialized workshops, have been created.

For example, in 2004, NaNoWriMo started the Young Writers Program (YWP) which is targeted at students from Kindergarten through the 12th grade. Unlike the regular challenge, participants in the YWP can choose how many words to write.

Teachers can also sign their classes up to participate and receive starter kits with materials and lesson plans. They even have their own forum ( ) which anyone from 13-17 can join.

Other than a sense of accomplishment and an electronic badge, no prizes are awarded to the winners.

However, some of the finished novels have gone on to be published and widely read, such as Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen and Cinder by Marissa Meyer.

In the end, even if you do not succeed at the challenge, the attempt itself makes NaNoWriMo a worthy, intellectually stimulating experience.

And, for those writers out there who may want to try something a little less challenging, a list of some shorter contests can be downloaded here.

And, remember these words:

“The scariest moment is always just before you start.”

― Stephen King, On Writing: a Memoir of the Craft.

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