National Novel Writing Month

Can you write a novel in 30 days?

I’m going to try it!

Anyone with me?

How about you Kathan? You said your dream was to write a novel.

This is the perfect opportunity to write a novel and have fun at the same time. You have until November 1st to come up with a plot.


No Judges. No Prizes. Winning Manuscripts Deleted. Appeal Remains a Mystery.

There are some who say writing a novel takes awesome talent, strong language skills, academic training, and years of dedication.
Not true. All it really takes is a deadline – a very, very tight deadline – and a whole lot of coffee.
Welcome to National Novel Writing Month: a nonprofit literary crusade that encourages aspiring novelists all over the world to write a 50,000-word novel in a month. At midnight on Nov. 1, 150,000 writers from over 90 countries – poised over laptops and pads of paper, fingers itching and minds racing with plots and characters – will begin a furious adventure in fiction. By 11:59 PM on Nov. 30, tens of thousands of them will be novelists.
2008 is the ten-year anniversary of NaNoWriMo, founded in 1999 by freelance writer Chris Baty. In its first year, NaNoWriMo had just 21 participants. In 2008, over 120,000 people took part in the free challenge, making it the largest writing contest in the world. And while the event stresses fun and creative exploration over publication, more than 30 NaNoWriMo novelists have had their NaNo-novels published, including Sarah Gruen, whose New York Times #1 Best Seller, Water for Elephants began as a NaNoWriMo novel.
Around 18% of NaNoWriMo participants “win” every year by writing 50,000 words and validating their novels on the organization’s website before midnight on Nov 30. Winners receive no prizes, and no one at NaNoWriMo ever reads the manuscripts submitted.
So if not for fame or fortune, why do people do it?
“The 50,000-word challenge has a wonderful way of opening up your imagination and unleashing creative potential like nothing else,” says NaNoWriMo Founder and Program Director (and ten-time NaNoWriMo winner) Chris Baty. “When you write for quantity instead of quality, you end up getting both. Also, it’s a great excuse for not doing any dishes for a month.”
If you would like more information about National Novel Writing Month, or would like to talk to participants from NaNoWriMo chapters in your area, please visit our website at, or contact

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4 thoughts on “National Novel Writing Month

  1. I have wanted to participate in this. I worry that I am taking on to much with a book in the fire and the blog.

    But this sounds like so much fun, and only equals about another 1600-1700 words a day. It could help me get the outline I have created for The Girl in The Yellow Polka-Dot Hat, turned into a short draft.

    Wow, I really have to think about this. It’s a good thing I still have time. (I think I need more coffee this morning.)

  2. I can’t believe you called me out!! 🙂 Let me think about this…I’m sure it would be a terrible draft, but it might be just what I need to get started on something. Scary!!

  3. Yeah, Kathan, I was feeling a little feisty. Although, that is what we’re here for, to encourage each other to step out of the box and write.
    This seems like the perfect opportunity to get a first draft done while allowing ourselves to write poorly. Once you have the story on paper you can go back and improve, make changes and re-write.

  4. I’ve been out of the loop for a couple of weeks since Boris and I took a long road trip from NC to Texas and Louisiana, trying to do the rest of the Gulf Coast. This time we started in South Padre Island TX and headed north and east — got as far as the outskirts of New Orleans. In May we’d started along the Florida Gulf Coast and headed north and west — got as far as the outskirts of New Orleans.

    Now, obviously, we have to go back with New Orleans as our starting point!

    Before we left, I’d signed up for NaNoWriMo and am psyched about it. I bought Chris Baty’s book No Plot? No Problem! to read while traveling and it’s both hysterically funny AND good preparation for NaNoWriMo (I hope!) in terms of nurturing the attitude that we’re SUPPOSED to write crap sandwiches (love that expression!) and to not freak out if and when that’s what happens. There are still bound to be some nuggets of something worthwhile there — what’s fertilizer made of, anyway?

    Maybe I’ll get my blog up and running before too long. It’s not ready for prime time, of course — and I’m trying to decide how identifiable I want to be in it.

    But I’m glad to have y’all as cronies during November!

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