Write Turn: November is National Novel Writing Month

November is National Novel Writing Month

choose your own adventure, literally.

Write on. The Great American Novel: one of those noble pursuits like making the bed each morning or remembering to call Grandma on her birthday. Many of us aspire to pen a vague rendering of our fascinating lives or a thrilling piece of fiction someday– you know, when we grow up and get our lives together for real, eventually. National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is an annual web event hopes to encourage that dream and join aspiring writers together, creating a network of support and solidarity to make “someday” happen now.

NaNoWriMo is a “fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to creative writing.” On November 1, participants begin working towards the goal of writing a 50,000-word novel by 11:59 p.m. on November 30. Valuing enthusiasm, determination, and a deadline, NaNoWriMo is for anyone who has ever thought fleetingly about writing a novel.

National Novel Writing Month is also a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that “believes your story matters.”

“Through NaNoWriMo—as well as our Young Writers Program, the Come Write In program, and Camp NaNoWriMo—we work hard to empower and encourage that vibrant creativity around the world.”

NaNoWriMo 2012 at a glance:


341,375 participants started the month as auto mechanics, out-of-work actors, and middle school English teachers. They walked away novelists.

648 volunteer Municipal Liaisons guided 586 regions on six continents.

82,554 students and educators created worlds with the Young Writers Program.

615 libraries opened their doors to novelists through the Come Write In program.

And in 2013, 44,919 Campers participated in Camp NaNoWriMo’s online writing retreat.

Over 250 NaNoWriMo novels have been traditionally published. They include Sara Gruen’s Water for Elephants, Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus, Hugh Howey’s Wool, Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl, Jason Hough’s The Darwin Elevator, and Marissa Meyer’s Cinder.

Authors also offer encouraging pep talks to participants, like web mentors of sorts. The 2013 authors are James Patterson, Marie Lu, Lev Grossman, Rainbow Rowell, Patrick Rothfuss, Catherynne M. Valente, Bella Andre, Malinda Lo, Holly McGhee, Ralph Peters, and Jeff VanderMeer.

Does NaNoWriMo sound like the  kind of push you need to get started? Sign up here, now!

— Casandra Armour

Logo courtesy of National Novel Writing MonthImage credit: jannoon028 / 123RF Stock Photo

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