National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo, is an adventure that encourages people from all walks of life to create a 50,000 word novel in 30 days. Impossible, right? Well, there are a lot of writers that have been successful, thanks to the help of the community that cheers them on.
NaNoWriMo began in July 1999. It all started with Chris Batey, who began the project with 21 other writers in the San Francisco Bay area. It was eventually moved from July to November to “take advantage of the miserable weather.” Since then, NaNoWriMo has grown extraordinarily; in 2013, 400,000 people participated from all over the world. The rules are simple: you must start a new novel on November 1st and have until 11:59:59 on November 30th to submit your novel for verification. All genres, from fanfiction to historical romance, are accepted and notes are permitted. You win a free paperback proof from CreateSpace and the satisfaction of completing a novel in 30 days. Not many people can say that!
NaNoWriMo has also developed programs to develop and encourage literacy at a young age. The Young Writers Program has a word count of 30,000 words, and it has been used at thousands of schools, with 90,000 participants total. NaNoWriMo has also used libraries and other community spaces with their Come Write In program, which allows WriMos to have a place to meet up and craft their novels together.
Some examples of novels that have been published after NaNoWriMo are: Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen, The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, Born of Illusion by Teri Brown and hundreds of others, traditionally and self-published.
The Morningside Writers’ Guild, a student group on campus, is hosting their own kick-off party from 1-5pm on November 1st, in the Yockey Room. Anyone is free to come for any amount of time. If you have any questions, please contact Donna Habinck at firstname.lastname@example.org You can also find them on Facebook as Morningside Writers’ Guild.
Some sources from our library about NaNoWriMo and the writing process include:
Lessons from NaNoWriMo by Larry Burton
Writing the Novel: From Plot to Print by Laurence Block
The Writer's Market (2013)
The Creative Writer's Survival Guide : Advice From an Unrepentant Novelist by John McNally
Novel Ideas: Contemporary Authors Share the Creative Process by Margaret-Love Denman and Barbara Shoup