The Nanowrimo Crest

Amanda Miller, Reporter

ABC Family has 25 Days of Christmas, but writers young and old all around the globe have 30 days of November. To most, November holds events such as Thanksgiving, or maybe for those who are brave enough, No Shave November. For authors, however, the event of the month is Nanowrimo, or National Novel Writing Month.

Nanowrimo got its start more than thirteen years ago in 1999 with just 21 people participating. In a decade those numbers grew to over 200,000, writing over 2.8 billion words. Every year, this international internet event challenges writers to write a novel of 50,000 words in a month (November 1 -30) or, if you are in the Young Writers program, allows you to set your own word goal.

The idea behind it was that so many people in the world had great ideas for stories, but were too afraid to start writing, because they were afraid it would not be any good. Nanowrimo focuses on length, more so than quality. In the months, days or hours before the start of the event, writers plan their work. On November 1st, they begin writing and then wait to edit their work until after November is over.

All that hard work does not go to waste though. If a writer succeeds in writing at least 50,000 words they will have another seven months to finish editing it, and then submit it to Create Space. They will then receive five free, professionally published copies of their novel to do what they please with, such as send it to publishing companies, or keep it for themselves. Some novels, such as Water For Elephants by Sara Gruen, The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, and Flowers of Baghdad by Bruce Lyman among dozens of other novels.

Nanowrimo also hosts group writing sessions put together by writers in communities all over the world called “Come Write In” for those people who might be stuck and looking for a little help, feedback or who just enjoy writing in a group setting. These sessions, set up in forums by fellow Nanowrimo participants, can happen anywhere; in libraries, bookstores, colleges, universities, or anywhere else one might desire to write. Other Nanowrimo programs include the Young Writer’s Program, for writer’s under the age of 18, and Camp Nanowrimo, which takes place in April and then again in July.

Writing makes the world a more creative, vibrant place. Nanowrimo takes the skills writers might not even know they have and puts them to use. It gives writer’s the motivation, help and support they need to write that novel they have always dreamed of writing.