NaNoWriMo is an annual writing event that takes place every November. It’s in its sixteenth year, and is expecting over 400 thousand writers across 6 continents to participate in 2014. Image Courtesy of National Novel Writing Month


`What do Erin Morgenstern’s novel, “The Night Circus,” Rainbow Rowell’s “Fangirl” and Sara Gruen’s “Water for Elephants” have in common? They were all written during National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), and all went on to become bestsellers.

NaNoWriMo is an annual event that challenges writers around the globe to write a 50,000 word manuscript during the month of November. To reach the goal, writers typically spend the 30 days writing at least 1,600 words a day.

There’s no prize for winning, except for bragging rights and a certificate that winning participants can print out. On the flipside, this also means there’s no penalty if you don’t complete the challenge. For example, the event is completely free, so you don’t have to worry about losing an entry fee.

To participate, simply log onto NaNoWriMo’s website and register an account. From there, you can fill out a profile with your novel’s (or other literary pursuit – some participants, affectionately called “NaNo rebels,” have written memoirs and short story anthologies) information.

Once that’s done, visit the forums to talk with other participants. The forums are full of helpful writing tips, fun character development and world-building exercises, and tons of resources to help you iron out all the writing problems you may face throughout the month.

As a registered user, you’ll also receive weekly pep talks from NaNoWriMo’s contributing writers. Past pep talk authors have included Lemony Snicket, Piers Anthony, Scott Westerfeld, Philip Pullman, Veronica Roth, Lois Lowry and Neil Gaiman. (All past pep talks can be viewed on the website under the “Inspiration” tab.) The 2014 line-up of pep talk authors include Tamora Pierce, Veronica Roth and Jim Butcher.

If you’re a writer and are looking for the motivation to get that story that has been bouncing around in your head written down, this is the perfect opportunity to do so. There’s a global support system to be found in the NaNo forums, and there’s also the opportunity to join up with local writers in your area at NaNoWriMo write-ins. Usually, these events take place in libraries, cafes or bookstores and are basically writing workshops for NaNo participants organized by local municipal liaisons. There’s nothing quite like hearing others around you rapidly typing away or hurriedly scribbling in a notebook to motivate you to write more.

And, most importantly, NaNoWriMo is a fun, stress-free event for those who want to write something for themselves without worrying too much about deadlines. After all, you’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain by participating in this event.

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