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What the heck is NaNoWriMo??

Every November, writers all over the world sign up for NaNoWriMo and take the next step in their writing journey: writing a novel in just THIRTY days!

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is an annual event in which participants commit to writing a 50,000-word novel between November 1st and 30th.  It began in 1999 as a challenge between friends, but NaNoWriMo has since grown into a global writing marathon with hundreds of thousands of participants each year!

The rules are simple: starting after midnight local time on November 1st, writers begin drafting a new novel (or a fresh rewrite of an old one), and must attempt to finish before the end of the month. Planning and outlining beforehand are allowed and even encourage, but continuing a current work-in-progress is not officially sanctioned by NaNoWriMo — though plenty of writers bend the rules to suit their needs.

To win this November writing challenge, you’ll need to write an average of 1,667 words per day. Once you’ve hit the 50,000-word mark, you can upload your novel to the NaNoWriMo website to verify your word count. Winners are given banners and certificates to display if they choose, and winner’s t-shirts are available for purchase in the store.

But most importantly, you’ll have a brand new draft of a novel, and the satisfaction of knowing you rose to the challenge — which, for most writers, is the greatest reward of all.

in 2019:

  • 455,080 writers participated in our programs, including 104,350 students and educators in the Young Writers Program.
  • 966 volunteer Municipal Liaisons guided 669 regions on six continents.
  • 968 libraries, bookstores, and community centers opened their doors to novelists through the Come Write In program.
  • 70,632 Campers tackled a writing project — novel or not — at camp NaNoWriMo.

Hundreds of 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.

Each year, authors offer mentorship to our participants through pep talks. Past author mentors have included Gene Luen Yang, Roxane Gay, John Green, Andy Weir, N. K. Jemisin, and Veronica Roth.

For more information, visit

The NaNoWriMo display that Barb made at the library.

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