Calling all writers: National Novel Writing Month is here

Writers around the world come together every November to achieve a daunting feat: each writing a 50-thousand-word novel in only one month.

The reason? National Novel Writing Month.

What is National Novel Writing Month?

National Novel Writing Month, more commonly called NaNoWriMo for short, began in 1999 as a daunting, but straightforward challenge: to write 50,000 words of a novel during the thirty days of November.

From the NaNoWriMo website

NaNoWriMo is an organization-based challenge for writers of all nationalities and ages. The challenge? Write an entire 50-thousand-word novel in the 30 days allotted in November.

The program began with 21 writers in 1999, and since then, the program has drastically grown to 552,335 participants this past year. The number of participants has also increased during the pandemic, as it is not an in-person event. Writers update their word count on their profile through the NaNoWriMo website.

Anyone with a creative drive can participate, and anyone can “win” as long as they meet the requirements: write at least 50 thousand words in the 30 days of November.

There are no official prizes, besides having a finished novel. The purpose of the program is more to force writers to put pen to paper instead of competing against others.

Five years plus of dreaming about writing a book and now after last year’s NaNoWriMo I’ve got a manuscript on my hands.

Charlie Harrington to NaNoWriMo on Twitter

50 thousand words in 30 days is a lot—to be consistent, that’s approximately 1667 words a day. Many writers set timers or race other writers to boost their word count every day. Fortunately, participants are allowed to write anything as their NaNoWriMo project, any genre or any style.

My favorite part about NaNoWriMo is that there’s no specific rules about what to write. You can write whatever genre or form of draft you want: a play, a narrative, a memoir, whatever.

Anonymous NaNoWriMo participant

In 2006, NaNoWriMo officially became a non-profit organization. Since then, the NaNoWriMo community has expanded to the ends of the Internet and beyond, with the number of participants increasing each year. NaNoWriMo also created a program for school-age children: the Young Writers’ Program, or YWP.

Cherokee’s Writer’s Workshop class participates in the November challenge, but with aims more towards at least 10,000. So far, only one CHS student from Writer’s Workshop has won the entire NaNoWriMo challenge.

The Warrior Word wishes their best luck to any writers participating in NaNoWriMo this November!

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