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National Novel Writing Month: What You Need To Know | Writer’s Relief

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It’s mid-November, so you may have noticed some writers drinking gallons of coffee, wearing the same clothes for days on end, and muttering to themselves, nanowrimo…nanowrimo... Don’t panic: They’re not speaking intergalactic gibberish; they’re simply referring to National Novel Writing Month! But what is NaNoWriMo—and should you participate? Writer’s Relief explains everything you need to know.

FAQs About National Novel Writing Month (aka NaNoWriMo)

What is National Novel Writing Month? NaNoWriMo is a yearly creative writing event occurring every November that focuses on writing a 50,000-word novel in thirty days. Sort of like a marathon, but for writers! Once you register at nanowrimo.org, you’ll receive writing tips, meeting dates and locations for local participants, and online support.

When can I sign up and start writing? Participants can register and create their user profile at any time, but the actual writing begins at 12:01 a.m. on November 1 and not a minute before. You can set your own goals and projects on the site at any time, however.

Are there prizes? Is there an entry fee? While the site states that “there’s no limit on how many people can win,” participants must define their project on the site and validate the word count of 50,000 words at the end of November. Several participant and winner prizes are donated by sponsors every year. There is no entry fee, but the site requests donations to ensure its continuity. NaNoWriMo is an international nonprofit organization and hosts participants from around the globe.

Do I have to be eighteen to participate? NaNoWriMo is open to all writers over the age of thirteen. There’s also a Young Writers Program for any writer under the age of seventeen.

Is my work protected? NaNoWriMo states that they do not keep any copies of your novel and reminds you to save a copy for yourself. They also ensure participants that each writer retains copyright for his or her own work. NaNoWriMo immediately deletes your text as soon as you run it through their word-count validator.

Will NaNoWriMo publish my work? NaNoWriMo does not publish participants’ work directly. They do, however, encourage participants to continue revising their work to perhaps publish independently. NaNoWriMo also offers support for writing and work during what they call their “Now what?” months in January and February of every year.

Does a NaNoWriMo manuscript ever get published? Yes! Books that started out as National Novel Writing Month projects have been successfully self-published and traditionally published by major publishing houses. Read more about a few NaNoWriMo novels that were published in 2018 and in 2017.

The Clock Is Ticking…

Some writers start NaNoWriMo after November 1 and are able to catch up. Other writers start with lots of energy and enthusiasm on Day One, but find it difficult to continue writing at the pace needed to complete 50,000 words in one month and so drop out of the challenge. But ultimately, it doesn’t matter if you start on time or late, or if you complete NaNoWriMo or stop at half a manuscript. What’s important is that you challenged yourself as a writer—and learned something new in the process!

 

Question: Have you considered participating in NaNoWriMo? Why or why not?

 

Writers: Pinpoint Your Book’s Genre And Write A Great Query Letter—Ask Writer’s Relief | Writer’s Relief

Pinpointing the genre of your novel can be almost as difficult as writing it—especially if you’ve bent or blended some genres. But at Writer’s Relief, we know that defining the genre of your book is an important element of a successful query letter. Genre tells a literary agent exactly what to expect from your book… Continue Reading

Featured Client: Dana Robbins | Writer’s Relief

  Click on the video above to hear about publishing experience with Writer’s Relief! Meet our newest featured client, Dana Robbins! With more than forty poems published, Dana knows a lot about being featured—in fact, she was featured by Garrison Keillor on the Writer’s Almanac. She also received first prize in the Musehouse Poem of… Continue Reading

Fresh Twists On Classic Fairy Tales | Writer’s Relief

At Writer’s Relief, we know that taking a classic story and turning it on its head is a great way to spark your creativity! In honor of Disney’s release tomorrow of Malificent: Mistress of Evil, here are some other creative fairy tale adaptions that feature interesting twists: A Curse so Dark and Lonely by Brigid… Continue Reading

Featured Client: Andrey Gritsman | Writer’s Relief

Click on the video above to hear about Andrey’s publishing experience with Writer’s Relief! A native of Moscow, our newest featured client Andrey Gritsman has been teaming up with Writer’s Relief for almost twenty years! During that time, he’s received a 2019 Best of the Net anthology nomination. He also received the 2009 Pushcart Prize… Continue Reading



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