By: Johnathon Froman
November has been in session for a few days now which means only one thing: NaNoWriMo has started! But the question for those who’ve never heard of this strange word is: “What is NaNoWriMo?”
NaNoWriMo is, as you might have guessed, an acronym for National Novel Writing Month. It’s quite a mouthful, so you can see why they shortened it down.
NaNoWriMo is a non-profit organization that started in July of 1999. Their goal was to encourage people to approach writing in a fast, adventurous way in form of a challenge.
The challenge at first glance seems quite impossible, but it had been done multiple times by thousands of people. Write 50,000 words in one month. The month in question is November. All around the world, people gather at their keyboards and rapidly type out their stories in an almost panicked speed. After all, you are writing a novel in just one month.
However, you are not without help during the month of November. Each week, the organization employs a NaNoWriMo Coach via Twitter who encourages and helps writers out. These people range widely in variation, so if you don’t like one coach, chances are the next one you receive will be your cup of tea.
During the NaNoWriMo event, people set up Write-In locations all around the US. At these locations, writers set up their laptops and converse with their fellow peers, forming a sense of community between all NaNoWriMo participants. There aren’t millions of NaNoWriMo locations so be prepared for a drive if you decide you want to participate in one of these Write-Ins. Additionally, there is a third option. On the NaNoWriMo website you can apply to create an official Write-In community space. Here is a list of some places that can become a Write-In location:
-College or University
-Coffee Shop or Cafe
-Museum or Gallery
With these in mind, I would suggest going to a nearby library, bookstore, cafe, etc. and suggest to the head librarian or whomever is in charge to apply that location as an official NaNoWriMo Write-In.
One last thing, NaNoWriMo relies on donations and you could help keep them running by either donating or fundraising as you writing during November. If you choose to fundraise, you will receive donor package based on how much money you’re able to raise.
NaNoWriMo is something that anyone who had ever thought of writing a novel should take a look at. They have a website, www.nanowrimo.org, where you can sign up and get answers for any questions you might have. I suggest you do quickly because November will come to a close fast!
If you are a student but you don’t feel like you are up to the 50,000 words challenge, there is yet another option for you. The NaNoWriMo’s Young Writer’s Program is specially made for people still enrolled in middle and high school. In the Young Writer’s Program, you set your own word count goal and shoot as far as you can during the month of November.
There are many opportunities for young writers provided by NaNoWriMo. People have even gone as far as to publish their works from this event. Your chance is out there and the National Novel Writing Month organization can help you reach that goal.