Thursday, October 29, 2009

November is for Nanowrimo

Have you always wanted to write the Great American Novel but struggled to find motivation and time? Well friends, let Nanowrimo be your guide. Nanowrimo, short for National Novel Writing Month, begins November 1st and lasts until midnight November 30th. It is "thirty days and nights of literary abandon."

The idea of the contest (now in it's 11th year) is to write a 175-page novel (or 50,000 word) by the end of the month. Nanowrimo is more about quantity than quality and writers have the month of December to edit their novel. In 2008, there were over 119,000 participants and more than 21,000 of them crossed the 50k finish line by the midnight deadline. The contest rules are fairly simple and writers upload their novels on the website in order to be eligible for a winner's certificate at the end of the month.

Nanowrimo was founded in 1999 by Chris Baty and twenty other writers. That year the contest was held in July and of the 21 participants, only six met the goal. By 2003 there were 25,500 participants and 3,500 finishers. Nanowrimo is now run by the Office of Letters and Light, a nonprofit organization based in Oakland, California. Nanowrimo isn't just for amateur authors, many published authors do it as well. Ally Carter, wrote her third Gallagher Girls novel Don't Judge a Girl By Her Cover during Nanowrimo. This year authors like Maureen Johnson, Tamora Pierce, Kristin Cashore and Jasper Fforde will be participating and offering advice to writers.

For more information about Nanowrimo, visit the Nanowrimo website.

[Danielle Dreger-Babbitt / Seattle Books Examiner]

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