NaNoWriMo – originally short for National Novel Writing Month – is an annual internet-based creative writing event that takes place every November. Despite the National in its name, participants now take part from all around the world.
NaNoWriMo’s aim is simple: to get people writing. Between the 1st and the 30th of November, participants must write 50,000 words of a new novel – that’s 1,667 words each day.
- NaNoWriMo starts at 12:00am on 1 November. Novels must reach a minimum of 50,000 words before 11:59:59 pm on 30 November, local time.
- You can’t start early and finish in 30 days time.
- Planning and extensive notes are permitted, but no earlier written material can go into the body of the novel.
- Novels can be on any theme, in any fiction genre, and in any language.
- “If you believe you’re writing a novel, we believe you’re writing a novel too.”
- Write either a complete 50,000 word novel, or the first 50,000 words of a novel to be completed later.
- The novel must be new, cannot be co-authored, and must be submitted in time to be verified.
- There are no fees. There are no prizes. Anyone who reaches 50,000 words is declared a winner.
NaNoWriMo started in July 1999 with just 21 participants. The following year is was moved to November to “take advantage of the miserable weather.” That year it attracted 140 writers. Then things started to go crazy. In 2001 it drew 5,000 participants, and last year, (2012), more than 340,000 people around the world took part.
It sounds fun and challenging. I’m going to give it a go!