There are some who say writing a novel takes awesome talent, strong language skills, academic training, and years of dedication. Not true. All it really takes is a deadline – a very, very tight deadline – and a whole lot of coffee.
Welcome to National Novel Writing Month: a nonprofit literary crusade that encourages aspiring novelists all over the world to write a 50,000-word novel in a month. At midnight on Nov. 1, more than 100,000 writers from over 80 countries – poised over laptops and pads of paper, fingers itching and minds racing with plots and characters – will begin a furious adventure in fiction. By 11:59 PM on Nov.
30, tens of thousands of them will be novelists.
2008 is the ten-year anniversary of NaNoWriMo, founded in 1999 by freelance writer Chris Baty. In its first year, NaNoWriMo had just 21 participants. In 2007, over 100,000 people took part in the free challenge, making it the largest writing contest in the world. And while the event stresses fun and creative exploration over publication, 24 NaNoWriMo novelists have had their NaNo-novels published, including
Sarah Gruen, whose New York Times #1 Best Seller, Water for Elephants began as a NaNoWriMo
Around 18% of NaNoWriMo participants “win” every year by writing 50,000 words and validating their novels on the organization’s website before midnight on Nov 30. Winners receive no prizes, and no one at NaNoWriMo ever reads the manuscripts submitted.
So if not for fame or fortune, why do people do it?
“The 50,000-word challenge has a wonderful way of opening up your imagination and unleashing creative potential like nothing else,” says NaNoWriMo Director (and nine-time NaNoWriMo winner) Chris Baty. “When you write for quantity instead of quality, you end up getting both. Also, it’s a great excuse for not doing any dishes for a month.”
There will be a “Meet and Greet” Event held 2:00 pm Sunday, October 26 at Chapters (Regent Mall), 1381 Regent Street, Fredericton, NB, E3C 1A2. Come and find out what the buzz is all about.
If you would like more information about National Novel Writing Month, or would like to talk to participants from NaNoWriMo chapters in your area, please visit our website at http://www.NaNoWriMo.org, or contact Fredericton Municipal Liaison Susan Douglas (506-451-2955) OR firstname.lastname@example.org.
Every year I think I should do this, and every year I don’t … I should totally do this though! I just don’t know how they do this and do anything else, like work, eat, exercise, etc. etc. etc. Maybe giving up tv shows for a month would be enough?
Listening To: doors slamming