Always Wanted to Write a Novel? Get Started with NaNoWriMo

Have you heard of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo for short)? If you or your teen enjoy the craft of creating short stories and fictional novels, you may want to consider participating in NaNoWriMo this year.

We’ve known of the challenge for some time but have never really taken part. Over the past year particularly, my daughter has developed a strong interest in writing and eagerly participates in our weekly writer’s workshop.

During a recent family meeting she inquired, “In November, do you think that I could be excused from most of my schoolwork? I’ll still do Mandarin, math, and music – but could I have more time so I can devote it to writing? I’d like to do NaNoWriMo this year.”

Consider Participating in NaNoWriMo This Year

NaNoWriMo is an annual writing challenge that takes place between November 1st and 30th with a goal of motivating writers to finish 50,000 words within the allotted month. (Younger writers set their own word goal.)

Valuing enthusiasm, determination, and a deadline, NaNoWriMo is for anyone who has ever thought about writing a novel.

If you’re interested in participating, simply sign up on the NaNoWriMo website and create a profile. You will then be asked to publicly announce the novel you plan to write, choose your location (allows you to connect with other local writers and attend events near you), and get writing. You can update your word count progress and access a variety of inspirational resources to help you get motivated and stay on task.

Getting Started with NaNoWriMo @EvaVarga.net

How to Prepare for NaNoWriMo

Though NaNoWriMo doesn’t start for several days, if you want to participate, you may want to start thinking about getting prepared ahead of time. Here are a few things you can do:

  • Sign up on the website and fill our your profile ahead of time.
  • Figure out what you want to write about. Chances are, you probably already have a vague idea (or 2, or 10). Take this time to outline your story arc, setting, and characters before you begin.
  • Review the prep resources on the NaNoWriMo website.
  • Get as many chores and tasks out of the way first as possible. This is especially helpful if you’re the procrastinating type like me. 😉

Young Writers Program

There is also a Young Writers Program for writers 17 years or younger. Though youth ages 13 or older may participate in the adult challenge if they are up for writing a 50,000-word novel.

The Young Writers Program promotes writing fluency, creative education, and the sheer joy of novel-writing in K-12 classrooms. They provide free classroom kits, writing workbooks, Common Core-aligned curricula (for those interested), and virtual class management tools to more than 2,000 educators worldwide. They also offer suggestions for publishing student work.

If you’ve been meaning to start a book but just need a little extra support, NaNoWriMo is the perfect opportunity. Happy writing!