Language
Fact-checked

At LanguageHumanities, we're committed to delivering accurate, trustworthy information. Our expert-authored content is rigorously fact-checked and sourced from credible authorities. Discover how we uphold the highest standards in providing you with reliable knowledge.

Learn more...

What is NaNoWriMo?

NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month, is an annual creative writing event that challenges participants to pen a 50,000-word novel in November. It's a celebration of storytelling, discipline, and community as writers worldwide support each other's literary journeys. Are you ready to unleash your imagination and join a global movement of aspiring authors? Discover how NaNoWriMo can transform your writing dreams into reality.
Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is a writing contest begun in the Unites States in 1999, by Chris Baty. The goal of the NaNoWriMo is to write a 50,000-word novel between November 1st, and midnight of November 30. Anyone can enter the contest, and anyone who achieves the writing goal of 50,000 words of a cohesive novel wins.

NaNoWriMo was meant to inspire writers to create, and it has become an exceptionally popular contest. Winners of NaNoWriMo have the satisfaction of completing a novel, but are awarded no other prizes. In fact, NaNoWriMo is often followed with NaNoFiMo, in December, which is designated as National Novel Finishing Month. Even if a novel is unfinished at 50,000 words, it still qualifies as a winner.

NaNoWriMo inspired NaBloPoMo, National Blog Posting Month, which encourages bloggers to post more frequently.
NaNoWriMo inspired NaBloPoMo, National Blog Posting Month, which encourages bloggers to post more frequently.

The NaNoWriMo does tend to emphasize quantity over quality. Writers must write approximately 2.5 single-spaced pages a day in 12-point font. This does not leave a lot of time for editing, though writers who are quick typists could theoretically produce a fairly well edited work in that time period. Writers are not limited as to subject; any fiction genre is allowed, and novels can now be written in any language.

The goal of National Novel Writing Month is to write a 50,000-word novel during the month of November.
The goal of National Novel Writing Month is to write a 50,000-word novel during the month of November.

NaNoWriMo is now a 501c3 corporation, which gives participants access to laptops if they don’t have them, and pays for launch and celebration parties. As well, NaNoWriMo raises money for reading charities and donates approximately 50% of its net intake to designated charities. Funds are raised either through direct donation or purchase of items like mugs and t-shirts.

Some laud the efforts of NaNoWriMo but say they don’t spend enough time making sure people don’t cheat. However, the only reward of winning is writing 50,000 words and perhaps a complete novel, so cheating does not mean anyone gets additional rewards for being a winner.

NaNoWriMo has proven a popular contest. The first year only 21 people participated. Nearly 60,000 competed in 2005 and almost 10,000 were actually winners. In 2005 the total number of words produced by all participants was over 700 million.

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen

Tricia has a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and has been a frequent LanguageHumanities contributor for many years. She is especially passionate about reading and writing, although her other interests include medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion. Tricia lives in Northern California and is currently working on her first novel.

Learn more...
Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen

Tricia has a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and has been a frequent LanguageHumanities contributor for many years. She is especially passionate about reading and writing, although her other interests include medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion. Tricia lives in Northern California and is currently working on her first novel.

Learn more...

You might also Like

Discussion Comments

sunnysideup

I have been putting off writing my first novel for quite some time, focusing on every other type of writing instead. This contest just might be the very thing to get me started.

My best friend is a poet and she is horrified by the thought of slamming out 50,000 words in one month. But I understand her viewpoint because she deliberates over every single word in a poem and a single poem can take her a year to craft sometimes.

I guess that's why there's not a similar competition for poets, although it might be really interesting!

Jester39

I have never considered writing a novel in a month although I do know writers who compete in NanoWriMo every year.

What I'd like to know are the statistics that tell us how many of those completed novels actually end up on book store shelves or sell as eBooks.

I'm not putting this project down, it's obviously for good causes all the way around. I just wonder how many people succeed in publishing their novels after competing in this event.

Post your comments
Login:
Forgot password?
Register:
    • NaNoWriMo inspired NaBloPoMo, National Blog Posting Month, which encourages bloggers to post more frequently.
      By: Anika Malone
      NaNoWriMo inspired NaBloPoMo, National Blog Posting Month, which encourages bloggers to post more frequently.
    • The goal of National Novel Writing Month is to write a 50,000-word novel during the month of November.
      By: klenger
      The goal of National Novel Writing Month is to write a 50,000-word novel during the month of November.