Thursday, October 25, 2012

November is National Novel Writing Month

November is culturally known for a host of celebrations in the United States: Turkey Day, Adoption Awareness Month, All Saint’s Day, Model Railroad Month, Saxophone Day, and even Peanut Butter Lover’s Month. While some of these festivities may seem random and even a little trivial, there is one sign of the season that is far from unimportant: National Novel Writing Month. National Novel Writing Month, also known as NaNoWriMo by avid participants, is an Internet-based creative writing project that occurs annually during the month of November. The challenge is simultaneously simple and difficult: write at least 50,000 words of cohesive, original story in thirty days.

While NaNoWriMo is relatively new, having begun with just 21 participants in 1999, it has garnered a large amount of support from people both nationally and internationally. In 2010 alone, 200,000 people hunkered down during the month of November for, “thirty days and nights of literary abandon,” and wrote a grand total of 2.8 billion words, some of which transformed into successfully published books after completion. Some famous books completed in the NaNoWriMo competition include Water for Elephants (now a feature film starring Reese Witherspoon and Robert Pattinson), The Night Circus (a New York Times Best Seller), Persistence of Memory, and BreakupBabe. Thanks to a supportive online network of writers from around the country, many people, especially young writers, have been able to achieve a status of authorship frequently deemed unattainable by peers, parents, and the public at large. This year, graduate assistant and MFA student Samantha “Inëz” Chambers will be participating as a representative of the Digital Media Commons and UNCG. This will be her third year as a participant and hopefully her first year of successfully completing the 50,000-word count.

You can view a participant’s word count and story synopsis via profiles on the NaNoWriMo website as well as sign up to participate on your own. To see Chambers’s progress, check out her profile at

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