Creative Mayhem Sweeps Across the Globe
Berkeley, California (October 1, 2012) – If on November 1 you hear furious keyboard pounding echoing around the world, fear not. It is the sound of more than 250,000 people beginning a literary challenge of epic proportions: 30 days, 50,000 words, and one original novel.
Why? Because November is National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo, the world’s largest writing event and nonprofit literary crusade. Participants pledge to write 50,000 words in a month, starting from scratch and reaching "The End" by November 30. There are no judges, no prizes, and entries are deleted from the server before anyone even reads them.
"NaNoWriMo is the writing world’s version of a marathon," said Grant Faulkner, executive director of National Novel Writing Month. "Writers exit the month with more than a novel; they’ve experienced a transformative creative journey."
More than 650 regional volunteers in more than 60 countries will hold write-ins, hosting writers in coffee shops, bookstores, and libraries. Write-ins offer a supportive environment and surprisingly effective peer pressure, turning the usually solitary act of writing into a community experience.
"Not only did I write 50,000 words by November 30, I also had cheerleaders from the next block, from across the Atlantic and from NaNoWriMo daily blogs," said participant, Twana Biram. "Imagine getting pep talks through the heavy irony and hilarity of Lemony Snicket, and the clarity and appreciation of fan fiction from Mercedes Lackey."
With NaNoWriMo’s Young Writers Program, that community crosses age boundaries into K-12 classrooms around the globe. The YWP allows kids and teens to set their own word-count goals, and offers educators high-quality free resources to get nearly 100,000 students writing original, creative works.
Although the event emphasizes creativity and adventure over creating a literary masterpiece, more than 90 novels begun during NaNoWriMo have since been published, including Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen, The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, and Cinder by Marissa Meyer, all #1 New York Times Best Sellers.
"You can’t revise what isn’t written yet, right? This novel-in-a-month challenge is such a fantastic way to jump-start your story," said Lindsey Grant, NaNoWriMo’s Program Director. "Plus it is officially the most fun—and effective—way to shed the constant self-doubts and inner-criticisms and simply pour that story onto the page."
For more information on National Novel Writing Month, or to speak to NaNoWriMo participants in your area, visit www.nanowrimo.org or contact email@example.com.
The Office of Letters and Light is a California-based international nonprofit organization. Its programs are the largest literary events in the world. Learn more at www.lettersandlight.org.
Facts and StatsFounded by: Freelance writer Chris Baty and 20 other overcaffeinated yahoos in 1999.
Now run by: The Office of Letters and Light, an august 501(c)(3) nonprofit based in Oakland.
How NaNoWriMo got from there to here: It’s a funny story, actually.
Annual participant/winner totals 1999: 21 participants and six winners
2010: 200,500 participants and 37, 500 winners
2011: 256, 618 participants and 36, 843 winners