November is National Novel Writing Month

November 23, 2021

Writing a novel on a laptop.

Do you think you could write a 50,000-word novel in thirty days? It sounds like quite the undertaking, but each November since 1999, hundreds of thousands of “regular” people around the world have participated in the challenge.

According to the organization’s website, “They enter the month as elementary school teachers, mechanics, or stay-at-home parents. They leave novelists.” 

In 2006, National Novel Writing Month (or NaNoWriMo) officially became a nonprofit organization. What started out as a novel-writing challenge has evolved into a multi-faceted community that aims to help people achieve their goals and find their voices.

Some of NaNoWriMo’s programs include:

  • National Novel Writing Month in November
  • Camp NaNoWriMo
  • The Young Writers Program
  • Come Write In
  • A social networking website with author profiles, personal project libraries, and writing buddies

NaNoWriMo is a huge deal. Check out these statistics for 2020:

  • 552,335 writers participated in their programs
  • 97,439 students and educators completed the Young Writers Program
  • 448 libraries, bookstores, and community centers hosted novelists through the Come Write In program
  • 71,832 campers at Camp NaNoWriMo completed a writing project

Hundreds of novels written in November as part of National Novel Writing Month have been published, including Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen, The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, Wool by Hugh Howey, and Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell.

Have you been dreaming of writing your own novel one day? The idea can sound intimidating, but NaNoWriMo shows us that you don’t have to be a professional author to write a novel. Just start - you never know what could happen!

If you want to get involved in the organization, check out their programs, and join their online community, visit their website.