Berkeley, CA – One part writing boot camp, one part rollicking party, National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) celebrates its 20th year of encouraging creativity, education, and the power of the imagination through the largest writing event in the world. This year, NaNoWriMo expects over 400,000 people—including over 95,000 K-12 students and educators on our Young Writers Program website—to start a 50,000-word novel in the month of November. Throughout the month, they’ll be guided by this year’s theme: “NaNoWriMo Is…”
“A Shot of Caffeine for My Creative Life”
NaNoWriMo 2018 asks our community to define NaNoWriMo—as a way to reflect on our history, take stock of how we’ve grown, and to look forward to what NaNoWriMo can become.
“NaNoWriMo is more than just a writing challenge. NaNoWriMo is an opportunity to step out of your everyday life, open your mind to infinite possibilities, and create new worlds with people from around the globe. It’s a joyous leap into unexplored worlds, a laboratory of the imagination, a chance to free yourself from the obstacles that prevent you from telling your story. Our stories help us understand ourselves and others, so we need our stories more than ever in this age to bridge connections and heal divides,” says Grant Faulkner, Executive Director of NaNoWriMo.
Last year, NaNoWriMo welcomed 394,507 participants, in 646 different regions, on six continents. Of these, more than 58,000 met their month-long writing goal. This year, participants will be inspired by weekly “pep talks” penned by published authors, including Andy Weir, Min Jin Lee, Justina Ireland, and Francesca Lia Block. NaNoWriMo will also provide participants access to mentorship from authors Alyssa Cole, Carolina De Robertis, Rebecca Roanhorse, and Destiny Soria, as well as interactive webcasts with authors Marissa Meyer, Aya de Leon, Sophie Littlefield, and Jennie Nash.
“My Chance to Say Anything; My Chance to Say Everything”
This is the 13th year of the Young Writers Program (YWP), which brings NaNoWriMo’s unique style of creative writing into classrooms. The YWP helps young writers—participating both in classrooms and independently—set individualized word-count goals and divide their work into daily, achievable milestones.
“During my NaNo experience, I learned many things I had never known before. One of them was that magic ISN’T fake. Magic is everywhere; it exists in the creation of stories, the appearance of new characters, the sudden inspiration that appears out of nowhere, the lands that seem to twist and mold themselves to your imagination, and the support received from friends, teachers, and family,” says a Young Writers Program participant.
NaNoWriMo’s Young Writers Program website supported novel-writing in nearly 9,000 classrooms around the world last year. It features an interactive youth-friendly writing space, a robust suite of admin tools, and the ability for educators to create multiple virtual classrooms. Resources such as Common Core-aligned lesson plans and Young Novelist Workbooks are also available. The YWP website has earned a five star review from Common Sense Education, the nation’s leading independent nonprofit organization dedicated to helping kids interact with media and technology.
In addition, NaNoWriMo sends out 2,500 classroom kits each year filled with posters, stickers, and other offline resources.
“An Entire Community With Me As I Write”
This November, 975 Municipal Liaisons (MLs) will coordinate hundreds of local, in-person writing events, working with local businesses, libraries, and community centers to bring creative writing into cities and regions across the globe. Our Come Write In program (CWI) includes partners at over 1,100 libraries, bookstores, and other community spaces.
“Thanks to NaNoWriMo volunteers in regions all over the world, participants can find in-person support and inspiration from other writers. These volunteers create powerful support systems to nurture creativity and build strong communities,” says Sarah Mackey, Director of Community Engagement.
National Novel Writing Month is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that believes your story matters. We provide the structure, community, and encouragement to help people find their voices, achieve creative goals, and build new worlds—on and off the page.
Join us! Learn more and sign up for National Novel Writing Month at nanowrimo.org.