graphic by Conner Maggio

National Novel Writing Month a fun challenge

Thousands of writers, both amateurs and professionals, commit to writing a novel each November.

It’s 12 a.m. on the first of November. You’ve been thinking ahead and outlining for months. Or maybe you’re a seat-of-your-pants (pantser) writer with absolutely no plan whatsoever. Better yet, you’re the social wrimo who loves the write-ins for the coffee and social aspect. Either way, the time is here. Let the annual ritual begin!

The fun kicks off every November 1 at midnight and goes until 11:59 p.m. on November 30. The challenge is to write 50,000 words during the month of November. It is designed for anyone who has ever considered writing a novel and offers an exciting, fun and supportive atmosphere to aid participants on their journey toward success. Many a published author have participated in National Novel Writing Month and have found publishing success due to their participation. Regardless, it’s a great way to get what you have to say out onto the page even if you have no interest in being published.

National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo, is a chance for anyone who has ever had the idea to write a novel to write it. Writers from all walks of life get together to prove to themselves that they’ve got what it takes to be a novelist. No previous experience is necessary, and there is no age limit; all you need is interest. Well, maybe that plus a computer or some other medium for writing. The basic premise is to be an enjoyable, fast-paced method of creative writing.

To get started, you’ll need to access the website at and create a free user account. Part of setting up your online account is being assigned to a region. You are allowed to participate in any region you choose. Once your account is set up, you will begin receiving regional notifications as they become available. Most important, you can begin to create your novel. There are sections for choosing your genre, adding a synopsis and an excerpt and even uploading a novel cover! There are links on your dashboard to your inbox, writing buddies, novels, stats and goals, as well as forums and event links for workshops and other helpful support information.

One of the largest parts of NaNo is the social aspect. Each region does things differently. However, active regions will hold local and online writing events. NaNoWriMo also hosts an event called the Night of Writing Dangerously open to writers from all regions. It is a fun gathering in San Francisco that features a seven-hour themed write-in (costumes not required but highly recommended) and takes place midway through November. The even aids in the writing process and offers a fun atmosphere for people from all over to come together and enjoy the art of creative writing together. This year’s theme is noir, and more information can be found on NaNo’s website.

In addition to the main event each November, NaNo also offers The Young Writers Program, Camp NaNoWriMo in the summer and the Come Write In program.

Though Tulsa has its own region, how rad would it be for TU to have its own NaNo group? Feel free to flood my email ( with questions if you are interested, and let’s get this party started!

Post Author: Heber Hurd