How long do you think it takes to write a novel? A year? Five years? For some, 30 days is just enough; at least, if you’re participating in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). Participants sign up online. The challenge? To write the first draft of a novel that’s at least 50,000 words. You start on November 1 and end on November 30. It’s that simple. After that, you’re free to work on revisions for as long as you want. Put that story on the page!
National Novel Writing Month timeline
New website and format
The site supported over a million visitors in just the first month after the new format launched.
By donating to NaNoWriMo, people can help increase the number of writing programs and resources.
National Novel Writing Month moved to November
- July 1999
Beginnings by the Bay
Freelance writer Chris Baty started National Novel Writing Month in San Francisco.
National Novel Writing Month Activities
Take a ride on the writer's side.
Give writing a shot this November. If you've always had a love for words, creative syntax, and a good story to tell, take the challenge. We want to read your work.
Support the participants
Try some motivational quotes. Encourage them to keep writing and provide snacks for their all-nighters.
Read published NaNoWriMo novels
It's the greatest gift you can give to a new writer.
5 Published NaNoWriMo Novels
"Cinder" by Marissa Meyer
"Cinder" takes on the classic fairy tale of Cinderella and sets it in a dystopian world. If you're feeling jaded about romance, the love story between a cyborg and a prince might be what makes you believe again.
"Fangirl" by Rainbow Rowell
"Fangirl" follows the story of Cath, a college freshman, who navigates this new chapter of life which includes new friends, worrying about her widowed father, learning to be on her own without her sister, and her Simon Snow fandom.
"The Forest of Hands and Teeth" by Carrie Ryan
What do you get when you combine a post-apocalyptic forest, zombies, and a village of survivors ruled by the "Sisterhood"? A New York Times best-seller about violence, secrecy, and repression.
"Side Effects May Vary" by Julie Murphy
If you've ever wondered about what you would say during your final months on this earth and what would happen if you found out you actually were going to live longer, then this is the novel for you.
"Water for Elephants" by Sara Gruen
"Water for Elephants," later adapted into a film, follows the story of Jacob Jankowski, who quits school after tragedy hits and joins the circus. What follows is a story of forbidden love and loyalty.
Why We Love National Novel Writing Month
It challenges writers to just go for it
Writing a novel can be a daunting task for anyone, but this deadline forces you to put away the doubts and excuses.
We get some awesome results
Some works eventually get published thanks to National Novel Writing Month. Your favorite novel may have been a product of this challenge.
It's a reminder that stories matter
There are many potential authors out there with great ideas. NaNoWriMo promotes collaboration and support between writers.