November is for Novels

It’s November!

Which means it’s time for the annual edition of the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).

If this is the first time you are hearing about NaNoWriMo, here’s some background:

NaNoWriMo is a writing challenge where people have to write 50,000 words of a novel in the 30 days of November, according to National Novel Writing Month, the nonprofit organization that has conducted this challenge since 1999.

Writers can participate in the challenge online by signing up at NaNoWriMo’s website [link].

In its 16th year now, the challenge expects around 400,000 participants from around the world. The 2013 edition of NaNoWriMo saw around 310,000 people participate in the writing exercise.

“Every year, we’re reminded that there are still stories that have yet to be told, still voices yet to be heard from all corners of the world,” NaNoWriMo Executive Director Grant Faulkner said, according to a news release issued by the organisation. “NaNoWriMo helps people make creativity a priority in life and realize the vital ways our stories connect us. We are our stories.”

Faulkner’s words remind us of DWL’s own slogan: be heard, be inspired. NaNoWriMo is a chance for writers to do just that.

Participants win if they complete the 50,000 words by 11:59pm on November 30.

But there’s more to it than just the word count.

The website allows writers to select a geographical region in which they can communicate with other writers from the region on forum threads.

A vast majority of the participants are from Europe and North America. But South Asia is also represented in the regions, with India having around 8,500 participants and Pakistan with 1,173 members. Sri Lanka also has some 200 members but not much activity on the forums.

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In addition, at the 2014 NaNoWriMo, authors such as Veronica Roth, Jim Butcher, and Tamora Pierce will be giving pep talks to the writers and there is some guidance on book covers available from experts as well.

So all you aspiring writers out there, do give NaNoWriMo a try, and you might end 2014 with a novel in hand.

Good luck!

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