National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is an annual writing challenge to write a novel in a month: specifically, to write 50,000 words in November. Over a quarter of a million people from all over the world take part every year! It’s free to join in and a heap of fun.
Here in the WordFamily, many of us take part in NaNoWriMo every year. It’s a great way to connect with others who love writing, and through our home regions, with writers near us! We have intimate connections with the Brisbane (BrisNaNo) and Gold Coast (GCNaNo) regions, and welcome people from any region to join us.
The events on this page are linked to and endorsed by NaNoWriMo HQ; all other events mentioned on this site are WordFamily only.
Camp NaNo happens twice per year, in April and July. Camps are month-long challenges in which you set your own goal and can work on any type of project. You can use it for editing rather than writing, or any other activity related to your project!
Before the NaNoWriMo adventure starts, we like to kick the challenge off in style. This means having a KoP (Kick-off Party), where those of us enthused and reckless enough to sign up for this challenge get together to meet each other (often for the first time!), swap tips and tricks, learn from the veterans, and chat about the awesome story we're going to write.
This is one of the biggest events of the year! The MLs organise the event and try to make it fun with activities and ice breakers. You might see costumes, writing dares, and giveaways as part of a KoP.
An ML (or Municipal Liaison) is a local organiser for a region. Each region ideally has at least one active ML for each NaNoWriMo.
MLs are responsible for organising the events for their region, helping newcomers to NaNoWriMo navigate the challenge, encouraging their region to hit goals and write words, and making sure things run smoothly. This includes moderating the online spaces for their region on the NaNoWriMo website, such as their region's forum.
MLs are there to help, so feel free to approach them with any questions you may have! You can see who your MLs are on your region's page.
People from all around the world take part in NaNoWriMo. To help writers connect with others near them, you can join localised regions (as many as you wish!), and set one of them to be your Home region.
The WordFam crosses many region boundaries, and is particularly active in the Brisbane (BrisNaNo) and Gold Coast regions.
When November and our NaNoWriMo adventure are done for the year, we don't let our writers simply drift away on the breeze (unless that is their preferred nature). Early in December, we hold a TGIO: a Thank Goodness It's Over Party where we can celebrate everything we've achieved, chat about what we learned, and wrap up all our efforts in good company.
The TGIO is generally a more relaxed affair than other NaNoWriMo events. Once the challenge is over, it's good to wind down and catch our breaths. It's also good to recognise everything we did through November, because regardless of whether you hit the goal, you are likely to have written at least a little something more than you had in October. And that's wonderful!
A word war is a writing sprint for a set amount of time, in which writers try to get words down as quickly as possible to write as much as they can within the time limit. Word wars are typically 5, 10, 15, or 25 minutes long, though this can differ widely between groups and preferences.
At the end of the war or sprint, everyone reports how many words they wrote during the time limit. It is not unusual for people to surprise themselves with how much they can get done!
A write-in is a get-together where writers gather at a specific location and time, and do some writing! It's an opportunity to write your novel in likeminded company and encourage each other as you work towards your goal.
Write-ins can be online or in-person. Unofficial write-ins are run by someone other than a HQ-endorsed ML.
No-one is going to check your word count is 'real'. You don't upload your novel to the NaNoWriMo site and you don't have to prove your word count is what you say it is. No-one is going to notice if you cheat, nor are they likely to care. The only person to whom this will truly matter is you. This challenge is for you, so go and enjoy it!