By Katharine Gripp, nanowrimo.org
One part writing boot camp, one part rollicking party, National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) celebrates its 19th 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 70,000 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: Superpowered Noveling.
Join the League of Extraordinary Writers
“NaNoWriMo ignites people’s superheroic creative powers every year by empowering them to write their stories. It takes courage, grit, resilience — and wild imaginative leaps — to write 50,000 words of a novel in a month. Our stories save us from villainous forces that we encounter every day. Our stories determine the future of our world,” says Grant Faulkner, Executive Director of NaNoWriMo.
Last year, NaNoWriMo welcomed 384,126 participants, in 646 different regions, on six continents. Of these, more than 34,000 met the goal of writing 50,000 words in a month.
This year, participants will be inspired by weekly “pep talks” penned by published authors, including Roxane Gay, Kevin Kwan, Julie Murphy, and Grant Faulkner. NaNoWriMo will also provide participants access to mentorship from authors including Emily X. R. Pan, Mur Lafferty, and Jasmine Guillory.
Discover Hidden Powers with the Young Writers Program
This is the 12th 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.
“NaNoWriMo gives kids a crazy task, but a real, authentic one: tell your story, whatever story matters to you. It doesn’t matter how you tell it, just that you get it out into the world. Students, even those who thought they hated writing, get invested. It becomes the best part of their day. By the end of the month, they’ve worked hard, developed confidence and new skills, and have their very own novel to show off!” says Marya Brennan, Young Writers Program Director.
Last year, NaNoWriMo unveiled a brand-new website for the Young Writers Program and continues to launch new features, including an improved suite of admin tools, an interactive youth-friendly writing space, 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 recently 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 free classroom kits each year filled with posters, stickers, and other offline resources.
Writing Teams Assemble Around the World
This November, 976 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.
“Some of NaNoWriMo’s most significant impact comes from our local volunteers, who build a real-world community where writers can revel in creativity. The power of that support system, and the ways it can nurture and inspire, can be legitimately life-changing for our participants,” says Paige Knorr, Community Manager.
The NaNoWriMo Mission Statement
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.