Sunday, September 28, 2008

276. The NaNoWriMo Mantel

Okay. I've taken the plunge and applied to be the NaNoWriMo Municipal Liason for Saipan (or the CNMI, or Micronesia--however they decide to designate the region). If you are interested in writing your novel this November, feel free to contact me. I'll schedule some write-ins and other events.

National Novel Writing Month started in 1999, the inspiration of Chris Baty, with encouragement from his friends. That first year, there were 21 participants and 6 winners. From that humble beginning, NaNoWriMo has grown to a vast, international undertaking enjoyed by thousands! In 2007, 101,510 participated (I think that means signed up). A record 15,333 writers crossed the finish line, cranking out 50,000 words or more in the 30 days of November.

This year, NaNoWriMo holds it big tenth anniversary write-in. Now is a great time to join. Any later, is much too late! If you make it into NaNoWriMo during the first 10 years, you'll get special bragging rights that others will envy!

I've participated in NaNoWriMo 3 times so far, in 2005, 2006, and 2007. I crossed the 50,000 word winner's line each year. Finishing the novel has proven harder. In 2005, I just wrote notes on the last few chapters and finished the writing in January. In 2006, I managed a full novel, with beginning, middle, and end. In 2007, I got lost in the plot and made the wordcount, but I still haven't written the ending.

Still, it's satisfying to enjoy the wild, intense writing spree of November; to get a first draft on paper that can be edited later; and to share with others all over the world the joys and triumphs, the frustrations and fears of writing your own novel.

So, just head over to the NaNoWriMo site and sign up. Join me as a friend in your profile (if you like). And watch for postings here and in hard-copy notices around Saipan for further information.

BTW, there are kids in elementary school who participate in NaNoWriMo! School classrooms can sign up at the Young Writer's Program and get a free teacher's kit. There are also novelling workbooks on line at the YWP site, which I suggest adults use as well! They are helpful.

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