The world needs your novel

October 29, 2013 by  
Filed under News

The month of November means different things to different people. But for a large group of dedicated writers, the month is a time to slave over their laptops and wear out their pens as they try to write a novel in 30 days.

It’s National Novel Writing Month – an effort we strongly support at the library. After all, the world needs more novels, and maybe yours.

If you’ve ever dreamed of being a novelist, this is the time to take up the challenge to write 50,000 words in


30 days. So, test your penchant with a pen and find the courage for composition!

Boyd County Public Library is hosting a series of workshops – the first one this Friday – with help from Amand

a Grant, a NaNoWriMo veteran. The sessions will all be at the Kyova Branch, from 6 to 8 p.m., on Fridays Nov. 1 and 15, and Saturday, Nov. 30.

Grant said people should plan to come to all three sessions – to get an account set up on the NaNoWritMo web

site, receive encouragement from (and give encouragement to) other writers, and take part in a final “wrap party.” Participants should bring their own laptop, notepad, pencils and other writing tools. The library will provide coffee and refreshments.

The first two sessions will each include time set aside for writing, Grant said.

Novels can be any genre – from fantasy to western, chick-lit to young adult.

This annual Internet-based creative writing promotion accepts entries from all over the world, and is not limited to novels in the English language.

Freelance Writer Chris Baty started the project in 1999 with 21 participants in the San Francisco area. The first observance took place in July, but then it was moved to November,  “take advantage of the miserable weather.”

By 2010, there were more than 200,000 people writing – a total of more than 2.8 billion words.

The goal of NaNoWriMo, as it is known, is to get people writing, no matter how bad the writing is. The thinking

behind it is that many people are scared to start writing. Given a time where the focus is quantity and not quality – such as between Nov. 1 and 30, for example, people will write an entire first draft, and edit it later.

The NaNoWriMo website keeps official track of your word count. Anyone who reaches the 50,000-word mark is considered a “winner” in the competition. Winners receive goodie bags with discounts on various writing software , as well as free e-books and other items.

The month is endorsed by such literary royalty as Neil Gaiman, Philip Pullman and James Patterson.

You never know where the month could lead you … Since 2006, there have been more than NaNoWriMo works released by traditional publishing houses such as Penguin, Scholastic, HarperCollins and Random House. Hundreds of others have been adopted by smaller publishers.

Leigh Scaggs

About Leigh Scaggs

A long time supporter of digital emancipation and proclaimer of obfuscatory testaments, I have been a proud supporter of bits and bytes for nearly 20 years. With that much chronological highway behind me I'm cognizant enough of the fact that advancing age does kill brain cells and observant enough to notice that it's only killing the weak ones.

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