Writers’ Division Members Participate in Worldwide Novel Writing Month

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Writers’ Division Members Participate in Worldwide Novel Writing Month

Audrey Moore, Reporter

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Every November, writers from all over the world partake in NaNoWriMo. “NaNoWriMo” stands for “National Novel Writing Month.” It’s a challenge with only one goal: write 50,000 words within the month. The very first NaNoWriMo took place in July 1999, in the San Francisco Bay Area. The first year of NaNoWriMo, there were only 21 participants. In 2015, there were 413,626.

“Our July noveling binge had little to do with any ambitions we might have harbored on the literary front. Nor did it reflect any hopes we had about tapping more fully into our creative selves,” Chris Baty [NaNoWriMo founder] said. “No, we wanted to write novels for the same dumb reasons twenty-somethings start bands. Because we wanted to make noise.”

Some members of Ottawa High School’s writing club, Writers’ Division, are taking the NaNoWriMo challenge. Madelyn Starrett [10] is one of them.

“I have been doing NaNoWriMo since seventh grade,” Starrett said. “When NaNoWriMo starts, I forget the obsession with perfection and simply write.”

Over 250 NaNoWriMo novels have been published. These include Sara Gruen’s Water for Elephants, Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus, Hugh Howey’s Wool, Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl, Jason Hough’s The Darwin Elevator, and Marissa Meyer’s Cinder.

“The goal is to write as much as possible regardless of quality or correctness. It is a fantastic way to get your ideas down on paper to build on,” Starrett said.

There is a website where participants of NaNoWriMo can find a community of writers in the exact same situation. One of the main things that’s beneficial about the website is that it’s filled with forums where people can give and receive help with anything from grammar to fact-checking.

“I find the NaNoWriMo website amazing, allowing many authors from all over to get in contact with each other,” Mia Tomason [10], NaNoWriMo participant, said. “As an author, I’d have to say that there’s nearly nothing more helpful than communicating with others about the struggles of writing.”

According to NaNoWriMo’s website, National Novel Writing Month believes in the transformational power of creativity. They provide the structure, community, and encouragement to help people find their voices, achieve creative goals, and build new worlds—on and off the page.