If you’re in the library world and have a passion for writing, maybe you already know that November is National Novel Writing Month, and you’ve been eagerly waiting this time. During National Novel Writing Month Month (NaNoWriMo), those of us who participate spend 30 crazy-making days and nights writing our own, original, 50,000-word novels. Yes, you read that number correctly. That’s approximately 1667 words a day–every day. And while it’s really, really hard work, it’s also incredibly rewarding.


No one who participates in NaNoWriMo emerges at the end of November with a masterpiece of world-class literature on their hands. NaNoWriMo isn’t about writing well, it’s about writing fast. It’s an equal opportunity event for writers-by-trade and amateurs alike, which makes it perfectly-suited to the library environment. Use NaNoWriMo as an outreach opportunity—plan events that encourage participants to spend time writing in the library.

To help you inspire your patrons to participate, here’s a selection of creative writing guides, as well as popular titles that got their start as NaNoWriMo projects:


Getting Started

The hard part is beginning the process and staying organized. This is particularly true for anyone new to creative writing—not to mention power-writing an entire novel in 30 days!


“No Plot? No Problem!” by Chris Baty (founder of NaNoWriMo)

“Book in a Month: The Fool-Proof System for Writing a Novel in 30 Days” by Victoria Lynn Schmidt


Maintaining Motivation

Take a break from writing to read one of these novels; each began as a NaNoWriMo project.  Is there better inspiration to complete a novel than reading someone else’s success story?


“BreakupBabe” by Rebecca Agiewich

“Persistence of Memory” by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes

“Water for Elephants” by Sara Gruen

“Vintage Soul” by David Niall Wilson


Finishing Touches (post-November): Once you’ve finished your first draft, it’s time to review, revise, perfect!


“Crafting Novels & Short Stories: Everything You Need to Know to Write Great Fiction” by the Editors of Writer’s Digest

“Get Published: A First-Time Writer’s Guide to Publishing” by Infinite Ideas


Heather Valentine-Gold is a Library Partner Services Account Associate at  OverDrive.




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