Fall is finally here. That means football, pumpkin spice, temperatures below 90 degrees and — for the month of November — NaNoWriMo. 


National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is a an international event that’s held annually with one goal — to write 50,000 words. For some people, that’s a full novel. For others, it’s just the beginning or a continuation of work. Maybe for you, it’s the push you need to write, regardless of how many words you end up with.

One part writing boot camp, one part rollicking party, this year NaNoWriMo celebrates 20 years of encouraging creativity, education and the power of the imagination through the largest writing event in the world.

Some great novels to have come from NaNoWriMo include:

Anna and the French Kiss
The Night Circus
The Forest of Hands and Teeth
Water for Elephants

Do I have to write a novel?

Nope. Many writers use NaNoWriMo as a time to work on various creative projects, just with the common goal of writing 50,000 words. Some authors choose to work on fanfiction, nonfiction, poetry, scripts for plays or movies, and short stories. The important thing is to just write.

How can I participate?

It’s simple, go to nanowrimo.org and create an account. It’s free and now you’re connected to a world of other writers. Or, you can just keep track of your word count day-by-day and keep a running tally. For young writers (elementary through high school), look into the Young Writer’s Program. Instead of the usual 50,000 word count, they can set their own goal.

Okay, I signed up. Now what?

Explore our writing resource books and feel free to ask a librarian to help you research anything from Regency fashion to forensic science. For a quiet place to write, use our study areas throughout November. And, because writing shouldn’t be a solitary adventure, drop by a Write-In at the library.

Lexington Main will host Write-Ins on Mondays at 6:30 PM (excluding Veteran’s Day) as well as a Race to the Finish event on Saturday, November 30 from 10 AM to 4 PM. The events are open to all ages.

Cayce-West Columbia will host NaNoWriMo Workshops on Saturdays from 3 to 5 PM for writers in grades 4 through 7.

For more inspiration on starting the writing process, check out some of these titles:

Dear Ally, How Do You Write a Book
The Creative Compass
Writing Without Rules
20 Master Plots
Save the Cat
You Can Write a Novel
Bird by Bird
Writing 21st Century Fiction
Brave the Page
No Plot? No Problem.
Rules of Thumb
Elmore Leonard

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