November is National Novel Writing Month. This month long annual internet based creative writing project that began as an idea by a freelance writer named Chris Baty with the goal to foster creativity worldwide. In July of 1999 about 21 participants took part in the inaugural event. The next year the event was moved to the month of November so that, as Baty suggested, writers could take advantage of the miserable weather, and an official Yahoo! Group was created. Seventeen years later the group has grown into the thousands and is spread across the entire world. Writers of all ages writing in all different genres try to complete a 50,000 word novel in 30 days. Beginning in 2008 a publishing company known as Createspace gives those who finish the word count goal a free paperback proof to be edited and published at the author’s discretion. As of last year almost 432,000 participated in the event worldwide with thousands of libraries and organizations working in tandem to get young writers in and writing.
50,000 words seem like a lot to write in one month but to give you an idea of the length F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby is roughly 50,000 words. For those who suffer from writers block because it happens to the best of us, the National Novel Writing Month website offers tips and inspiration to help the writers reach that word count goal. Hundreds of writers have been published because of this event both traditionally and self-published which goes to show that with the right support anything can be accomplished.
Some notable novels that were published due to the event are
Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
The Night Circus by Erin Morganstern
Dark Inside by Jaye Roberts