It’s November and that means National Novel Writing Month is here again! Participating in National Novel Writing Month, or as it is more commonly known, NaNoWriMo, is a great way for public libraries to support aspiring authors, and to motivate patrons who have always wanted to write a novel but for some reason or the other never got started. NaNoWriMo begins every November 1 and lasts until November 30. Participants (Wrimos) aim to write at least 50,000 words during the month of November, ending with a rough draft of a completed novel, or with the first 50,000 words of a longer one.
Libraries have the awesome opportunity to reach these budding novelists by providing space to write, access to the Internet, assistance with research, and informational programming. Libraries can also become Come Write In (CWI) spaces. These are spaces for group write-ins (chunks of time in which Wrimos brainstorm and write). Group write-in sessions allow participants to network and to meet others in the local writing community. Libraries interested in becoming CWI spaces can register at the CWI registration page.
The fun doesn’t have to end on November 30! You can plan to keep the momentum going after November by offering programming like editing workshops; book cover design 101 classes; Q&A sessions with visiting published authors; copyright workshops; self-publishing tutorials; traditional publishing/finding a publisher tutorials; and eBook creation workshops. Libraries that have access to a print-on-demand book machine, like the District of Columbia Public Library (DCPL), can offer Wrimos printed copies of their completed novels.
Finally, you might want to create a special display of any finished books. This will draw attention to the library’s involvement in NaNoWriMo and perhaps entice next year’s participants. It will also give a nice bit of promotion to the newly minted novels. Even though November has already started, it is not too late to get your library involved. Get more information here.