National Novel Writing Month

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWrMo) is the chance for aspiring writers to seize the opportunity to write a novel in November.

Why was NaNoWrMo created?

The idea is that novel writing isn’t an elite craft that can only be done by professionals. The majority of NaNoWrMo contributors are not professionals, they are hairdressers, shop workers, and accountants but by the end, they are novelists. It has grown from 21 members in 1999 to more than 250,000 in 2011.


But, I can’t write a novel in one month.

From amateurs to established writers, everyone will tell you that starting is the hardest part. The beauty of NaNoWrMo is that so many people, starting at the same time, provides a built-in support network. The forums are full of tips and tricks to get you through and the Portsmouth group has meetings throughout the month and send supportive emails to get you through.

The target is 50,000 words in 30 days- in case you’re wondering, that’s two-thirds the length of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (77,508 words). The idea is not that you should have a fully-finished, ready-to-publish novel by December 1st but that you should a first draft, ready for editing and completion.


How do I take part?

  1. Register for free on now.
  2. Start planning. You can’t start writing without an idea and the more research and planning you do before, the more you can write during.
  3. Tell your friends, family, classmates and colleagues your plan. The more people you tell, the more people who will ask how your novel is going and the more people you’ll have to tell if you give up; that should be enough to keep you writing.
  4. Start writing on November 1st and don’t stop!

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