Have you ever dreamed of writing a novel?

Every year people around the world take the plunge and become an author during the month of November. If you’ve always wanted to write a novel, or try to write a novel, then this is the year to take advantage of National Novel Writing Month (aka NaNoWriMo). It is a free, annual challenge that takes place every November, where novelists strive to start, write and complete the first draft of their 50,000+ word novel in just 30 days.

Last year over six hundred and fifty thousand people worldwide took up the challenge. In the Gippsland region, which serves all seven Shires, 28 writers participated, with 9 completing their novels in 2015. They were bolstered by online forums and local events, and had fun along the way.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What does this cost?
A: Absolutely nothing is required. Donations to cover the nanowrimo.org website and administrative costs are accepted but are not necessary.

Q: What do the winners get?
A: A PDF file proclaiming them NaNoWriMo winners if they manage to complete at least 50,000 words in 30 days. More importantly, the happiness of completing at least 50,0000 words of a novel.

Q: 50,000 words in 30 days seems foolhardy…
A: Actually, it turns out to be roughly 1,670 words per day, which turns out to be manageable. There are some exceptionally prolific writers who produce four times that amount… but many just barely get over the hump. The NaNoWriMo website and online discussion forums provide a lot of support; and we are organizing some weekly meetings locally for participants to use for writing and discussing their work.

Q:What if I don’t finish? Or hit my word-count goal but I’m only halfway through my novel?
A:Nothing ventured, nothing gained, right? Even if you end the month 49,000 words short, that’s 1,000 words you wouldn’t have otherwise. Consider the word-count goal a threshold, not necessarily a stopping place. Reaching that goal and realizing you still have a lot of wrapping up to do is a good thing: it gives you something to come back to and work on later. You will still win if you reach your goal but have not yet “completed” your novel. Keep writing!

Q:What about my Privacy?
A: While you do have to provide an e-mail address in order to register, the NaNoWriMo forums give participants fine control over what information is made available to others. E-mail address and identity information can be concealed and the NaNoWriMo team has a strong privacy policy. E-mail addresses are not shared or sold and you have to explicitly sign up to receive e-mail announcements from the NaNo team during November.

Q: How do I sign up?
A: Sign-ups can be done through the http://www.nanowrimo.org website. The NaNoWriMo contest proper begins at 12:01 midnight November 1st.

Q: Who coordinates things for the Gippsland region?
A: Krystie (Caemlyn) is the volunteer municipal liaison for the Gippsland and Baw Baw Shire region of NaNoWriMo (Australia :: Gippsland & Baw Baw Shire). They are enthusiastic participants of previous NaNo’s who want to help others find the joy of completion that they’ve found. They organize the kick-off, weekly writing sessions and the TGIO party at the end.

Q: Say I join the region, what do I do next?
A: If you haven’t already done so, please come to our regional forum and post a note introducing yourself to the other participants. You can say something about who you are and what you are writing.

Q: What happens at a write-in?
A: Writing! You bring yourselves, your laptop/tablet, or notebook and pen, grab a table, sit down and write. There may also be chatting about our books, ourselves, and our writing in general, sometimes a word war or sprint. Mostly we just keep trudging along on our NaNovels.

Q: What do I do with my novel after the month is over?
The only requirement is to congratulate yourself on your hard work.
That said, many NaNoWriMo and Camp NaNoWriMo participants revise their manuscripts—to publish traditionally, to self-publish, or just to share their stories with friends and family. This process is supported during the “Now What?” months.

If you have any questions or suggestions, please feel free to contact us at gippslandnano@gmail.com