your next chapbook

October 29, 2018

November, which is right around the corner, is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). Some poets apply NaNoWriMo discipline to their poetry and crank out 50,000 words in 30 days.

If you’d like another option, Writer’s Digest is again offering their annual November PAD (Poem A Day) Chapbook Challenge. Robert Lee Brewer posts a prompt on his Poetic Asides blog. Write a poem each day using the prompts and then, in the month of December, pare your poems down to a manuscript of 10-20 pages in length with no more than one poem per page and submit the chapbook to Brewer for an opportunity to win fame if not fortune. At the very least you’ll have a chapbook to submit somewhere else. You don’t have to register and you don’t have to submit your poems day by day.

Read the guidelines and get ready to write.


planning your WriMo

October 18, 2018

Two weeks. That’s how long you have to get your verbs in order. National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) starts November 1, and whether you plan to write the first draft of a 50,000-word novel or put your 50,000 words to work on poetry, it’s a great opportunity to be really productive.

2018 marks NaNoWriMo’s “20th year of encouraging creativity, education, and the power of the imagination through the largest writing event in the world.” Last year, NaNoWriMo involved 394,507 participants on six continents, and more than 58,000 of them met their 50,000-word goal. Will you be one this year?

Learn more on the NaNoWriMo website and on Facebook. Mark your calendar. Make the commitment. It could change your life.

yes, yes, November

October 28, 2016


It’s almost November, and if your calendar isn’t already bulging, please note:

  • National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) celebrates its 18th year of encouraging creativity, education, and the power of the imagination through the largest writing event in the world. This year, NaNoWriMo expects nearly 500,000 people to start a 50,000-word novel in the month of November, guided by this year’s theme: Your Novel, Your Universe. More than 250 NaNoWriMo novels have been traditionally published. Many poets use the project as a challenge to write a poem each day of the month. To find out more, sign up, get pep talks, participate in forums, and get inspired, visit the NaNoWriMo website.
  • Writer’s Digest will offer the 2016 November PAD (Poem A Day) Chapbook Challenge. Robert Lee Brewer, author of the Poetic Asides blog, will post a prompt each day. The idea is to write a poem in response to that prompt and then, at the end of the month, assemble and submit a chapbook of the best 20 or fewer of your poems. Find out all the details on the 2016 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Guidelines page.
  • November also brings the Cascadia Poetry Festival (Seattle, Nov 3-6) and Wordstock (Portland, Nov 5).
  • Daylight Saving Time ends on Sunday, November 6, 2016, 2:00:00 AM, when clocks are turned backward 1 hour to 1:00:00 AM local standard time.

NaNoWriMo minus eight

October 24, 2015


National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) starts Sunday, November 1. For the 30 days of November, writers of every ilk crank out massive numbers of words toward the goal of 50,000 by the end of the month. The emphasis is on quantity, not clean copy, the idea being that if you have 50,000 words to edit, you’re really close to having a book.

And don’t let the word novel dissuade or intimidate you. Poets and non-fiction writers can NaNoWriMo, too. If you sign up on the NaNoWriMo website, you’ll find pep talks, word counters, milestone badges, forums, tips and plenty of NaNoWriMo swag. There are also local/regional activities and Come Write In events at libraries, bookstores and other neighborhood spaces. NaNoWriMo is on Facebook, too.

Whether you go for the gold or just use NaNoWriMo as a challenge to get you to write every single day for a month, just think of all the delicious words you’ll write!

Are you ready?

October 30, 2014


Pencils and pixels, on your mark! National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) begins on Saturday, November 1, and challenges you to write 50,000 rough-draft words of a novel over the course of the month. This year, NaNoWriMo expects 400,000 participants (there were 310,095 in 2013), including 100,000 students and educators who will use NaNoWriMo’s virtual classroom management tools, closed social network, and free Common Corealigned curriculum. National Novel Writing Month is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit (formerly known as the Office of Letters and Light).

Participants can enjoy Pep Talk letters from author-mentors and other ongoing encouragement; write-ins at local coffee shops, book shops and living rooms; and free resources at local libraries, bookstores and other neighborhood spaces. There are online forums with tips, logistics and other musings. Plus, NaNoWriMo provides an array of tools to help you keep track of your growing pile of words.

Over 250 NaNoWriMo novels have been traditionally published. They include Sara Gruen’s Water for Elephants, Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus, Hugh Howey’s Wool, Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl, Jason Hough’s The Darwin Elevator, and Marissa Meyer’s Cinder.

It’s easy: just sign up and start writing. NaNoWriMo is on Facebook, too. (But of course you knew that.)

P.S. No one says your novel has to be prose or, for that matter, that it even has to be a novel: 50,000 words is 50,000 words…
. . . . .
Image courtesy of National Novel Writing Month

the countdown has begun…

October 17, 2013

NaNoWriMo 2013

It’s mid-October and that means it’s time to sharpen your pencils, wipe the dust off your monitor, stock a few extra typewriter ribbons or stack up the rocks and flints. However you write, November is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) — an opportunity to hammer out 50,000 unedited words that will take shape as your next novel. (Though the focus is novel writing, plenty of poets use NaNoWriMo as a framework for producing quantities of poetry that will be available for editing in the coming months and years.)

There are forums, meetups, Tweets, prompts, word tracking and plenty of swag to keep you encouraged. There were 102,827 official participants in 2012 and numerous novels started during NaNoWriMo find their way to publication.

Here are a few links to get you going: the NaNoWriMo home page ~ the NaNoWriMo blog ~ NaNoWriMo on Facebook ~ the NaNoWriMo Pinterest page ~ NaNoWriMo on YouTube ~ the NaNoWriMo Bellingham forum ~ the NaNoWriMo Seattle forum ~ the NaNoWriMo West Sound (WA) forum ~ NaNoWriMo forums for Everett & Snohomish County, Lewis County, Olympia, Pullman, Moses Lake, Skagit Valley, Snoqualmie Valley, Spokane, Tacoma/Pierce County, Tri-Cities, Vancouver (WA), Walla Walla, Yakima, and Elsewhere (WA). For other regions, including nearby states, Canada and other countries, see the Regions page. The forums list local events and some of them are in need of a Municipal Liaison, if you’re particularly enthusiastic.

Get some writing done this November!
. . . . .
graphic by Jake Fleming

warm up your quills…

October 3, 2012

NaNoWriMo 2012It’s October, and while our Northwest weather is still benign, leaves are turning, apples are ripening and the howling winds of NaNoWriMo can’t be far behind. That’s right: soon it will be National Novel Writing Month. Again. Already.

You may think that NaNoWriMo (November) and NaPoWriMo (April) are just games, exercises for people with nothing better to do. Not so. In fact, as the folks at NaNoWriMo point out in an October 1 press release, “Although the event emphasizes creativity and adventure over creating a literary masterpiece, more than 90 novels begun during NaNoWriMo have since been published, including Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen, The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, and Cinder by Marissa Meyer, all #1 New York Times Best Sellers.”

So, whether you are hoping to write the next #1 novel or are looking for some structure for your poetry writing practice, this might be a good time to block out some daily space in your November calendar. The countdown has begun.

For a list of other published Wrimos, click here. For more information (including a link to the NaNoWriMo Young Writers Program) or to sign up, go to NaNoWriMo.

Here’s a bonus: In 2011, during NaNoWriMo, the folks at Galley Cat, who keep a very close eye on the publishing industry, offered a tip a day to writers. On this page they link to all of the month’s posts. Have a look.

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