By Lori Perkins
How amazing it that an entire nation (of writers and people who love and support them) is focusing on writing fiction for one month. I always think of November as writers’ month, which is perfect after the summer and the start of school. It’s also the perfect time of year for thus considering October belongs to Halloween and December belongs to Christmas.
I believe in NaNoWriMo. It didn’t exist when I was in high school and college writing my first novel. I am sure I would have gotten to The End (instead of writing two 100 page novels that petered out mid-way) if I had known I was part of a national wave of writers working on their 50,000 word first draft. *
I also believe that NaNoWriMo books are good books—books worthy of publication with a little spit and polish. I know a lot of people think they are throw-away books, but Riverdale Avenue Books had a NaNoWriMo contest in 2014 and we published what I consider to be one of the best science fiction titles I’ve ever read. Untrustworthy by JR Gershen-Seigel is an LGBTQ Hand Maid’s Tale. It is so good that I had to ask the author if she had really written it in 30 days, or if it was a work shopped trunk novel she had submitted for the contest.
* NaNoWriMo began in 1999 when 21 San Francisco writers pledged to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days in July. The next year, November was the chosen as the month, and 140 writers participated, most of who were not from San Francisco. The following year, 5,000 people joined. In 2017, a little under 500,000 people joined the NaNoWriMo website, but many authors write a NaNoWriMo novel without registering.
Here is the official website where you can sign up and get helpful advice. https://nanowrimo.org/