During the month of November, writers of all ages and experience levels will take on the challenge of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) — to write 50,000 words in 30 days.
NaNoWriMo is a national nonprofit that provides resources for writers, lets them monitor their progress and connects them with other writers in their region. The Chapel Hill region of NaNoWriMo encompasses all of Orange and Chatham counties.
Maia James, a librarian at Chapel Hill Public Library, works with NaNoWriMo to organize events for writers in the region during November.
James will be hosting “write ins” at the library, where writers can come together and bounce ideas off each other, give advice and provide support. The write ins will be held on the first four Saturdays in November.
A NaNoWriMo kick-off party was hosted at the library on Oct. 26 to give writers a chance to meet each other and start forming connections. James said they had people from high school-age all the way up to retirement attend.
James will also be participating in NaNoWriMo. She is working on a novel, tentatively titled “The Librarian’s Guide to the Apocalypse.”
“I really advocate a lot for NaNoWriMo because it does help to push you to ignore that inner editor and just get that first draft out, which is the first step to creating something awesome,” James said.
James said she knows of several people who have published novels they worked on during NaNoWriMo. One of those is Katie Rose Guest Pryal, a local author whose books are available at the Chapel Hill Public Library.
Pryal said she likes NaNoWriMo because it creates discipline and accountability for writers. She said she goes into NaNoWriMo with part of her story already written and then uses the discipline of NaNoWriMo to get the bulk of it done.