November 10, 2009

The Nation’s Third Oldest College Newspaper

Volume 80, Issue 6

NU takes on National Novel Writing Month

NU takes on National Novel Writing Month

NU takes on National Novel Writing Month

Fifty-thousand words in 30 days. For students who cannot seem to get three-page papers due a month ahead of time, this may seem a daunting task. But hundreds of thousands of people around the world do this every November, and have for the past 11 years.

National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo, was officially launched in 1999, with founder Chris Baty and 20 of his friends located in the San Francisco Bay area. There they set off on the great adventure of writing a novel in one month. Today the writing extravaganza has a nonprofit of its own, the Office of Letters and Light, based in California.

The concept is simple: the official NaNoWriMo Web site gives you a place to officially sign up as a "Wrimo." This allows you to keep track of your word count, get input from the open forums, and have a "buddy list" of fellow Wrimos that you know - or wish you knew. Other than that, there's no fancy software necessary, there's no long list of rules, nothing like that. It's simply the author and their method of choice for writing - and thirty days to do it in. And at the end, as of last NaNoWriMo, winners have an opportunity to receive one proof copy of their manuscript, bound into something you'd find on a bookshelf, totally free.
Niagara just started up a group on campus for crazy authors such as these, and they call themselves NUNaNoWriMo. Only one member of the group has ever completed the task before, so it's quite the venture into the unknown - and one that already some are finding to be difficult. "I absolutely love writing (my novel)," NU Wrimo Amanda Denkenberger says. "But at the same time, it is overwhelming trying to fit in time to write into my busy schedule."

Crystal Grabowski, co-founder of the NU faction agrees. She says, "I'm wondering if I'll have time, and I'm doubting if I can even get to 50,000. It would be exciting if I could."

National Novel Writing Month lasts for all of November. `For more information, visit


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