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NaNoWriMo 2017!

Update November 4:

I’m up to 3869 words so far! Hope everyone is having a good NaNo month.

NaNoWriMo is the nickname for National Novel Writing Month. It is a challenge to write a novel from November 1st to the 30th. I’m trying it this year for a couple reasons.

The first reason is that I am leading a teen group of writers at my local library, and we have adopted NaNo for our November activity. We’ve already started brainstorming our novels, and I’m looking forward to working with them as they rise to the challenge and have fun with their writing.

The second reason is that I am looking to recapture the excitement and enthusiasm of my first NaNo experience. Back then, I hadn’t written a whole novel before, and took it on as a challenge. I wrote like mad that month, and soon the words and ideas flowed like a river. I recall one day writing about Bob and Kitty walking home for the USO dance and suddenly thinking, “He’s going to propose!” And he did! That book wasn’t very good, and probably won’t ever be published, but I loved the sensation of characters telling me what to write. That got me hooked, and I’ve been a writer ever since.


Do you want to try NaNoWriMo? Check out the adult version at or the NaNoWriMo Young Writers Program at

I love to share my passion for Alaska and its history in my writing for young adults and their grown ups.


  • Cinthia Ritchie

    I did NaNo two years ago and it resulted in a YA manuscript that I’m still fiddling with. It was great having a daily word deadline but the only problem I had was that it happens in November, which is one of our darkest months up here in Alaska, and I tend to fall into a slump where all I want to do is lie on the sofa, cramp pretzels into my mouth, and read. Perhaps I’ll sign up for NaNo again this year, though. I really need inspiration (i.e., a good, swift kick in the behind).

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