Can you write 50,000 words in 30 days?

·2 min read

November is National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo for short. Every year, hundreds of thousands of writers around the world strive to write a 50,000 word rough draft of a novel in 30 days. For some, it is about eking out 1,667 words per day to reach the final word count, while for others it is an opportunity to get involved in their local writer’s community with write-ins and discussion groups. “NaNoWriMo is discouraging in-person write-ins this year, so I’m working with our area municipal liaison (ML) to develop some alternatives, including Discord and likely Zoom,” Emily Hollingshead, Director of Library Services for the Drumheller Public Library told the Mail. Hollingshead has volunteered as an ML for the Alberta Elsewhere region in the past, though she will be “helping in an unofficial capacity this year.” Writers in the Alberta Elsewhere group span across Alberta, between Lethbridge to Edmonton. Hollingshead notes virtual write-ins would be beneficial in years where social distancing is not a concern, to allow “more opportunity to get to know writers and connect with a larger number of communities.” NaNoWriMo also supports a Young Writers Program and St. Anthony’s teachers, Vicki Black and Sara Boyne, will have their Grade 4 classes participate. Ms. Black's class has participated for the past five years, and this will be the fourth year Ms. Boyne's class will participate.

“The students get to choose their own word count goal for the month,” Black told the Mail. “I have had students choose anywhere between 1,000 words and 25,000 words.” Black says she also participates, keeping to the 50,000 word goal. After the November writing madness, Black and her students celebrate with a party in December.

NaNoWriMo is free to join and is self-moderated. Winners who complete the 50,000 word goal receive writing-related prizes such as discounts for writing tools and aids.

Lacie Nairn, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Drumheller Mail