Nanowrimo 2021

Candice Shea Maxwell
2 min readNov 1, 2021
Art from 2021 Campaign —

Today, many writers, pantsers and planners alike, have begun the November whirlwind that is Nanowrimo.

Nanowrimo, which stands for National Novel Writing Month is an event that takes place every November where writers attempt to write a 50,000-word draft novel.

Some fun and impressive Nano facts:

In 2020:

• 552,335 writers participated in our programs, including 97,439 students and educators in the Young Writers Program.

• 906 volunteer Municipal Liaisons guided 671 regions on six continents.

• 448 libraries, bookstores, and community centers opened their doors to novelists through the Come Write In program.

• 71,832 Campers tackled a writing project — novel or not — at Camp NaNoWriMo.

Hundreds of NaNoWriMo novels have been traditionally published. They include Sara Gruen’s Water for Elephants, Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus, Hugh Howey’s Wool, Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl, Jason Hough’s The Darwin Elevator, and Marissa Meyer’s Cinder.

Each year, authors offer mentorship to our participants through pep talks. Past author mentors have included Gene Luen Yang, Roxane Gay, Kacen Callender, John Green, Andy Weir, N. K. Jemisin, and Veronica Roth.

Nano is super active on Twitter, has a fantastic brand campaign each year, and sell their own adorable merchandise. They host talks and write-ins with known authors and writing specialists, as well as host a youth-focused writing program with free lesson material. Each April and July they have a more freeform event called Camp Nanowrimo where groups, aka cabins, work on smaller writing goals.

Nanowrimo (as in 50,000 words in one month) is not something I have ever accomplished and I likely never will, but I love taking part! It is a super supportive community that encourages sub-communities. We have two West Virginia groups within the website that also have their own Facebook and Discord.

Nanowrimo has always given me a good month-long reason to dive into a project. It helped me write the majority of my published thriller, Violet Disaster, and I am now using it to help me hopefully finish my new thriller, Suspension of Disbelief, in early 2022.

My nano project for 2021 is the story of three friends and a boyfriend who move into a house together. The main character, Annie, a college senior, is at constant odds with her best friend's boyfriend because strange things keep happening to her in the house and she believes the boyfriend is messing with her mind. Annie can’t possibly guess the true horrific reason for her misery.

Are you doing Nanowrimo this year? Let me know about your project! Or add me as a buddie.



Candice Shea Maxwell

“And if I see you, how it changes me. And if you see me, how it changes you.” — Andrew Bird