Whatever time of year it is, writing is hard. Consistently getting words on the page is a challenge. And writing a whole book’s worth of words is a real feat.
As a new writer, it can be a daunting task to learn how to write well. A huge part of writing well is practicing consistently and by the bucket load. But the temptation to give up for another month or two is all too great.
However, in the past two years, I’ve learned that there are many tools and resources available—designed especially to give writers a boost on their journey. These include four free events throughout the year that encourage writers to write regularly and write lots.
National Novel Writing Month
National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo for short, is an event in November where especially daring writers take on a quest to write a 50,000-word novel in a single month. I have not participated in it myself yet, but I did an unofficial NaNoWriMo in June. So I can tell you it is possible!!
Are you a younger writer, not quite ready for the full 50K? NaNoWriMo also has a Young Writers Program just for you, where you can make any goal you wish.
November not the right month for you? You can make a writing goal any month on either NaNoWriMo website or the young writer’s version. Or you could participate in Camp NaNo, which I’ll tell you about in a bit.
When: November (or any time you want!)
Where: https://nanowrimo.org/ & https://ywp.nanowrimo.org/
Camp NaNoWriMo, or Camp NaNo for short, is another event that NaNoWriMo offers. This is an opportunity twice a year (April and July) to set your own goal for the month and write, write, write. Like NaNoWriMo, the website also features fun badges and charts along the way to motivate you to succeed.
When: April & July
This event is all about consistency! Can you write 100 words for 100 days? Go Teen Writers dares you to put your summer to good use. If you can do it, you’ll end up with a super satisfying 10,000 words (and probably more), as well as the vital skill of pushing through your busy schedule to write a little everyday.
Have you ever tried to start a habit, failed to do it one day, and lost all your motivation? Well, thankfully, 100-for-100 offers you one grace day each week and one grace week each summer. This means that if you forget to write, you’ll probably be ok as long as you pick up and keep going!
This event is typically June-through-August-ish, and even though it is on a site for teen writers, it is open to ALL ages. It was super helpful to me the first time I did it, and I highly recommend it!
100-for-100 is a little trickier to find, but check the link below or the Go Teen Writers blog near the end of May, and there should be a post with more information about the 100-for-100 of 2021.
When: May through August / June through September
Crazy Writing Week
Crazy Writing Week (CWW) is a free one-week competitive challenge that occurs three times each year to encourage writers in their teens and early twenties to write like crazy! Two teams are pitted against each other in a private community, and it’s a fierce battle to write the most words. If you are less competitive, you can also opt to be placed on a third, peaceful team. And if the teams write enough all together, there are prizes!
CWW is hosted by a paid program called The Young Writers Workshop (YWW). I help out as a Community Assistant on the YWW community, so I get to be a member for free now, but I can tell you it’s worth every penny. CWW gives you a free taste of what it’s like, just way more crazy.
The next CWW starts on May 3rd—Monday! Don’t miss it!
When: January, May, and August
What do you think?
What has your writing experience been like? Have you ever participated in one of these events? Do you have any recommendations of your own to share?
I can attest to how awesome 100-for-100 was when I needed to jumpstart my novel.
Yes! That was my first big writing challenge, and I will remember it fondly. (Though the second time didn’t go super well. XD)
Yess, I love these! Although I haven’t tried NaNo yet. XD
Yay! Yeah, NaNoWriMo is not for everyone, but Camp NaNo is great! I can’t believe I forgot about it last month. XD