Thank you!

That’s it–NaNoWriMo 2017 is in the books and fully over for this year. In our region, 443 novelists wrote 8,667,345 words with an 19,565 average wordcount. 134 of the 443 novelists made it to the 50,000 word mark (an amazing 30%!). For those participating in our NaNo Faces community wordcount graph, 57% completed their 50,000 word novels. And you’ve been generous too, donating $2,065.00 to National Novel Writing Month, which is a 501c3 non-profit organization (if you haven’t yet done this and are able to, please consider it).

Of course, you don’t need to have made it to 50,000 words to be a winner; every single word you wrote in November is something that helps you progress with your novel. And we know that even those who made it to 50,000 words still have a lot of work yet to do. NaNoWriMo is a first step, a first draft to where you want to go.

Join the Journey

For making progress after NaNo, you might consider joining the Writing Journey (direct link to the form to fill out). Just like our regional activities, the Journey is absolutely free. We’re an open, family-friendly community of writers who create, participate in and have fun with several Paths. A Path can be as simple as a simple lunch outing or as complex as a short story anthology. Existing Paths include: a short story anthology (seeking ideas for the theme; you can see our past anthologies), an Editing Path, an in-person Critique Group, Shakespeare Reader’s Theatre, monthly general meetings with useful workshops, and others.

Thank you!

The joy of National Novel Writing Month is something that benefits from the many helpful donations of time, energy and goodies from many people. Institutionally, we really appreciate our primary Library sponsors: Carol Stream Public Library, Naperville Public Library, Woodridge Public Library and the Glen Ellyn Public Library; and our other Library partners in the Library Crawl: Batavia, Downers Grove, Elmhurst Library, Fountaindale Public Library (Bolingbrook), Geneva, Glenside Public Library (Glendale Heights), Helen Plum Library (Lombard), Joliet Junior College, LaGrange Park, North Riverside, Plainfield, Thomas Ford (Western Springs), Warrenville, and Wheaton. They provided not only the spaces in their nice facilities but also the Crawl Cards and even the prizes.

Thanks to Sarah Kovac for running the Crawl (which she created some years ago) and to Sara V. for designing the colorful, superhero-themed Crawl Cards.

Thanks very much to our Library Crawl write-in hosts: Tim, Sam M., Jenny, Sara V., Sarah K., Catherine, Molly, and Kira.

And to our non-Crawl write-in hosts: Sam M (Dueling Trains, Roundhouse, Blue Box), Bonnie (Java Plus), Tanja (Aurora Library), and Sam B (the fantastic All Day Write-In–thanks so much for all your hard work and creativity!) and a shout out to Ed for the two pizzas he brought).

Thanks to all of you, for your hard work on your novels, for coming out to the preparatory workshops and write-ins and parties, and to many of you who brought treats to share or word war prizes (John–love those creative USB sticks; and Brian, great superhero-themed stuff!). Thanks to Katherine for her Squid challenge and to Tanja for her endless encouragement and many wonderful posts in our regional forum.

Thanks to all those who donated prizes for the TGIO: Susan (AriaDear), John (JohntheTech), Kat (Kat’s Meow), Catherine (Cee-Bee), Tanja (Goddess_Astra), Jennifer (dohenyster), Dave (TRRDEDEAN), Sam (samcadams), Jenny (GwenTolios)

Last, but not least, thanks to my wonderful co-MLs: Sam, who not only hosted Library Crawl write-ins but also organized and hosted several very memorable non-Crawl ones as well; Jenny, who introduced the NaNo Monster campaign that culminated with a very neat pinata at the TGIO; and Sara, who made our Library Crawl memorable with her Crawl card designs and also subbed for me when I had to travel out of town.

Happy Holidays!


First preparatory workshop notes and slides are available

We’ve posted the slides and notes from our first NaNoWriMo Preparatory Workshop in this season–Anna Gabrielli’s Worldbuilding and Character, which was a fascinating blend of useful tools/perspectives on worldbuilding and small group exercises to see how to do a top-down vs. bottom-up approach. I found the workshop quite useful for learning new ways to add […]

How to come up with a novel idea

There are many, many ways people come up with ideas for their novel. Sometimes they grow organically. Sometimes inspiration strikes through a dream. And sometimes one has to help the process along. What I did this year was to think of ten to fifteen scenes from favorite books. How did each scene make me feel? […]

The 2016 NaNoWriMo season thus far

Here are we at November 6th; we’ve gone through our preparatory workshops and kick-off party in October, and our first write-in at Nichols Library (part of our Library Crawl). Here are many of the pictures that make up our journey thus far. [peg-image src=”” href=”″ caption=”” type=”image” alt=”IMG_7764.JPG” image_size=”1600×1067″ ] [peg-image src=”” href=”″ caption=”” type=”image” […]

RSVP for the kick-off party (2016)

It’s not too early to RSVP for our October 29th, potluck lunch kick-off party at the Naperville Municipal Center, 11:45 AM-2:45 PM. Be sure to bring your stuffed animal for the group photo. There will be door prizes, games and the opportunity to socialize with writing friends. Feel free to bring family and friends along […]

2015 Thank Goodness It’s Over Party

Saturday, December 5th saw about fifty people come to celebrate the end of National Novel Writing Month. The fun began with an ice breaker created by co-Municipal Liaison Frank Dahlman, where each of five groups was given two characters, a setting, and two objects and told to create a story. As people came in, Sarah […]

More sculpey plot critters for the final Sunday write-in at Nichols

Since I know that attendance will likely be on the lower end for the final write-in at Nichols, I’ve created a bunch of new plot critters for word war prizes. Hope you like them!