National Novel Writing Month at the Library

National Novel Writing Month at the Library

Library Programs for NaNoWriMo

November is National Novel Writing Month
This November, write your novel at the Porter Branch! We will have dictionaries, thesauri and books on novel writing available for you to consult. We offer free WiFi, free public use computers and printers. (If you'd like to use a computer, please call 540-659-4909 to sign up ahead of time.) There is no sign up required for the program, just drop in and write!  Have questions? Please call the adult reference desk at 540-659-4909.

First Chapters hosted on LibraryPoint
To submit the first chapter of your novel to be hosted on the website, please email  Attach your work as either a Microsoft Word or PDF document.  Submissions will be accepted throughout November and will be accessible until February 28, 2012.  Only works submitted by the original author with their permission will be posted.

The following chapters have been submitted by CRRL patrons:

Cataclysm 2012 by Dave

Genesis of Titan by John

It strikes me as somewhat counterintuitive that writing should be as difficult as it is.  After all, writing is arguably the most accessible of the creative arts: get a pen, get some paper, get an idea, and write it down.  Simplifying the process to such a degree is, while technically correct, nonetheless laughable.  For example, I spent well over an hour trying to figure out some way to write an opening paragraph for this article that wasn’t “everybody has a story” and it hasn’t even been an especially good opening paragraph. Imagine then the amount of effort that must go into writing an entire novel!  Thank goodness for NaNoWriMo.

No, I didn’t type that on a smart phone; NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month.  The concept is easy: devote this November to writing your novel.  You know your novel – that one idea floating lazily about in the nether regions of your brain’s “bucket list,” the one that you’ve said to yourself, “Wow, that would make a really great book.”  But you’ve never quite had the time or the inclination.  Well, much like the gym in January, NaNoWriMo gives you the formal opportunity to actually get started. 

Have a look at On the official website you’ll be able to create an author profile, share information about yourself and your work and track the progress of your novel.  Aspiring writers, both local and national, can network via forums dealing with a wide variety of topics such as genres, marketing and promotion, and how to keep the writing process going.  There is so much information there you might find the site the ultimate form of procrastination from your writing; you’d think I was being cynical, but there is actually a forum devoted to “Games, Diversions, and Other Exciting Forms of Procrastination” with 68 separate threads and over 6000 posts.  And if you’re looking for some inspiration from the pros, the site is host to lots of “pep talks” from popular authors like Piers Anthony, Meg Cabot, Neil Gaiman, Sue Grafton, Katherine Paterson, and more. Younger writers can go to to participate.

Once you’ve made yourself at home on the website, pay a visit to your nearest library branch.  CRRL is home to numerous tools to help you in your writing.  Need a place to work?  Try our free public computers equipped with high-speed Internet and Microsoft Office. Got your own laptop?  Hop on the free wifi at any of our branches. Need some works to inspire you?  We’ve got a few thousand novels you might enjoy.  And there are numerous non-fiction volumes devoted to helping people write and get published including but certainly not limited to:

In addition to the above resources which are available year-round, the library will also be hosting a fiction writing workshop in early November at the Porter Branch featuring author Traci Hunter Abramson.  The Porter Branch has also set aside a meeting room for NaNoWriMo participants to use every Monday and Friday during November.  But perhaps most excellent of all, CRRL will accept the submissions of the first chapter of your novels and host them on  This is a fantastic way for your work to gain exposure and be read by digital visitors from all over the world.  See the bottom of the article for full details on all these events.

You want to write a novel and we’re always looking for new ones.  Everybody wins.  So join NaNoWriMo, definitely join the library if you haven’t already, and get writing this November.