Dreamed of penning a novel someday? Get ready to start NaNoWriMo!

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NaNoWriMo = National Novel Writing Month.

Maybe you've been hearing about it, or already Googled the phrase and its accompanying hashtag. But you're going to see a lot more about NaNoWriMo in the coming weeks. (If you're saying the abbreviated version out loud, it's pronounced "nan-o-rye-mo.") 

The 18th annual event challenges writers of all ages and abilities to work toward the goal of writing a 50,000-word novel between Nov. 1 and 11:59 pm on Nov. 30. This year's theme is "Your Novel, Your Universe."

The first NaNoWriMo event was held in 1999, and in 2005 the program received nonprofit status. Since then, hundreds of books written during the month have been published, including some major bestsellers. Sounds crazy ambitious, right? But talk to any local writer you know, and they've likely participated in a past NaNoWriMo and would encourage anyone else to do the same.

NaNoWriMo's executive director Grant Faulkner sums up why the program is for everyone:
“Too many people think they’re not a ‘creative type,’ but to be human is to be a ‘creative type.’ NaNoWriMo teaches you to believe that your story matters, to trust the gambols of your imagination, and to make the blank page a launching pad to explore new universes. That’s important because when we create, we cultivate meaning. Our stories remind us that we’re alive, and what being alive means.”
To get inspired and fired up about the daunting yet doable task, the Spokane County Library District is offering two days of National Novel Writing Month prep workshops this weekend: Sat, Oct. 29, from 10 am-6:30 pm and Sun, Oct. 30, from 1:30-4 pm.

The following list of local writers and authors administer workshops on both days at the library's Moran Prairie branch: Mary Cronk Farrell, Kelly Milner Halls, Maureen McQuerry, Stephanie Oakes, Kris Dinnison, Bruce Holbert, Rachel Toor, Eli Francovich, Claire Rudolph Murphy and Sarah Conover. 

Workshops on the schedule
cater to all genres, offering a range of tips and techniques that may be effective tools for you. Attendees can learn how to interview sources for nonfiction work, or discover whether or not to outline an idea before putting words on the page. Both days of workshops are free and open to all, but participants are asked to register online in advance.

So, what's your NaNoWriMo story going to be about? Get ready to write!