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Celebrate National Novel Writing Month

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Mature man with grey and black beard and glasses smiling, sitting near a bright sunny window writing in a notebook.

November can be a productive time for writers as it marks the arrival of National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo. The goal is simple, yet bold: write a 50,000-word novel in just 30 days. This annual event has become a beacon of inspiration, motivating wordsmiths of all backgrounds to dive headfirst into the world of storytelling. It’s a month where creativity takes center stage, and the blank page beckons with boundless possibilities.

In the spirit of NaNoWriMo, we’re excited to present our own writer’s series for the month of November that will take you from getting started to getting published. These programs are a great opportunity to test your skills, get guidance from published authors, and foster a sense of community with other writers.

Test your skills

If 50,000 words seems too daunting, start with just six! Practice the art of brevity and word choice by crafting a short story in just six words. Submit your masterpiece to the Fiction/AV/Teen desk. Select stories will be displayed on the second floor all month long.  

Get guidance

Unlock your writing potential by attending our workshops on novel structuring and self-publishing. Gain valuable guidance from experienced published authors.

Writing Workshop: Structuring Your Novel | November 15, 7pm
Learn the craft of structuring a novel from beginning to end from DePaul University creative writing professor Rebecca Johns, author of The Countess: A Novel of Elizabeth Bathory and Icebergs: A Novel, a PEN/Hemingway finalist work. Registration required.

Self-Publishing on a Shoestring | December 12, 7pm
Chicago author Gwen Tolios explains how to prepare and publish copies of your work without using a publishing house or spending a lot of money. Registration required.

Connect with a community

Connect with fellow writers in a local NaNoWriMo writers’ group. Join a network of fellow writers who share your passion and can provide support and encouragement that will help you turn your novel-writing aspirations into reality! You will need to create a login to access the following writing groups.

USA: Illinois: Chicago is the local group for Chicago.

USA: Illinois: Naperville s a very active local group in the West Suburbs. Visit their website for a list of write-ins and events.

USA: Illinois: Elsewhere is a group open to all in Illinois and includes members from across the state. As a large group, most of their writing events are online.

Set aside your inner critic and embrace the joy of creation!

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