National Novel Writing Month Kicks Off in St. Louis

 In Culture

National Novel Writing Month (aka NaNoWriMo) is a chance for writers to finally get their novels going. The month of November gives writers a chance to either start a novel, complete a novel, or to just get something they’re working on to be the best it can be. It’s a community of writers helping and motivating one another through the month. While I personally haven’t participated in NaNoWriMo, I know several authors who have and have great work to show for it.

Photo courtesy of StockSnap

Photo courtesy of StockSnap

For those who don’t know, NaNoWriMo is not just confined to one month. It’s also a global organization divided into regions. Regions are broken down by country, state, and a major city (or “elsewhere” if you don’t want to be too specific on where you live). St. Louis has its own region and plenty of writers in it. Even before the month of November, there are “pre-NaNo Workshops” to get writers ready for the month. When November rolls around, it’s time to get the ball rolling at a very steady pace of 2,000 words per day.

The writing community is a competitive one, but also an incredibly supportive one. Authors share their manuscripts with one another for feedback, and they will buy each other’s books at local author events. (But all the while you’re helping each other out, you secretly hope that they don’t become the next JK Rowling success story, but that you do instead.)

NaNoWriMo hosts events of their own, such as workshops and write-ins at a library or coffee shops in various counties around the region. It’s a chance to meet authors and give/get feedback about their and your work. Or it can just give you a chance to sit and write with a cup of coffee and/or in a quiet environment. In the upcoming days and weeks, there are events all over STL for NaNoWriMo authors. Check out a list of events on their website.

But the month of November is all about the organization. It’s about writing in general. River Styx Magazine is one of the oldest literary magazines in the area, and on Mondays throughout the year, they host a reading series at the Tavern of Fine Arts.  They bring in authors from other cities, and they have several local authors who share their work as well. Left Bank Books is usually at the event selling the authors’ books and promoting their upcoming events as well. The St. Louis county and public libraries host several author events through the year as well. Check out their event pages for more details (County Library, Public Library).

So what does this all mean for local authors? Get out there! Keep writing and see what others are working on. There is a community of people out there ready to support, motivate and help your novel become the best it can be.

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