A Field Guide to Camp NaNoWriMo

If I have any readers who write, or who wish to write but novels seem like too many words, I would like to draw your attention to an opportunity to write in a gentle, supportive manner with other writers. That opportunity is called Camp NaNoWriMo and can be found at http://campnanowrimo.org/ .  This camp session starts July 1, and you can find me there under the usual name: lleachie

The parent of CampNaNo, National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo, has developed into an audacious worldwide event. In 1999, a group of people implemented an idea to encourage non-writers to become writers through a challenge: write 50,000 words of a novel in the 30 days of November. In the first year, 21 people participated. By 2013, that number was closer to 400,000. Think about it: almost 400,000 people every November hear their siren song: “The World Needs Your Novel”.

In 2013, the organizers of NaNoWriMo started a related venture which they call Camp NaNo. There are two sessions of Camp — one in April, one in July. For Camp NaNo, the writer can choose to write a novel or other written work, conduct background research, revise something already written. They set their own goal in number of words or number of hours. The summer camp theme makes the point that this writing program is — get it — summer camp for writers.

The Camp NaNo experience works like this: you follow the link to their website, where you sign up for your slot (no charge!) and fill in a biography, a description of your project, and maybe things like a summary and sample paragraph.

This is the only part of my bio that fits in the screen shot. If you’re curious, follow Blogger’s “About Me” link.
If the above is too long for an elevator pitch, please let me know.

Then you will be put into a cabin (yes, cutesy camp references abound) of other writers. You can correspond with your cabin in the cabin space, and send mail through the mail area of the website. You keep track of your own words or hours, and you see a progress chart (the target above). If you don’t meet your goals, no worries — you’ve learned something and written words down.

You will also find daily emails with tips about writing. One of the most important philosophies behind NaNo and Camp NaNo is that writing happens first, and then editing happens. I rather like this philosophy myself because it’s necessary to get the words on paper (or electronically) before you tear them apart. The corollary to this is that your first draft will need tearing apart.

I hope someone will be inspired to show up at camp!

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