One part writing boot camp, one part rollicking party, National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) celebrates its 18th year of encouraging creativity, education, and the power of the imagination through the largest writing event in the world. This year, NaNoWriMo expects nearly 500,000 people, including K-12 students and educators—to start a 50,000-word novel in the month of November.

Grant Faulkner, Executive Director of NaNoWriMo says, “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.”

Last year, NaNoWriMo welcomed 431,626 participants in 633 different regions on six continents. Of these, more than 40,000 met the goal of writing 50,000 words in a month. When writers register their participation online at, they will be inspired by weekly “pep talks”, penned by published authors, including Jenny Han, Alexander Chee, and Maggie Steifvater. They’ll also have a chance to see where their nearest Come Write In (CWI) location is.

A Come Write In location is a community space like a library or bookstore that provides writing resources, internet, snacks and lots of moral support and dedicated writing time. The Delaware Main and Orange Branch libraries are registered CWIs and are providing 65 dedicated hours of writing time with support, and all the usual amenities of the library for the remaining hours of the month. Visit the Library’s website at and click on the Events tab to see all the times we’re ready to host our writers throughout the month.

As long as NaNoWriMo has been around, there have been many brilliant works of writing that have been self-published, and other ones that have made it on the best seller list. For a bit of inspiration this month, try reading one of these titles that began as a NaNoWriMo project.

• Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen. Ninety-something-year-old Jacob Jankowski remembers his time in the circus as a young man during the Great Depression, and his friendship with Marlena, the star of the equestrian act, and Rosie, the elephant, who gave them hope.

• The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. Waging a fierce competition for which they have trained since childhood, circus magicians Celia and Marco unexpectedly fall in love with each other and share a fantastical romance that manifests in fateful ways.

• Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. Being consummate fans of the Simon Snow series helped Cath and her twin sister, Wren, cope as little girls whose mother left them, but now, as they start college but not as roommates, Cath fears she is unready to live without Wren holding her hand—and without her passion for Snow.

• Cinder by Marissa Meyer. As plague ravages the overcrowded Earth, observed by a ruthless lunar people, Cinder, a gifted mechanic and cyborg, becomes involved with handsome Prince Kai and must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect the world in this futuristic take on the Cinderella story.

Nicole Fowles

Glad You Asked

If you have a question that you would like to see answered in this column, mail it to Nicole Fowles, Delaware County District Library, 84 E. Winter St., Delaware, OH 43015, or call us at 740-362-3861. You can also email your questions by visiting the library’s web site at or directly to Nicole at [email protected]. No matter how you contact us, we’re always glad you asked!