Category: writing

prompt 1017

Words associated with celebrations:






get together





open house








house warming




NaNoWriMo 2018: By the Numbers


Check out our statistics for NaNoWriMo 2018! Our writers continue to write and achieve great things; in fact, more novelists reached 50,000 words than last year! Writers in our Young Writers Program also continued to crush it, with an overall win rate of over 40%. Read on for more information about this November’s numbers, leaders, and chart-toppers.

NaNoWriMo Breakdown:

  • 287,327 participants (that’s more than the population of Toledo, Ohio)
  • 35,387 winners (that’s nearly 29% of writers who started novels!) 
  • 2,791,454,312 words (that’s more than three times as many words as the average person supposedly speaks in their lifetime)
  • 22,871 words written on average by those who started novels 

YWP Breakdown

  • 64,374 novels started
  • 26,183 winners (that’s almost 41%!) 
  • 11,820 classrooms participated

Website activity

  • 849,540 unique visitors (that many people would fill the University of Michigan Stadium—the largest in the U.S.—almost eight times) 
  • 22,338,654 pageviews 

Top Ten Countries (by visits)


Top Fifteen Regions (by word count)


Genre Popularity by Novels Started


5 Ways to Treat Yo’ Self After NaNoWriMo


Now that November is over, you may be wondering how best to use your newfound free time. Will you keep writing? Or will you take a well-deserved break? Today, writer and illustrator Juliana Xavier shares her tips on how to relax and renew yourself after NaNoWriMo:

As NaNoWriMo’s 2018 session officially comes to an end, take a deep breath, pat yourself on the back and remember to Treat Yo’ Self—you’ve earned it!

Now that the month and the event are over and done with, what does one do? After all, it’s always bittersweet to be done with something you invested so much time and effort in. Stopping out of the blue can often leave some feeling lost. If that just happens to be you, maybe I can help!

Thinking back on the month, maybe you managed to write 50k in under a week; maybe you discovered writing 50k in a month was harder than you thought. Either way, what comes next might be just as important as what came before.

Here’s my personal plan on what to do next:

1. Do nothing.

Is your brain fried? Can it no longer come up with good words to word good and write… well? That’s cool, and totally normal! That means it’s time for a little something we like to call “self care.” Sometimes the best self care on the planet is enjoying things that take no brain power at all, like laying in bed in your PJs while eating ice cream and watching cartoons.

2. Don’t touch that ‘script.

Allow yourself not to touch your MS until you actually miss working on it. Treat it like you would treat your parents during summer camp or after moving out to go to college. You love them, but having some distance makes missing them more special… plus you’ll have more things to discuss that way (please call your parents, they miss you).

3. Consume junk food and/or entertainment.

That chocolate you were hoarding as a reward for all your hard work? Go for it. It’s good to spend your time reading and watching things that allow you to have fun! Including bad stories. Why not watch that awful C movie your friends keep telling you to watch? Might be fun to figure out a way to rework the plot and make the story work!

4. Make writer friends.

Investing in writing communities completely pays off. Don’t use people! Be kind and make friends. Form your writers’ coven. These are the people who will be there with you, help cheering you on in the same way you’ll cheer them on! Which brings me to…

5. Beta read (and be beta read).

If you’re not one already, consider doing this. Although you might not be quite there yet with your own MS, becoming a beta reader or critique partner often times leads to self improvement, along with the fact you’re helping others! Going through the experience yourself will help you know what you’ll need from your future readers! There are plenty of people out there who need this, but remember! Only offer if you plan to follow through.

And that’s basically it! If you decide or not to follow a similar plan to mine, it’s totally up to you. Just make sure to take care of yourself so you’ll be ready for the next writing event in your life, for you are a true NaNo champion.


Your friendly neighborhood Wrimo participant.


Juliana Xavier is a writer, illustrator and sequential artist. SCAD alumna, all about that kid lit. Brazilian born but partially American grown. Works as a freelance artist and would love to draw your fantasy maps and book covers. Coffee is ok, but Thai bubble tea is the real MVP. Inkstress witch of the Writer Coven. Find her at: website, twitter, patreon. Like my writing? Buy me a ko-fi!  For inquiries, feel free to e-mail at


You’re a father that goes out to the gas station/grocery store to get some milk, and you fully intend to return home. You’re then put into a ridiculous situation that your family will never believe is the reason you were gone for decades.


Knowledge is power. The more you know about something, the more you can command it’s very particles and existence.

Explain how you made friends with someone who can warp reality itself.

Project For Awesome 2018

Project For Awesome 2018:

Project for Awesome has begun! If you want to help support NaNoWriMo, it’s an easy 5-step process:

1. Be awesome.
2. Click through to the “NaNoWriMo” videos on the Project for Awesome site.
3. Click on each video about NaNoWriMo.
4. Click the “I’m not a robot!” box, then click the big VOTE button on each video.
5. Share this post and encourage your friends to vote, too.

And… that’s it! If you’ve always wanted to support NaNoWriMo but haven’t had the resources to donate, all this will take is 30 seconds of your time and a few clicks of the ol’ mouse. In previous years, the support of P4A (and users like you) has helped NaNoWriMo continue encouraging writers around the world!

To you, her eyes were blue. But her eyes were not blue, she was. To me, her eyes were two sapphire…

To you, her eyes were blue. But her eyes were not blue, she was. To me, her eyes were two sapphire…

NaNoWriMo 2018 may be over, but we’re still thinking about what…

NaNoWriMo 2018 may be over, but we’re still thinking about what we’ve learned along the way.

During last week’s Virtual Write-In, we asked NaNo participants about the lessons they’ve learned over the course of November—about writing, community, and themselves—and compiled them into a handy infographic for you. 

What did you learn during NaNoWriMo 2018?

Fell Short of 50K? Give Yourself Some Credit — Then Keep Going!


Another November has come and gone; while some of you are celebrating the completion of 50,000 words, some of you didn’t make it quite as far as you’d have liked. Today, writer Adrianne DeWeese shares some words of encouragement about continuing to write, whether or not you met your word-count goal this year:

November has always been a month of great promise for me. It’s the eve of one of the busiest months of the year, before the calendar page turns for the final time that year. It is a month of thanks, of renewed hope. As one of my all-time favorite bands, Jimmy Eat World, summarized it so eloquently in their 2004 album title track “Futures”: 

I always believed in futures
I hope for better
In November.

I held onto that same sense of promise and optimism this year going into my first-ever NaNoWriMo experience. Unfortunately, a brief bout of seasonal sinus issues found me bedridden during my spare time for two weeks.

It was certainly frustrating, as I was hell-bent on reaching that 1,667 minimum daily word count. I knew I had to take care of myself, though, so I asked myself what the alternatives were: I did what I could to continue chipping away at my bucket-list goal of one day writing a book.

I continued to write by hand. I checked out several amazing books about writing from my local public library: The Thorn Necklace by Francesca Lia Block; and Elizabeth Sims’ You’ve Got a Book in You: A Stress-Free Guide to Writing the Book of Your Dreams.

I also rewrote the outline to my novel twice (third time’s a charm!), while using the two earlier iterations as the backbone for what I feel is going to make a solid first draft. Most importantly, I was gentle with myself in what I could achieve, even if it were just 200 words on the screen – and I kept my eye on December.  

December also happens to be my birthday, and as a gift to myself for turning 33, I’ve vowed to keep up an unofficial NaNoWriMo effort throughout the month.

Perhaps you, too, need to keep writing in December to reach the “Now What?” months of January and February. Here are two tips I’m going to use for the upcoming 31 days:

#1: Visualize a time in your life when you overcame a challenge.

Writing a book often seems impossible. But you and I both, my dear reader, have been here before. Think of a time in your life where something once seemed out of reach, but you were able to accomplish it anyway.

For me, I think about my competitive running days in high school. I visualize the times when I didn’t think I had the strength or momentum to finish the second mile of the race. Then, I remembered that I already had – many times – when I ran six, seven, eight miles in a row at practices. Writing is no different: Put in the time and the work, and the output will follow.

#2: Figure out where you are “spending” your writing time, and set your intentions.

My writing time is limited to very specific portions of my days, typically two to three hours in the evening. For me, I actually prefer this structure, as I should ideally be able to focus in such a short span and get the work done. However, November often found me wandering over to Twitter for “check-ins” or answering personal emails.

For December, I plan to set a daily intention before my writing begins. Also, if I feel the Internet is going to pose too much of a distraction, I also can opt to shut my laptop altogether for several days a week and write longhand, a practice that Sims recommends in her book. (NaNoWriMo also has a great new video related to battling distractions.)

Above all else, be patient and gentle with yourself if you didn’t hit 50K in November. December – a whole new month, with an extra day! – awaits you. You can – and you will – begin again. Returning to Jimmy Eat World, and the words of “Futures”: My darling, what matters is what hasn’t been.


Adrianne DeWeese is a nonprofit fundraising professional who writes and reads as much as possible in her spare time. A former newspaper reporter, she earned her Master of Public Administration from the University of Missouri-Kansas City in May 2018. Her first novel, Be For, is a work in progress, exploring themes of self-awareness, the convenience of technology, and what to do once you finally have the answers to life. She enjoys tweeting about writing and reading, the nonprofit community, space, and much more @AdrianneDeWeese.

30 Covers, 30 Days 2018: Wrap-Up!

That’s a wrap on another NaNoWriMo, which means it’s the end of another year’s 30 Covers, 30 Days series! Whether you wrote fifty words or fifty thousand, you got your stories onto the page! So pat yourself on the back. I’ll wait here.

Excellent! I want to talk a little bit about this project; as this was my second year coordinating the series, I got to read all of your nearly three thousand synopses, and every one of them brought something unique to the table. I’m seriously blown away by how amazing your novels – and the covers they inspired – have turned out to be.

Before I get to the fast facts about this year’s series, I need to extend a few words of thanks.

First, immense thanks as always to the amazing Debbie Millman, for facilitating this project every year, gathering all these fantastic designers in one place, and for designing a cover herself! Thanks for all your help getting this project off the ground, and answering all my questions along the way.

This wouldn’t be possible without all the designers who volunteered to make covers this year (and in years past). You made some stunning covers, on a short deadline, for free, frequently ahead of schedule, and with enthusiasm every day. Thanks for your patience and quick responses to all of my emails, and for making covers that thirty authors will cherish, and that amazed, thrilled, puzzled, and inspired writers on the blog, forums, and beyond all month long.

If you received a cover, or just felt inspired by one, please take a moment to let these designers know how cool they are; the complete list of designers, including links to their websites and social media, is available at the end of the post.

If you want to leave some feedback, there’s a form available! This helps us tweak and tune up the project each year.

Finally, thank you to all of you who took on the challenge, submitted synopses throughout October and November, and for keeping up with the blog and forum posts every day.

As with every year, of course, November only has thirty short days – and with them, only thirty lucky writers selected for each edition of the project via our proprietary, time-bending, squirrel-powered synopsis algorithm.

This year, we had winners from all around the world, including from Iceland, Nigeria, and Peru. And, as novels from Young Writers made up about a quarter of submissions, there were set to be seven YWP covers. Alas, a couple of them fell through a hole in time and space and there ended up being only five; next year will have the complete set. There was also a wide range of genres represented:

We also used the keywords and tags from thousands of submissions to create a word tree!

Please give another round of applause to the designers who contributed their time and effort to this awesome project!

It’s been a blast helping coordinate 30 Covers, 30 Days once more. I’m looking forward to seeing next year’s covers!

-Nick Fierro, Editorial & Programs Intern