National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo, occurs every November and challenges writers to write 50,000 words in 30 days. Millions of writers take up this challenge every year and although not everyone is able to complete the challenge, NaNoWriMo is an excellent way to get motivated to write. However, there are some writers who may not feel comfortable making the commitment to writing 50,000 words in 30 days, or for those who would rather work at their own pace. Because of these reasonable hesitations, Camp NaNoWriMo was created.
Camp NaNoWriMo is a writing challenge similar to NaNoWriMo, but it allows writers to work at their own pace and set their own writing goals. There are two different “camp sessions” of Camp NaNoWriMo and writers can either participate in April, July, or both. Writers can set their goals anywhere between 10,000 words to 1,000,000 words and the project does not necessarily have to be novel related. This gives writers the freedom to write anything, such as a novel, short story, graphic novel, screenplay, or any other type literary work. It’s a great alternative to NaNoWriMo or a great supplement to the writers who crave the motivation of NaNoWriMo but don’t want to wait for November.
A unique aspect of Camp NaNoWriMo is that you get placed into “cabins” or writing groups. Each cabin is made up of twelve writers and you are able to set your own preferences for the writing group that you are placed in. One of the determining factors in the placement into a writing group is the genre in which your work will be classified. Based on what you will be writing, Camp NaNoWriMo will attempt to place you in a group of like-minded writers. This is a great feature and because the writers in your writing group will be interested in and writing in the same genre, it will be easier to lean on one another for support.
If you are a part of a writing group or if you have a group friends who all enjoy writing, Camp NaNoWriMo also has private cabins. With this feature, a writer is able to invite up to eleven friends into their private writing group. If you have less than eleven friends in your writing group, you can open up your group and make it public if you’d like. I think this is a great new idea to get your friends involved and it’s a excellent way to support each other throughout April.
NaNoWriMo offers discounts and prizes to the writers who participate and complete the event and Camp NaNoWriMo is no different. Although the prize list is not as extensive as the one in November, a participant of Camp NaNoWriMo could win anything from discounts on writing software to specials on self publishing services. There are a number of sponsors for this year’s Camp NaNoWriMo and many of them are offering giveaways to those writers who participate and complete their personal word count goal.
I completed NaNoWriMo this past November and I found that my motivation was incredibly high. I was able to reach my 50,000 word goal and I’m not sure if I would have written that many words in November if it wasn’t for NaNoWriMo. I think that Camp NaNoWriMo is a great alternative and I will be using April to finish up the second half of a novel that has been sitting on my computer, untouched.
Last October, I wrote a series of NaNoWriMo prep blogs in preparation for NaNoWriMo in November. Although you may not need as much prep time for Camp NaNoWriMo, I have left the links to the prep blogs below.
If you are participating in Camp NaNoWriMo and have any tips or thoughts on the event, please share them in the comments! If you are interested in signing up for Camp NaNoWriMo, click here.
Camp NaNoWriMo begins on April 1! If you are planning on participating, good luck!
Until next week,