National Novel Writing Month in November gains new participants

Jacob Zajkowski, Contributor

Are you aware that writers recently embarked on NaNoWriMo or National Novel Writing Month in November? NaNoWriMo is a non-profit organization that supplies schools around the world with classroom kits and other things needed for a successful education, all at no cost to the schools.  During November, countless writers worldwide write stories of 50,000 words for NaNoWriMo. Participants can get support from locals in their community and meet new people, and they even get pep talks from published authors!  

Story genres range from realistic fiction to fantasy, and everything in between. Participants of NaNoWriMo also look forward to the “Night of Writing Dangerously”, a writing marathon in San Francisco at the Julia Morgan Ballroom. Hundreds of writers congregate here to get ahead in their novels and talk with their peers.

This international event has many participants in our own community. According to, the Fox Cities wrote almost one million words in five days this year! Writers even walk among the North High population.

One of them is Cecelia McDermott who found NaNoWriMo three years ago via a YouTube video of a participant. Since November is the only time she pursues writing outside of academics, McDermott plans on continuing to participate in NaNoWriMo. Although she participates, school always comes first. McDermott doesn’t even like to start writing if it means she won’t be able to finish her homework.

This year, she wrote about people who can hear someone else’s thoughts, and they must find the other person before the voice will go away. She loves to write and would recommend NaNoWriMo to anyone. “As long as you go in with an idea and a little motivation, you can achieve what you never thought possible” she said. McDermott hopes to finish a novel someday during NaNoWriMo. “…that probably means an extreme Outline October and Editing December if I decide I want to seriously consider getting the book published.” It has become a goal for McDermott to write all fifty thousand words.

Another participant is Madeline Clark, and she shares Cecelia’s goals for someday completing a novel. She has been a member of NaNoWriMo for less than a month and was introduced by a friend of hers.

Although this is her first year, Clark plans on continuing because she thinks it is a fun and engaging experience, and she has more things to write about. Her introduction to NaNoWriMo has not affected her social life, but it has affected how fast she does her homework. Clark has chosen to write a fanfiction based on the characters written by Rick Riordan in the Heroes of Olympus; she chose this because she enjoys his writing.

When asked about what she wants to gain from NaNoWriMo, Clark said “I just want my writing to get out there and for people to like it.”

A sophomore at North named Margaux Pisciotta also participates in NaNoWriMo. Her novel this year is about two teenage girls and the high school troubles they face. When asked why she chose this she said, “I think it is a very relatable story and is something that a lot of people in high school could connect to.”

This is Pisciotta’s second year as a participant; she was introduced by an author, Amy Zhang, that had just gotten her novel published. The author explained that it had started as a NaNoWriMo draft, and Pisciotta was immediately taken with the idea. She managed to complete all 50,000 words during her freshman year. Her passion for writing, and the pressure of the time limit, keeps bringing Pisciotta back for another month of writing. Her message to everyone is, “If you’ve ever even thought about writing a novel before but have been too intimidated to do it, try NaNoWriMo…”

NaNoWriMo is a way for writers of all ages to share their stories; a place where writers can get support from local peers and make new friends worldwide. Many people fall into their inner writers during November and share their stories to the world.