National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is an annual event in which participants all over the world commit to writing a 50,000 word manuscript in the month of November.

Founded in 1999 by writer Chris Baty, NaNoWriMo is now a global writing marathon that sees hundreds and thousands of participants every year, and has even been registered as a non-profit organization with their own dedicated website!

vintage teal typewriter beside book

Photo by RetroSupply on Unsplash

The Rules of NaNoWriMo

The rules are fairly straightforward.

  1. Write a 50,000 word or longer novel between 1st and 30th November.
  2. Only words written during November can be counted. This means that you cannot work on a draft that you started on prior to November.
  3. Be the sole author of your novel.

You should note, however, that you can start planning and outlining your work in advance. In fact, that is even encouraged – which is why Preptober is a thing!

The official NaNoWriMo website even has their own calendar that gives you guidelines and tips on how and when to prepare for your NaNoWriMo journey.

What do you stand to win?

Every year, gives away rewards to those who reach the 50,000 word count, and the rewards differ every year. This will help incentivize you to write more and reach the milestone.

Some rewards from NaNoWriMo 2020 included discounts on several different novel-writing software and free access to writing courses, and much more. Look forward to what you can win in 2021!

Why participate in NaNoWriMo?

Here are some reasons why joining NaNoWriMo can be an incredibly rewarding experience for writers.

1. Gets you to write

Many writers tend to find it difficult to find the motivation to write, or they tend to get distracted by social media or other forms of entertainment.

And so having a goal to work towards and a deadline to meet forces you to sit down and really start writing.

Furthermore, NaNoWriMo may be just the thing you need to get out of a writing rut or writer's block.

2. Helps you improve your skills

Having to write so much so fast can be pretty difficult, and some may even find it stressful, but diamonds are formed under pressure after all. NaNoWriMo is will put your writing skills to the test and help you improve your craft.

3. Connect with & learn from other writers

Writing doesn't have to be a solitary hobby. In fact, many writers thrive off having a community and a valuable support system.

By participating in NaNoWriMo, you can find many other writers who can understand your struggle and support you!

Over the course of the month, the NaNoWriMo organization will host NaNoWriMo forums for writers to discuss their progress with each other. They also invite seasoned writers to share valuable writing tips and give pep talks.

How to participate in NaNoWriMo

Interested in participating? Here are the steps you can take to join in the fun.

1. Create your account

To officially participate in NaNoWriMo, you first have to create an account on Once you've done so, you can fill in your profile and even add fellow participants as writing buddies.

2. Announce your novel

You can also "announce" your novel on your NaNoWriMo profile by filling in your project's title, genre and synopsis.

Do note that this information can only be seen by your writing buddies, and that writers usually "announce" their projects in late September.

3. Find a writing software

If you're in search of a writing software that can get you through NaNoWriMo, why not consider JotterPad?

JotterPad's cloud sync feature allows you to save your work on a cloud service of your choice, choosing between OneDrive, Google Drive and Dropbox. This way, you'll no longer have to worry about losing hours worth of work if your laptop or mobile device runs out of battery.

Keep your NaNoWriMo draft saved with a cloud service of your choice on JotterPad
Keep your NaNoWriMo draft saved with a cloud service of your choice on JotterPad

Plus, you can write on JotterPad across multiple devices. From our web app, to iPad, iOS and Android, you can write your NaNoWriMo piece whenever and wherever you want!

Write your NaNoWriMo draft on whatever device you prefer, with JotterPad's cross-platform feature
Write your NaNoWriMo draft on whatever device you prefer, with JotterPad's cross-platform feature

4. Start writing!

On November 1st, you can start on your project on any writing software of your choice. In the next 30 days, you can log your progress throughout the month and even earn participation badges for reaching certain milestones.

When you've hit 50,000 words before 30 November, you can "validate" your word count via the site and claim your title as winner!


If you're looking for a writing challenge and a chance to put your skills to the test, NaNoWriMo is the event for you.

You still have a few days left, so seize the day and give it a try this year!