Archive for the ‘Websites’ Category

With the 1st of November just a few days away, writers everywhere are stockpiling food and saying farewell to their family and friends as they prepare to hole up in their writing caves until December 1.  November is National Novel Writing Month, also known as NaNoWriMo, an annual internet-based creative writing event that challenges participants to write a new 50,000-word novel in thirty days.

The project was founded by Chris Baty in 1999 with 21 participants, and the official NaNoWriMo website was launched the following year.  The number of registered participants has grown steadily every year, and the affiliate Young Writers Program and official podcast were developed in 2005.  In 2010, over 200,000 writers registered for the challenge, and nearly three billion new words were written.  A summer version of NaNoWriMo (Camp NaNoWriMo) was launched in 2011 and was held in April and July this year.

Many of us in Chapman University’s MFA program have impending thesis deadlines, and the NaNoWriMo challenge gives us the perfect opportunity and support to complete this critical component of our degree requirements, particularly if we have decided to start a new project for the thesis or complete a novel rather than a collection of short stories.

The novel can be on any theme and in any genre.  However, it cannot be a project already in progress.  Writing of the new novel cannot have commenced prior to midnight on November 1, and the 50,000-word mark must be reached by 11:59 p.m. on November 30.

For a comprehensive list of FAQs and guidelines, visit the website at www.nanowrimo.org.

Have fun, and good luck!



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Writer’s Relief

I’ve recently become an online subscriber to Writer’s Relief, a submission service for creative writers, poets, and essayists who could use some assistance with the business side of writing and getting published.  Writer’s Relief can devise a submission strategy for your work, help you target the right literary agents and editors, and even proofread and package your submissions.  I’m hoping to use the service to organize and track my submissions.  Check out writersrelief.com to subscribe to the free monthly newsletter, Newsflash, or for more information about the services available.

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The oh-so-important (and often botched) query letter was a discussion topic in last night’s Advanced Writing Workshop at Chapman.  A sharp, interesting, well-written query letter is critical to the process of getting published – so critical, in fact, that queryshark.blogspot.com provides a brutally honest critique of draft query letters and then posts the criticism on its blog for the edification of other would-be query bunglers such as myself.  I visited the site tonight and plan to review the posted guidelines thoroughly before writing my first query letter.  Many thanks, JPB!

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I found this website last night.  It provides a comprehensive list of literary magazines and journals that publish short stories, nonfiction, poetry, essays, criticism, book reviews, and art, as well as summaries of the genres and styles in which the editors are most interested and whether or not they accept submissions from unpublished writers.  Check it out!

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