Spotlight on Sharing: NaNoWriMo Spells Fun for Writers

Libraries and writers have always been great partners, but each November libraries can do even more to support the writers in their communities during National Novel Writing Month (or NaNoWriMo). The concept is simple: NaNoWriMo writers (or Wrimos, as they are known) have from November 1 through 30 to write a 50,000 word novel, which is about 150 pages. By registering on the site and tracking their progress, Wrimos can earn digital badges, get inspired from author pep talks, and learn about activities in their communities from their regional liaisons.

Since the event started in 1999, participation has grown to over 500,000. Over 250 NaNoWriMo novels have been traditionally published, including Sara Gruen’s Water for Elephants and Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus.

Local organizations can participate as Come Write In partners: in exchange for providing a quiet space for Wrimos, each organization receives a marketing kit, access to the Come Write In forum, and help from local volunteers. Over two dozen Colorado libraries have registered on the NaNoWriMo site (see the full list). Some are official Come Write In locations while others will host supplementary programs about the writing process.

Below are some ways that Colorado libraries are participating in NaNoWriMo. Don’t see your library on the list? Email Amy Hitchner, ahitchner@coloradovirtuallibrary.org, to be added.

Bud Werner Memorial Library in Steamboat Springs is collaborating with Off the Beaten Path Bookstore to support writers working on their November novels. The library is hosting a kickoff party on Wednesday, October 26, 2016 at 5:30 pm. See their website for more details.

Poudre River Valley Public Library held a NaNoWriMo Meet and Greet on Tuesday, October 18, 2016, at 7:00 pm. Attendees learned about the program and met other local writers and the event organizer. They also discussed ways to generate ideas, overcome writer’s block, and reach their goals.

At Mesa County Libraries, a teen NaNoWriMo Kickoff Party is planned for 4 pm on Tuesday, November 1. A panel of published Young Adult authors—including Renee Collins and James Van Pelt—will discuss their experiences, answer questions, and hold a book signing. The library will also host a weekly Teen Writing Group on Monday afternoons. Finally, a weekly writing group for adults will meet on Sundays in November from 1:30 to 4:oo pm and will include writing prompts, block breakers, and other fun activities to help move your novel along.

High Plains Library District, in collaboration with the Aims Creative Writing Club, is offering writing skills workshops on November 12, 2016. Snacks and encouragement will be provided! See their event calendar for more details.

Louisville Public Library is holding National Novel Writing Month Drop-In Writing Time every Tuesday afternoon in November, starting November 1. Their calendar has all the details.

Westminster Public Library is hosting NaNoWriMo Write-Ins for Teens and Adults in November. No registration is required. Learn more on their website.

Pikes Peak Library District is hosting Write-Ins throughout November at the Rockrimmon, Monument, East Library, Cheyenne Mountain, Penrose, and High Prairie Libraries. Additionally, a class on Microsoft Word for Writers is being offered at the 21C location on Sunday, November 6. Rockrimmon Library is celebrating the end of NaNoWriMo with a Winner’s Circle/TGIO party on December 13, 2016 at 1:00 pm. The PPLD calendar has more details.

The Lone Writer’s Workshop at West Custer County Library encourages the love of writing through a focus on prompts. From their website: “Participants will engage their writing spirit and leave wanting to write more, whether it is fiction, non-fiction, sci-fi, or a memoir. Writers of any ability are welcome, from high schoolers to adults, and are encouraged to bring their own writing materials, paper and pens.” The next meeting is on October 29 from 9:00 to 11:00 am. See the library calendar for more details.

The Pine River Library is holding weekly NaNoWriMo Meetups on Wednesdays from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm. Library staff members Brooke and Becky will be there with snacks, incentives, and prizes to encourage writers. See the library calendar for more information.

Lyons Regional Library is holding a Writing Circle, hosted by Elizabeth Marglin, on November 2, 2016 at 6:30 pm. They are also hosting two Come Write In events on November 16 and 30, both at 6:30 pm. Visit the library calendar for more information.

Ignacio Community Library offers a Writers Workshop on alternating Thursdays at 5:00 pm, hosted by Burt Baldwin. Aspiring authors can share their work and offer criticism and feedback. See event details on the library’s website.

Evergreen Library is hosting weekly meetups for Wrimos starting Tuesday, November 1 at 6:00 pm. See the library calendar for details.

Every Tuesday night in November, Englewood Public Library is hosting Come Write In. They will provide writing resources, coffee, and snacks. See the library calendar for details.

Berthoud Community Library District is hosting a special after-hours write-in for NaNoWriMo. Stay after the library closes at 6:00 pm on Thursday, November 17 to write and eat pizza. Visit the library calendar for details.


This post is part of the Spotlight on Sharing initiative, which aims to increase the visibility of resource sharing in Colorado libraries. How is your library participating in National Novel Writing Month? We’d love to hear about it! Email Amy Hitcher, ahitchner@coloradovirtuallibrary.org. On Twitter follow @hitchlib or use #spotlightonsharing and #NaNoWriMo.