Hey, fellow writers! I know you’re out there, even if you’re trying to hide in the back corner of your closet hoping no one will notice. Well, there’s nothing like a writing challenge to help give you a much-needed boost of confidence.
First – and this one is just for Michigan residents (sorry, everyone else) – the KDL Library system hosts a short story contest called Write Michigan. The deadline is still a month away on November 30, 2016, and you only need a short story of no more than 3000 words (roughly ten pages). This contest is open to anyone, although there is a small entry fee if you’re 18 or over. I’m helping my sons polish up their drafts right now for their first time entering the contest. This contest is a great, low-cost way to get your work out there and hopefully get some good feedback (plus, all finalists get their work published in a story anthology and get to do a book signing – so much fun!). For more details, check out the Write Michigan website at: http://www.writemichigan.org/
Second – November is the official month for NaNoWriMo, which stands for National Novel Writing Month. The goal is to complete a draft of a novel (or nonfiction work, or compilation of short stories, etc.) totaling 50,000 words between Nov. 1 and Nov. 30. (As a side note, whoever chose November obviously didn’t have to host Thanksgiving dinner at their house!). You’re encouraged to do some character sketches and rough plotting before Nov. 1, so you can get started right away. If you break down that word count, it comes to writing about 1667 words per day – yes, that is a lot, but it does help you to learn to write without your inner editor taking over and undermining your creative side.
And, even if you don’t make your word count goal by Nov. 30, you’ll still have far more written than you would have otherwise! My husband just announced today that he signed up to participate, and I’m thinking about it myself so I can at least get a head start on my next project. There are a ton of great websites out there full of tips on preparing for and staying motivated during NaNoWriMo. If you’re interested in finding out more, visit the official website at: http://nanowrimo.org/
If you decide to do either of these, feel free to post a comment and share the news! Most of all, happy writing!