National Novel Writing Month

NaNoWriMo 2022
NaNoWriMo Library Events
Getting Started
Books About Writing
Books by NaNoWriMo Authors

NaNoWriMo 2022

In 2022 we will be hosting our 14th NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month.)  Every November, people all over the world attempt to write a 50,000-word novel by midnight, November 30. Participants sign up by creating free accounts at, the official site for National Novel Writing Month. There they can post their daily (or hourly, or second-by-second) word counts, display samples of their writing, or discuss their progress and even arrange local write-in events with other writers.

In 2021 our library sponsored online programming including an October Q&A for NaNo Newbies, First Day Frenzy all-day Opening Write-In, and eight Saturday AND Sunday Write-Ins.  Attendance across all NaNoWriMo programming was 90.  It was harder to tell what everyone was writing over Zoom and GoogleGroups, but in past years participants have written across genres including Adventure, Chick Lit, Fanfiction, Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Literary Fiction, Mystery, Political Satire, Religious/Spiritual, Romance, Thriller-Suspense, Science Fiction, Women’s Fiction, Young Adult, and Young Adult Fantasy.

NaNoWriMo, and Other Writing-Related, Library Events

This year, National Novel Writing Month is once again allowing in-person events under the NaNoWriMo banner.*  We look forward to seeing many of you at our in-person library write-ins this November.  Date and time information for write-ins, contests and other tie-in events and programming are still being added.

  • First Day Frenzy Opening Write-In, Tues. Nov. 1 from 10:00 – 7:00 p.m.
    All are invited to a all-day first day kickoff for National Novel Writing hosted by the library.  Click here for more information.
  • Wednesday Night Zoom
    Wednesday nights are for working on your novel! This special two-hour Zoom is designed for remote writing with your fellow disembodied writer heads. Communicate with nods or by using the Chat function, or call the on-call hosting librarian at 978-468-5577 x619.

  • Saturday Write-Ins
    The traditional Saturday write-ins, in person once more.  Come when you can!  Leave when you like!  Weekend write-ins are your chance to meet local fellow novelists and write like crazy.  Brainstorm, socialize and boost your word count with fellow writers of the North Shore.

  • Young Writers Story Writing Contest
    Young writers ages 5 to 12 are invited to submit stories for a special story writing contest in November.  The deadline for submitting stories is Sunday, November 27 by midnightClick here for rules and other information, and download the helpful Write-Your-Story Calendar.  (This will be our 13th Young Writer’s Story Writing Contest!  17 children participated in last year’s 2021 contest.  Read their stories here.)
  • Write The Hook Teen Writing Contest
    This will be our second Write The Hook!  Essex County teens grades 6 – 12 are invited to submit the beginning or “hook” to their stories for a chance at cash prizes and their winning submissions posted on the Informed Teens blog. The deadline for submitting is Sunday, December 11 by midnightClick here for more information.
  • Adult Writing Contest
    New this year!  Our first ever Adult Writing Contest is open for submissions.  The theme is “Writing Your Memoir.”  Everyone has a story – what’s yours?  This contest welcomes submissions in two categories: short (300-1000 words only) and short-short (six words only.)  The deadline for submitting is Sunday, December 11 by midnightClick here for more information.

IMPORTANT!  Are you a North Shore participant?  Programs and events listed here are only those hosted, sponsored or promoted by our library.  Join your region and visit your regional forum to to connect with all activities in the North Shore region.  See Getting Started or call 978-468-5577 x620 to find out more.

Getting Started

If you are participating in National Novel Writing Month for the first time, the best way to start is by visiting the web site and creating a free account. If you would like to communicate with fellow writers, your next stop is the NaNoWriMo forums.

Forums include the Genre Lounges, Resources and Writing Support, and many other groups. (There is even a NaNo Rebels forum for those using November to write something like a memoir, script or non-fiction book instead!) Visit the Regional Lounges to  hook up with authors from your local area.

Here are a few short cuts for Massachusetts participants:

United States :: Massachusetts :: 5-College
United States :: Massachusetts :: Berkshires
United States :: Massachusetts :: Boston
United States :: Massachusetts :: Cape Cod
United States :: Massachusetts :: Elsewhere
United States :: Massachusetts :: Lowell and Merrimack Valley
United States :: Massachusetts :: Metrowest
United States :: Massachusetts :: Milford/Bellingham/Franklin Area
United States :: Massachusetts :: Norfolk/Bristol Counties
United States :: Massachusetts :: North Shore (there is also a conventional forum here)
United States :: Massachusetts :: Plymouth
United States :: Massachusetts :: Southbridge/Sturbridge
United States :: Massachusetts :: Western Mass
United States :: Massachusetts :: Worcester

Books About Writing

These are just a few of the many books on writing available from the Hamilton-Wenham Library. Don’t see your favorite title on there? Let us know! If you are looking at this list during or immediately before the month of November, many of these books will be checked out, but feel free to call 978-468-5577 and ask if the title you want is actually available (it may just be checked out to a display!) We can also bring books in from other libraries.

***Asterisked books were purchased as part of 2019’s 10 Year Anniversary extravaganza.

***Let’s Get Digital: How To Self-Publish, and Why You Should
Gaughran, David
070.59 GAU

Your Child’s Writing Life: How To Inspire Confidence, Creativity, and Skill At Every Age
Allyn, Pam
649.6 ALL/ parenting

***Writing Monsters: How To Craft Believably Terrifying Creatures To Enhance Your Horror, Fantasy, and Science Fiction
Athans, Philip
808.02 ATH

***Good Naked: Reflections On How To Write More, Write Better, and Be Happier
Cole, Joni B.
808.02 COL

***Take Off Your Pants! Outline Your Books for Faster, Better Writing
Hawker, Libbie
808.02 HAW

***How To Be a Writer In the E-Age: A Self-Help Guide
Hyde, Catherine Ryan
808.02 HYD

Pereira, Gabriela
808.02 PER

***Chance Particulars: A Writer’s Field Notebook for Travelers, Bloggers, Essayists, Memoirists, Novelists, Journalists, Adventurers, Naturalists, Sketchers, and Other Note-takers and Recorders of Life
Taber, Sara Mansfield
808.02 TAB

20 Master Plots and How To Build Them
Tobias, Ronald B.
808.02 TOB

***The Story grid: What Good Editors Know
Coyne, Shawn
808.027 COY

***Writing Voice: The Complete Guide To Creating a Presence On the Page and Engaging Readers
808.042 WRI

Books, Crooks and Counselors: How to Write Accurately About Criminal Law and Courtroom Procedure
Budewitz, Leslie
808.066 BUD

***Magic Words: Writing Great Books for Children and Young Adults
Klein, Cheryl B.
808.068 KLE

No Plot? No Problem! A Low-Stress, High-Velocity Guide To Writing a Novel In 30 Days
Baty, Chris
808.3 BAT

***The Complete Handbook of Novel Writing: Everything You Need To Know To Create & Sell Your Work
808.3 COM

Plotto: The Master Book of All Plots
Cook, William Wallace
808.3 COO

Writer’s Guide To Character Traits: Includes Profiles of Human Behaviors and Personality Types
Edelstein, Linda N.
808.3 EDE

Mastering the Process: From Idea to Novel
George, Elizabeth
808.3 GEO

Write Away: One Novelist’s Approach to Fiction and the Writing Life
George, Elizabeth
808.3 GEO

So You Want To Write: How To Master the Craft of Fiction and the Personal Narrative
Piercy, Marge
808.3 PIE

Book In A Month: The Fool-proof System for Writing a Novel in 30 Days
Schmidt, Victoria Lynn
808.3 SCH

***Damn Fine Story: Mastering the Tools of a Powerful Narrative
Wendig, Chuck
808.3 WEN

You Can Write A Romance
Estrada, Rita Clay
808.385 EST

How To Write Science Fiction and Fantasy
Card, Orson Scott
808.387 CAR

You Can Write A Mystery
Roberts, Gillian
808.387 ROB

On Writing Horror, Revised Edition: A Handbook by The Horror Writers Association 
Castle, Mort
808.3873 ON

***Ryan Higa’s How To Write Good
Higa, Ryan

On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft
King, Stephen
B King, Stephen

Books at Hamilton-Wenham by NaNoWriMo Authors

It’s true, some NaNoWriMo novels have been published. Click here for a growing list of published authors. Below are some NaNoWriMo novels that our library actually owns. Check them out, and see what you think of the results!

The Compound
Bodeen, S. A.
Also available as audio playaway:
Y Playaway BODEEN

The Oyster War: The True Story of a Small Farm, Big Politics, and the Future of Wilderness In America
Brennan, Summer
338.3 BRE

Take the Reins
Burkhart, Jessica

Cornwell, Betsy

The Art of Crash Landing
DeCarlo, Melissa

The Mosquito Hours
DeLorenzo, Melissa Corliss

Body of Water
Dooley, Sarah

Shelter of Leaves
Gay, Lenore H.

Olivia Bean, Trivia Queen
Gephart, Donna

Bodies of Water
Greenwood, T.

The Hungry Season
Greenwood, T.

Flying Changes
Gruen, Sara

Water for Elephants
Gruen, Sara
Also available as large print:
and audio CD:
and DVD:
and downloadable e-book and e-audio

Sure Signs of Crazy
Harrington, Karen

Dark Tide
Haynes, Elizabeth

Into the Darkest Corner
Haynes, Elizabeth

Under a Silent Moon
Haynes, Elizabeth

Shades of Milk and Honey
Kowal, Mary Robinette

Tag, You’re Dead
Lane, J. C.

Meyer, Marissa
and downloadable e-book and e-audio

Meyer, Marissa
and downloadable e-book and e-audio

Meyer, Marissa
and downloadable e-book and e-audio

The Night Circus
Morgenstern, Erin
Also available as audio CD:
and downloadable e-book or e-audio

The Mermaid’s Sister
Noble, Carrie Anne

Anna and the French Kiss
Perkins, Stephanie
and downloadable e-book

Isla and the Happily Ever After
Perkins, Stephanie

Lola and the Boy Next Door
Perkins, Stephanie
Also available as audio CD:
and downloadable e-book

Time Off for Good Behavior
Rich, Lani Diane

Rowell, Rainbow
and downloadable e-book and e-audio

The Forest of Hands and Teeth
Ryan, Carrie
and downloadable e-book