Valerie and Allison talk about National Novel Writing Month challenge

AWC’s Director, Valerie Khoo and AWC presenter and internationally acclaimed bestselling author, Allison Tait chatted to Myf Warhurst on ABC Radio earlier this week about the upcoming NaNoWriMo – the National Novel Writing Month challenge for the month of November.

This annual global challenge started in San Francisco, USA in 1999 with just 21 budding novelists participating. Last year more than 470,000 people participated worldwide, all with the aim of writing 50,000 words by the last day of November.

From the NANoWriMo press release:
One part writing boot camp, one part rollicking party, National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) celebrates its 20th year of encouraging creativity, education, and the power of the imagination through the largest writing event in the world.

“NaNoWriMo is more than just a writing challenge. NaNoWriMo is an opportunity to step out of your everyday life, open your mind to infinite possibilities, and create new worlds with people from around the globe. It’s a joyous leap into unexplored worlds, a laboratory of the imagination, a chance to free yourself from the obstacles that prevent you from telling your story. Our stories help us understand ourselves and others, so we need our stories more than ever in this age to bridge connections and heal divides,” says Grant Faulkner, Executive Director of NaNoWriMo.

Valerie Khoo says it’s very inspiring and those who lack confidence should just have a go.

“Just do it for yourself. You don’t have to show it to anyone else. It’s all about participating and if you only have 35,000 at the end of the month – that’s 35,000 more words than you had on 1 November.”

Allison Tait has done NaNoWriMo half a dozen times and in fact, wrote the first book in each of her The Mapmaker Chronicles and The Ateban Cipher series during two NaNoWriMo challenges.

“It’s about routine and the discipline of writing every day which gets your book written. Just write it down and get it on paper. It’s only your first draft so you don’t have to get it right the first time. Just tell the story and then add the details and descriptions during editing. It’s a very freeing.” said Allison.

When you sign up to NaNoWriMo you’ll be part of an amazingly supportive community of like-minded future novelists.   

And as further encouragement to participate, here are Valerie and Allison’s top tips for writing.

“Put your bum on the seat and start writing. Don’t overthink it and participate,” says Valerie.

“Finish the book, you have nothing until you get to the end. So sit down and write the book,” says Allison.

So here’s your chance to get your novel written in the month of November by unleashing your creative superpowers with NaNoWriMo.

You can hear Myf Warhurst’s full interview with Valerie and Allison here.


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