Camp NaNoWriMo — When November is Too Far Away

Remember November? Back when we were all very excited about banging out our NaNoWriMo first drafts and giddily* updating each other every week on our progress? Or were you on the outside, with your nose pressed up to the window going, “Seriously? November? November is really busy! When am I supposed to find time to write 1600 words a day and get an early start on my Christmas shopping? This turkey isn’t going to eat itself!”

Camp NaNo Logo

Perhaps you’re like me, jamming all your fiction writing for the year into November under the reasoning that at least you have a justification for sealing yourself off for a month and just writing, because, dammit, it’s National Novel Writing Month, and god, just make your own dinner** this month, there’s a book to be written and then never spoken about again. And then you have all these perfectly good intentions of taking this daily writing habit you get into forward into the rest of your life, but maybe a bit less ambitious in scope, but first you’re gonna take a couple of days off, and then suddenly the calendar says it’s May, and you’re all, “Well, I might as well just wait until November again.”

I know you guys know what I’m talking about. I know, because we’ve talked about it before – the very good and frequently sidetracked intentions of working on that book of yours, the one you’re pretty sure would be quite excellent if only you got it out of your head and onto a page somewhere.  The nice people over at the Office of Letters and Light are onto us, friends.  We no longer have the excuse of waiting around until November to indulge in a little writer’s craft – Camp NaNo is upon us.

Founded in 2011, Camp NaNoWriMo is an extension of the Office of Letters and Light flagship NaNoWriMo program aimed at encouraging authors to work on their projects throughout the year. Camp NaNoWriMo has the same basic goal: produce a first draft of a 50,000 word novel (or any other writing project) in a month’s time. Two “sessions” are offered this year, April and July, with the same support and tracking tools that you may already be familiar with – namely the forums and tracking tools – on their website.

We’ve already missed the April fun, writers, but July is fast approaching. Over the next couple of weeks, we’ll post writing goals and exercises to get you back in the swing of things and then in July we’ll have regular check in threads.

Your first challenge, should you choose to accept it, is to describe your next writing project. Leave your idea in the comments on this post.

Happy writing!

*Individual levels of giddiness may have varied.

** I am in no way claiming I regularly make anyone dinner, least of all myself.

By [E] Slay Belle

Slay Belle is an editor and the new writer mentor here at Persephone Magazine, where she writes about pop culture, Buffy, and her extreme love of Lifetime movies. She is also the editor of You can follow her on Twitter, @SlayBelle or email her at

She is awfully fond of unicorns and zombies, and will usually respond to any conversational volley that includes those topics.

2 replies on “Camp NaNoWriMo — When November is Too Far Away”

I already have my next NaNo idea. Basically it’s going to be a feminist, commentary on society mutants in Middle- and South Africa story. I already have the main characters, I sort of have the bad guy and his motivation (badly placed world saving combined with money hungriness) and I’m pretty sure I want to introduce every character with a solo story before putting all of them together.

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