National Novel Writing Month at DC Public Library

National Novel Writing Month at DC Public Library

30 Days. 50,000 Words. One Novel.


About NaNoWriMo | | Write at the Library | Library NaNoWriMo EventsOnline Writing Courses | Books on Writing

November is National Novel Writing Month!

Have you ever dreamed of writing the next Great American Novel? Do you have a torrid romance burning inside you? Do you know why the aliens are coming to get you, and you have to share the secret of their extra-dimensional technology with the world? Then you, my friend, are a prime candidate for NaNoWriMo!

Each year, National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) encourages people to take on the challenge of writing a 50,000 word first draft of a novel in only 30 days. Each year over 300,000 people participate in NaNoWriMo activities around the world. The DC Public Library is making a commitment to support our local NaNo Writers by providing helpful resources.

NaNoWriMo Library Workshops

A person wearing a yellow sweater sits at the desk writing in a notebook with a ball point pen. Teen NaNoWriMo Kick-Off
Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library
Wednesday, Nov. 2, 7 p.m.
National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is a fun, empowering approach to creative writing. The challenge: draft an entire novel in just one month. For 30 wild, exciting, surprising days, you get to lock away your inner editor, let your imagination take over, and just create! 
Image for event: Beating Writer's Block

Beating Writer's Block
Francis A. Gregory Library
Wednesday, Nov. 2, 7 p.m.
Kick-off NaNoWriMo with a helpful workshop on "Beating Writer's Block" led by author Joy Jones on Wednesday, Nov. 2 at 7 p.m. at the Francis A. Gregory Library. Whether you are starting your very first novel or your tenth, this workshop will help you process writer's block without panicking so you can move forward with your story.
Image for event: Writers Working
Writers Working
Tuesday, Nov. 1, 15 and 29, 7 p.m.
This writers workshops are made up of people from a variety of backgrounds and writing levels: beginners, veteran wordsmiths and emeriti. We write creative nonfiction, fiction, poetry and scripts.
orange and red vintage poster with text: Aspiring Writers Circle
Aspiring Writers Circle
Thursday, Nov. 3 and 17, 6  p.m.
Aspiring Writers Circle is a writing group that meets virtually every first and third Thursday of the month to share, critique, learn, and write together. Writers of all genres, fiction, non-fiction, and poetry are welcome! Please email MLK Library's Adult Services department at to inquire about meetings and to be placed on the listserv. 
A person wearing a yellow sweater sits at the desk writing in a notebook with a ball point pen.
Teen Club: Beating Writer's Block
Wednesday, Nov. 16, 3 p.m.
Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library
During this workshop/check-in, we'll learn some strategies for overcoming blocks, work on some exercises that will prompt creativity, and discuss our progress and issues. Sometimes just talking out your plot helps solve the problem!

Write Your Novel at the Library

Where better to find inspiration to write your story than in a library surrounded by books! DC Public Library has both flexible and reservable workspaces as well as a cafe at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library where you can get a drink or a snack for a writing boost.

Person writing in a notebook at MLK LibrayFlexible Workspace | Each library has a variety of tables and chairs and lounge areas with ample outlets for keeping your device charged. Many libraries also have outdoor spaces like patios, balconies and even an Instagram-worthy rooftop garden at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library. Click the link above to find a library near you.

Southwest Study RoomReservable Workspace | Need a quiet space to focus or a meeting room for your writing group? DC Public Library has a variety of study and meeting rooms that can accommodate solo work and meetings. All you need is a current DC Public Library card to reserve a room at a library near you. 

Marianne's CafeFuel Your Creativity | Stop by Marianne’s Café by DC Central Kitchen at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library for a variety of high-quality beverages and light fare featuring locally sourced ingredients.


Online Writing Courses

Universal Class
These self-paced, non-credit personal and professional development classes are led by real instructors who will give you continuous feedback on your progress. 
Novel Writing 101

By committing to the steps outlined within this course, aspiring (and even experienced) novelists can find the structure they need to create a well-crafted manuscript, one they will be proud to shop to potential agents and publishers. This course is led by a real instructor who will give you continuous feedback on your progress.
Romance Writing 101 Romance Writing 101
This course will take you through everything you need to know to write the kind of romance novel that gets noticed. From creating a hero and heroine that sizzle to understanding point-of-view and knowing where to go for more resources, you will gain access to insider information on making the most out of your manuscript.
Mystery Writing Mystery Writing
This course is perfect for those who have an interest in either Creative Writing or the Mystery Genre. If you love to write and want to move into this popular genre, or you love to read a great mystery and have often thought you could do it, this course is for you.
Paranormal Romance Paranormal Romance Writing
This paranormal romance writing course includes the rules, what to include, what not to include, what makes a good story, and much more.

The Great Courses Via Kanopy
The Great Courses are engaging lecture series accessible via Kanopy created by college professors that go in-depth on a variety of topics, including literature and writing.
writing great fiction. the great courses. The Great Courses: Writing Great Fiction
Writing great fiction isn't a gift reserved for a talented few - the craft of storytelling can be learned. Even if you don't dream of penning the next Moby-Dick, you'll enjoy exploring the elements of fiction. A wealth of exercises will get you writing so that you can practice the many techniques you learn. From evoking a scene to charting a plot, this course is a master class in storytelling.
How to publish your book. The Great courses How to Publish Your Book
We have all heard the stories of publishing “miracles,” such as the struggling English teacher who fished his first short story out of the trash, turned it into a novel in two weeks, and ended up becoming one of the best-selling authors of all time. Or the teacher living on welfare whose book got published because the head of a publishing house gave the first chapter to his daughter to read, resulting in one of the most successful franchises in the world. Or the stay-at-home mom of three active children who wrote at night and just happened to have her manuscript picked up from a slush pile, turning her into a wildly successful Young Adult writer.
How to write best-selling fiction How to Write Best-Selling Fiction
Get a comprehensive, eye-opening, and illuminating survey of the entire writing process, as well as a full breakdown of how dozens of best-selling authors have implemented best practices in their own writing. As an aspiring author, you will gain a wealth of tools that will not only improve your ability to write, but will also increase your enjoyment of the craft.

Books on Writing

Whether you are looking for guidance on how to structure a novel, are looking to get some guidance from experienced authors about the art of writing or are trying to navigate the publication process, DC Public Library has numerous tiles available to you. See some of our favorites below and search the catalog to find thousands more!
Story Genius: How to Use Brain Science to Go Beyond Outlining and Write a  Riveting Novel (Before You Waste Three Years Writing 327 Pages That Go  Nowhere) - Kindle edition by Cron, No Plot? No Problem! Revised and Expanded Edition: A Low-stress,  High-velocity Guide to Writing a Novel in 30 Days - Kindle edition by Baty,  Chris. Reference Kindle eBooks @ Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within - Kindle edition by  Goldberg, Natalie, Cameron, Julia. Reference Kindle eBooks @
Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott: 9780385480017 | Books Cover image for The forest for the trees : an editor's advice to writers / Betsy Lerner. Cover image for Write for your life / Anna Quindlen.
Cover image for Writing your novel from start to finish : a guidebook for the journey / Joseph Bates. Cover image for Save the cat! writes a novel : the last book on novel writing you'll ever need / Jessica Brody. Cover image for The complete handbook of novel writing : everything you need to know to create & sell your work / the editors of Writer's Digest.
Cover image for Writing the blockbuster novel / Albert Zuckerman. Cover image for Writing the Novel Cover image for Before and after the book deal : a writer's guide to finishing, publishing, promoting and surviving your first book / Courtney Maum.