National Novel Writing Month at DC Public Library

National Novel Writing Month at DC Public Library

30 Days. 50,000 Words. One Novel.


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, from providing space and some friendly competition to fun incentives for registered participants who meet their word count goal.

Come Write-In

While you can always come and write in all of our neighborhood libraries, some of our DC Public Library locations will serve as host sites for local NaNoWriMo Writers as part of the "Come Write In" program. Each of these participating libraries will have specific dates and times set aside just for NaNo writers to come in and work on their masterpieces. Bring your favorite notepad or laptop, or use one of the library's public computers to work on your project.

Write to the City - Writing Inspired by History with the Anacostia Community Museum

Join us for a guided "write-in" focused on the Smithsonian Institution Anacostia Community Museum's pop-up exhibitions A Right to the City focusing on stories of neighborhood change in six different D.C. neighborhoods and how those communities have shaped and reshaped their neighborhoods over time. Use the question and videos at the bottom of this page as inspiration for your writing.

The DC Writers Project - Local Writers Lead the Way

For the first time ever, local writers are being featured in our online collection of e-books through the DC Writers Project. Come learn from these writers as they share their knowledge and experience in completing a novel.

Writing Groups at DC Public Library

In addition to our Come Write In events, the library hosts writing workshops and groups throughout the city. See our Writing Program page for information about these groups. 

Check the calendar of events for our Come Write-In days and writing programs.

Tweet Your Progress and Join an Online Come Write-In
You can also opt-in to share your Twitter handle so we can tweet when you make substantial progress on your book, or if you take the lead among the local writers.

But Wait! There's MORE!

As if writing your big novel wasn't incentive enough, the DC Public Library is throwing in some extra fun stuff! 

Share Your Word Count at DC Public Library
If you're participating in NaNoWriMo at the DC Public Library, we want to share how awesome you are, and how well you're doing on your book. When you register for NaNoWriMo at DC Public Library, you can opt-in to share your NaNoWriMo word count widget with us for our NaNoWriMo Leaderboard (below). 

Registration is a two-step process.
  1. First, you need to register through the official website for NaNoWriMo.
  2. Second, you need to register for the DC Public Library Come Write-In program.

How to Win
Use your NaNoWriMo word counter throughout the program to keep everyone updated on your progress. 

Digital Resources for NaNoWriMo Writers
For those who want to write on their own, the library has many digital resources to help you write. A DC Public Library card is required to access these digital resources. 

OverDrive eBooks
Safari Tech eBooks 

Write to the City Writing Prompts:
1.What must it feel like to speak, but not be heard? Or to have your fate decided without a consult?
2. Imagine that you have every penny invested in your home and you learn about a government plan to commandeer it through eminent domain.
3. How must a family feel to live in a home that represents generational wealth only to discover, in a newspaper article, a city mandate to raze it?
4. What do warring voices within a community sound like? Can both be valid? Can both be harnessed to achieve a neighborhood victory?
5. Imagine a young student lawyer trying to explain to an 83-year-old why she must leave her community. Imagine an 33-year-old garage attendant telling his grandmother the same thing.
6. What do you say to your aged father while he is standing on a street corner watching his family synagogue be dismantled brick by brick?
7. How might the keeper of the Chinatown Dragon react to meeting Mary Surratt’s ghost while in the attic of her house, also known as Go-Lo’s Restaurant?
8. An urban planner arrives early for a community meeting in Adams Morgan, only to find the room occupied by residents painting signs in preparation for a march up Columbia Road the following day. Does s/he walk away, or does s/he stay?
9. Imagine a reluctant dialogue between monks whose quiet prayers have been interrupted by growing chants outside the walls of their monastery.
10. What is the reaction of a member of Washington’s Glitterati who, upon leaving a show at the Lincoln Theater in 1938, steps out onto Black Broadway, only to find it burning in 1968