Sunday, November 01, 2009

The Insanity Has Begun

Can you write a 50,000 word novel in one month? Wanna try? Sure you do.

Well, it's November. That means, once again, it's time for National Novel Writing Month!

It's super fun, and you should do it! Some helpful hints to pad your word count:

Give your character a double first name, such as Mary Anne. That way, every time you write his/her name, it counts as 2 words instead of 1.

Do not use contractions. Don't = 1 word. Do Not = 2.

When in doubt, have ninjas and/or pirates attack the scene. Especially if they don't belong. All sorts of chaos to write!

Never delete. Want to go back and change something? Change the color of the rejected text, or italicize it. Something so that you know it shouldn't be there, but so it's still in your file, helping your word count move right along.

And, as if that weren't good enough, check out this awesome contest. It makes me wish I were writing YA this year:

Serendipity Literary Agency, in collaboration with Sourcebooks and Gotham Writers' Workshop, is hosting its first Young Adult Novel Discovery Competition for a chance to win a one-on-one consultation with one of New York's leading YA literary agents!

If you've written a novel for young adults—or have an idea for one that you would like to write—we invite you to enter our contest. Simply submit only an enticing title along with the first 250 words from the opening of your original YA novel using the form below. There's no entry fee or purchase requirement.

The Grand Prize Winner will have the opportunity to submit an entire manuscript to YA literary agent Regina Brooks and receive a free, 10-week writing course, courtesy of Gotham Writers' Workshop.

The Top Five Entrants (including the Grand Prize winner) will receive a 15-minute, one-on-one pitch session with Regina Brooks, one of New York’s premier literary agents for young adult books. They will also receive commentary on their submissions by editors at HarperCollins, Penguin, Harlequin, Random House, and Sourcebooks and receive a one-year subscription toThe Writer magazine.

The Top 20 Entrants will receive autographed copies of Writing Great Books for Young Adults by Regina Brooks.


YA literary agent Regina Brooks, along with editors at Sourcebooks, will read all of the entries and determine the top 20 submissions. These submissions will then be read by Dan Ehrenhaft, head Acquisitions Editor at Soucebooks Fire; Alisha Niehaus, Editor at Dial Books for Young Readers (Penguin); David Linker, Executive Editor at HarperCollins Children’s Books; Michele Burke, Editor at Knopf Books for Young Readers (Random House); and Evette Porter, Editor at Harlequin. These judges will whittle the top 20 down to five, and each of the five winners will be provided commentary on their submissions.

In honor of National Novel Writing Month—an international event where aspiring novelists are encouraged to write an entire novel in 30 days—entries for the YA Novel Discovery Contest will be accepted from 12:01am (ET) November 1 until 11:59pm (ET), November 30, 2009.

The contest is open to writers 13 years of age or older. Entrants will be judged solely on the title and the first 250 words of their YA novel—no additional material will be accepted. For an inside look at what the judges will be looking for, participants can refer to Writing Great Books for Young Adults by Regina Brooks. There is no minimum word count for the submission. Only online entries will be accepted. And only one submission per person.

Press Release Provided by... Sourcebooks


Hazra said...

I like your list of suggestions for NaNoWriMo. Honestly, I admire the people who sign up for it; writing a 50,000-word novel in a month is hard work!

Caroline Starr Rose said...

I'm NaNo-ing for the first time and finding it not my style. I figured writing about characters I'd worked with before would be an advantage. I'm not so sure, though, that I have anything left to say!

The structure and discipline are good. As for the writing, we'll have to see.