From the Archives: Writing for NaNoWriMo


Donalee G White originally shared this post in November 2014. It’s too good not to share again. 

Writing for NaNoWriMo is like the wildest roller coaster ride at Carrowinds, or white water rafting, or skydiving at 10,500 feet above the earth, or even hiking the Appalachian Trail. I know because I’ve done all of these things. I’ve written a new 50,000 word novel for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) every year since November 2008. All of these activities have several key characteristics in common: they’re adrenaline addicting; they take minimal to extensive preparation—your choice; they have their ups and downs; and best of all, they are exciting to the extreme.

Every year since 1999, when 21 writers got together in July in the San Francisco bay area, NaNoWriMo has grown into a worldwide online novel-writing party. In November 2013, there were 310,095 participants. To get started, sign on to the website. It is free, and it is fun! Find a writer’s group in any area of the country or world, including your own back yard, to join for virtual “write-ins.” Receive tips on getting started, story inspiration, digging out of the third week doldrums, and flying in for a fabulous finish.

For me, it is the ultimate writer’s block buster. Even if I haven’t written a creative word all year, on November first I’ll sit down at my computer and compose at least 1667 words a day for thirty days. And, it will be a wild, rollicking, story ride. Something magical happens; my muse possesses me; and the story lurking in the recesses of my cranium pours forth onto the page.

Tuesday Tips: Starting Your Novel


Thinking of writing a novel during WaFoWriMo and NaNoWriMo? Here are a few great resources to help you get started.

how to start a novel right: 5 great tips

7 ways to create a killer first line

the snowflake method for designing a novel

25 things you should do before starting your next novel

317 power words

3 ways to start a novel

how to start writing a book: a peek inside one writer’s process

Jump write in! November is Wake Forest Writing Month









Today’s post comes from Meghan Webb,  Reference Services Coordinator in ZSR.

During the month of November, ZSR Library is teaming up with the Writing Center, Library Partners Press, WFU Office of Personal and Career Development and Wake Forest University Press to bring you WaFoWriMo(Wake Forest Writing Month). In the spirit of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), WaFoWriMo is a series of fun and engaging workshops aimed to promote and encourage writing projects of all shapes and sizes. Writers in the Wake Forest University community are invited to participate in whatever capacity they are able– whether that is continuing to work on and development a current writing project, or starting a new writing project, or even attempting to complete a 50,000 word novel (as challenged byNaNoWriMo).

With help from our campus partners, each workshop will provide resources to inspire and encourage writing projects, and refreshments to keep you fueled.  WaFoWriMo participants will also be invited to log their weekly word counts and share writing samples for a chance to win prizes and bragging rights!

The schedule of events includes:

WaFoWriMo Kickoff
Friday, Nov. 4 th 3:00-5:00pm, ZSR Room 477

WaFoWriMo Drop Write In
Friday, Nov. 18th 3:00-5:00pm, ZSR Room 477

WaFoWriMo Wrap-Up & Celebration
Friday, Dec. 9th 3:00-5:00pm, ZSR Room 477

All interested WaFoWriMo writers are asked to register for this program. Join our community of writers and jump write in to WaFoWriMo!

Words Awake 2!


Get ready! Words Awake is back!

Wake Forest reprises WordsAwake!, the alumni/ae-faculty-staff celebration of Wake Forest writing past, present, and future,April 8-9 on the Reynolda Campus.  There will be presentations on the history of writers in NC (including at Wake Forest); panels on literacy issues both local and national; the challenges in writing about “ISMs” (racism, sexism, homophobia, more); and how to think about and prepare for an MFA graduate program in writing.  Recent NC Poet Laureate Joseph Bathanti will read, as will student winners of the Wake Up to Poetry competition.  Also presenting will be the student participants in the 2016 ZSR Writers Camp.  A Hall of Fame banquet and Poetry/Spoken Word Slam! are also included.  All events free and open to the public.  Come meet and engage professional writers from around the world who are here to give back to their alma mater.  (Over 25 of these authors will be out in WSFC schools on April 8 offering readings, workshops, and inspiration.)  Friday night at Byrum Hall; all day Saturday in the Benson Center.

For more information visit or call Tom Phillips, x 5180.

Lovers of the written word unite!

Up for a Challenge


Do you love to write? Are you looking for new and creative outlets? Do you think a good challenge?

Enter My 500 Words!




According to their website, the rules are simple:

  • Write 500 words per day, every day for 31 days.
  • You can write more if you want, but 500 words is the minimum.
  • Don’t edit. Just write.
  • If you miss a day, pick up where you left off. Don’t make up for lost days.
  • Encourage, don’t criticize (unless explicitly invited to do so).
  • Blogging counts, but email does not.
  • All of this is completely free.

Are you up for the challenge?

NC Tutor Collaboration Day

NCTCD 2015

Picture1On Friday, October 2, WFU hosted the 2015 North Carolina Tutor Collaboration Day. Sixty-four writing center tutors, directors, and staff made the drive to Winston-Salem from 15 colleges to share their experiences. The day’s theme was “sharing what we do and doing what we share,” and participants were given many opportunities to share their challenges and successes as a way to strengthen the work we all do in our Writing Centers every day.

According to Rachel Robinson, the NC Representative for the Southeastern Writing Center Association, “State-wide tutor collaboration days are so important because they encourage tutors to meet, collaborate, and share their successes and struggles with the work they do, and they help the tutors realize they aren’t in the field alone.”

One highlight of the day was a presentation by Dr. Kate Brooks from the Office of Personal and Career Development on how writing center tutors can market their tutoring experiences and transferable skills after graduation. “[Dr. Brooks] told us that by emphasizing skills other than writing, such as patience, cooperation, and preparation for any situation that may arise in a session, we could communicate to potential employers that our work in the Writing Center thoroughly prepared us for a wide range of activities,” said one of our Writing Center tutors, Amanda. “This was great to hear because it provided me with a method to spin my story and engage interviewers in a way that would break with expectations and set me apart.”

Ryan Shirey, Director of the WFU Writing Center, called the event “a wonderful time and a great way for writing tutors from all over the state to connect with each other and affirm their important work with student writers.” The WFU Writing Center is looking forward to many future collaborations with our North Carolina colleagues!

PicMonkey Collage