By Lisa Smith Molinari
Unless you plan to spend the entire month writing your Thanksgiving dinner shopping list, November is the best time to finish those literary projects that never seem to get done.
You know, the manuscript that you started years ago that is buried in your document files. Or that memoir you told your friends you were writing that fell by the wayside. That compilation of your columns that seemed like it was going to be so easy until you got halfway through and realized that you needed transition, structure, and cohesion. That query letter that you spent so much time drafting and editing, only to ignore it after the first rejection came in.
Many of us are year-round procrastinators, so why would November be any better than any other month for writers to get things done? Here’s why:
Ever since the first “National Novel Writing Month” (“NaNoWriMo“) event was launched in November 1999, there has been a movement among writers to make this the official month for writers to put their noses to the grindstone. There are numerous online groups, hashtags, and websites that writers can access to motivate them to punch out a book in 30 days.
NaNoWriMo challenges authors to write 50,000 words between November 1st and November 30th. Those who sign up can announce their project publicly online, log their daily word counts, join local and regional forums, receive weekly pep talks online, and earn rewards for reaching milestones. The event has grown rapidly, and now hosts approximately 400,000 participants from six continents.
Although NaNoWriMo is not limited to fiction, those of us who dabble in nonfiction have our own spin-off group – in 2013, a NaNoWriMo participant created a site at www.WriteNonfictionNOW.com to provide extra motivation for nonfiction writers to complete the November challenge.
And isn’t it fitting that this is also the month that we are launching registration for NSNC’s Annual Conference in Cincinnati, Ohio, June 7-10, 2018, when attendees will once again have direct access to publishing industry professionals?
#NSNC18 will again feature a Literary Agents Program where attendees can sign up to pitch their book ideas, face to face, with experienced literary agents.
Alice Speilburg of Speilburg Literary Agency will be among the professionals featured. Her client list includes both award-winning and debut authors. In fiction, Alice is interested in mystery, mainstream fiction with elements of fantasy/sci-fi or horror, and young-adult fiction. In nonfiction, Alice is looking for authors with established platforms, especially journalists, who are writing narratives in biography, food, gender issues, health, history, music, pop culture, relationships, science, travel. Read more at https://speilburgliterary.com/
We’re also happy to report that Sam Hiyate, founder and president of The Rights Factory, Inc., will be back to hear more NSNC pitches! Sam found new clients among the #NSNC17 conference attendees in Manchester, NH, and is excited to meet more writers. Sam loves to discover distinct and compelling voices, and is particularly interested in business, commercial upmarket, crime, literary fiction, memoir, nonfiction, and thriller. Learn more at http://therightsfactory.
And here’s some really big news: #NSNC18 in Cincinnati will also offer an Independent Publishing Program for indie authors. The new program will feature an executive from prominent independent publisher Smashwords!
Since its founding in 2007, Smashwords has grown to become the leading ebook distributor serving indie authors, small presses, and literary agents. Over 130,000 authors and small independent presses from around the world publish and distribute over 450,000 books with Smashwords. In June 2010, The Wall Street Journal named CEO Mark Coker one of the “Eight Stars of Self-Publishing.” In March 2012, MediaBistro named Mark one of the “Five Ebook Experts to Watch.” In June 2012, Forbes profiled Smashwords in a feature story titled, “Apple’s Biggest (Unknown) Supplier of E-Books.” In both 2013 and 2014, Forbes named Smashwords one of “America’s Top 100 Most Promising Companies.” In 2014, Inc. Magazine named Smashwords to its Inc. 500 list of America’s fastest-growing private companies.
Just so there are no excuses for you to miss out on all the fabulous opportunities for writers this month, let me help you complete one essential November task. Here’s your shopping list: