NaNoWriMo: The 30-day novel-writing challenge takes over city spaces

NaNoWriMo: The 30-day novel-writing challenge takes over city spaces

Ambitious writers are challenging themselves to write a novel in just four weeks.

NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month, challenges and helps writers to produce a novel in just four weeks.
NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month, challenges and helps writers to produce a novel in just four weeks. Photo Credit: Clinton Hall

Thirty days. 50,000 words. One novel. It’s NaNoWriMo.

Amateur and professional writers are challenging themselves to produce a novel in just four weeks for November’s National Novel Writing Month — but they’re not alone.

Dream Midtown hotel, the New York Public Library and local writers are hosting meetups, workshops and writing sessions to support those in the literary trenches.

NaNoWriMo can be tricky for some because each writer is accountable only to themselves, so events like these are meant to encourage people to write on a regular basis, finish a story they’ve been working on or inspire them by collaborating with others.

Dream Midtown, a hotel at 210 W. 55th St., is opening its cushy lounge, The Rickey, to writers Mondays through Fridays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. so they can write in peace.

It’ll host a kickoff Friday with a free and intimate workshop at 9:30 a.m. with Brooklyn-based writer, performer and screenwriter,Georgia Clark, the author of "The Regulars" and "The Bucket List." She’ll do a reading, a short writing exercise and answer questions about her writing process. There will be free coffee and pastries for hungry writers. (RSVP here)

Then on Nov. 8, another free writing workshop will be led by fashion editor and author of "Making it in Manhattan," Caroline Vazzana, who will also read a chapter from her book and talk about finding your voice as a writer and more. More free pastries and coffee will be available.

Later in the month, Lindsay Champion, author of "Someday, Somewhere," will lead a workshop, as well.

Dream wanted to open its doors to writers this year because it’s been doing so as a hotel and thought its moody space would inspire people, according to Fred Watford, the hotel’s digital marketing manager.

"We were inspired to welcome writers into the Rickey, because of its cinematic energy and inviting atmosphere," he said in a statement. "Its plush velvet sofas and brass and copper finishing make it the ideal setting to start a novel. We believe every stay has a story . . . Dream Midtown has opened its doors to emerging and established writers to give them a place to tell that story."

The NYPL’s Mid-Manhattan Library is creating a community for writers with a meeting each week, where writers will introduce themselves and their story ideas and help each other plan how they’ll accomplish writing all 50,000 words. Find out more here.

The Queens Library is joining in, too, with workshops by Jennifer Celestin on Mondays at Queens Central Library and regular classes with professionals like Dr. Maxine Fisher on Saturdays at the Maspeth Library, the New York Writers Coalition at the Cambria Heights and Broadway libraries and more. Check out their schedule here.

NaNoWriMo also has official meetups around the city, from the first write-in on Thursday at Whole Foods in TriBeCa and a social meetup at Scallywag’s Irish Pub in midtown to a "Double-Up Day," where participants try to write  3,334 words at Paragraph writers’ workspace on 14th Street.

Queens and Brooklyn also have their own meetups and can be found on the New York City calendar at nanowrimo.org.

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