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WGRLS’ National Novel Writing Month Challenge

The West Georgia Regional Library System (WGRLS) is presenting its second annual challenge for National Novel Writing Month, also informally known as NaNoWriMo.

Gianna Willcox

The West Georgia Regional Library System (WGRLS) is presenting its second annual challenge for National Novel Writing Month, also informally known as NaNoWriMo. National Novel Writing Month originally began in 1999 as a simple challenge to write 50,000 words of a novel in thirty days. Chris Baty, a writer, accidentally founded National Novel Writing Month and has overseen its growing success as the event spread to 90 different countries. 

“National Novel Writing Month typically takes place in November, but this year, we did something a little different,” says Kali Dallmier, the Marketing and Outreach Manager of the West Georgia Regional Library System. “We decided to give participants the chance to prepare for the novel before starting the challenge by starting in October with ‘Preptober.’”

‘Preptober” allows participants in the challenge to prepare for the novel during the second half of October. The prep process began on Oct. 20, and then the actual challenge started on Nov. 1. For this challenge, there are not many requirements for the participants.

“To participate, you only have to be able to write the novel within the frame of November first through the thirtieth,” says Dallmier. “It has to be original, and it can’t be something you already started working on. And, of course, have fun with it.”

The only real requirement is that if someone is participating virtually through the library system’s Beanstack platform, they must be at least 13 years of age. Other than that, anyone and everyone can participate in the challenge. 

As I mentioned before, this is the second year the WGRLS is presenting this challenge. However, that does not mean that this is only the second year the libraries are doing something for NaNoWriMo. Each branch has something special going on for the challenge.

“This is our second year doing it from a regional level, but our libraries tend to always do something for National Novel Writing Month,” says Dallmier. “This year, Neva Lomason, the branch in Carrollton, is having a ‘come in and write’ space in the cafe so that people working on the challenge have somewhere to come and write.

“On Nov. 16, they’re also having a halfway point for writers to come in and share their progress, talk about any challenges or struggles they’re having, stuff like that,” continues Dallmier. “Then, on Nov. 30, they’re hosting a wrap party for writers to discuss the project and how they felt about the experience.”

Although the point of this challenge is to encourage people to write and to have fun, some participants have gone on to publish the novels that they wrote during the challenge. 

“There’s been quite a few that have gotten their novel published, including one of our library managers, Rachel Bonds,” says Dallmier. “She wrote her novel during NaNoWriMo and published it.”

So, this challenge is beneficial in several ways. It allows people around the world to be creative, and gives a chance for new authors to get published. 

For information about National Novel Writing Month, visit or

For some popular books written during previous National Novel Writing Months, visit