November. Shorter days. A prelude to the holiday season. And depending where you are, it’s too gloomy and dismal to go outside or too beautiful and brisk to resist. It’s no wonder then that this is the apparent semi-official month for writing challenges.
Here are a few projects for writers and artists looking for the extra creative kick. It may be a week into November, but it’s never too late to join in!
NaNoWriMo: the grandpa of writing challenges, the frantic sprint to draft a 50,000 word novel in 30 days is going strong into its 13th year, and it’s a challenge close to my heart. Though my two “winning” novels were a mess beyond revision (other than a ground-up dismantle and rewrite), my past attempts at this taught me a lot about the beauty of turning off the inner editor and simply writing for the joy of it. If you have a burning story idea and want an excuse to start writing the month away, this is a great place to start. I opted out of participating this year, but I will happily be your cheerleader.
November PAD Chapbook Challenge: If fiction isn’t your thing, you might consider the Poem-a-Day Challenge hosted by Robert Lee Brewer’s Poetic Asides blog. Prompts are given to write a poem for every day, then in December you revise the best into a 10-20 page chapbook manuscript if you choose. This is the one I’m doing, and I have to say, it’s way less pressure than NaNo, plus a little extra motivation to hone those wordcraft skills. (rough draft selections are being posted at (WIP) if you dig that kind of thing)
NaNoMangO: For comic artists and writers who need a jump start on the beginnings of that epic graphic novel or webcomic in the back of the mind, NaNoMangO is an alternative challenge asking for 30 pieces of sequential art over the course of the month. (Don’t let the name fool you into thinking it’s just for manga leaning artists… all styles and forms of comic art are welcome!) My sister brought this to my attention as it’s her challenge of choice this year.
If you’re participating in any of these or know other writing challenges going on this month, please share in the comments!