NaNoWriMo, The Bristol Story

NaNo is short for National November Writing Month and once a year, for thirty days, a gang, a group, a motley crew if you will, of Bristolian and Bath writers gather and chat, both physically and virtually, about writing,. This year we have two Municipal Liaisons who take responsibility for organising our meetings and writing to everyone.

There was a NaNo kick-off party today where we sat around and took up a lot of space in the Watershed. Anyone is welcome to come and join us at one of the write-ins, of which there are three a week:

Tuesday: The Griffin Inn, Bath, 6pm onwards
Thursday: The Watershed, Bristol, 6pm onwards
Sunday: The Watershed, Bristol, 2pm onwards

Few of us know each other and there is no need for formalities such as remembering names. If you are in Bristol or Bath, all information about events for our region can be found on the website by clicking the Europe :: England :: Bristol & Bath link on your profile page.

There are 687 people signed up to the Bristol and Bath region although the event takes place worldwide and not only with physical gatherings. In 2009 there were 167,150 participants and 32,178 winners. I have participated since 2005 and have only won once, last year. There is no pressure to win, to show up, or to even write if you don’t want to. However if you do want to try your hand at writing 50,000 words, this is as good an opportunity as any.

NaNo in a Nutshell

What: Writing one 50,000-word novel from scratch in a month’s time.

Who: You! We can’t do this unless we have some other people trying it as well. Let’s write laughably awful yet lengthy prose together.

Why: The reasons are endless! To actively participate in one of our era’s most enchanting art forms! To write without having to obsess over quality. To be able to make obscure references to passages from our novels at parties. To be able to mock real novelists who dawdle on and on, taking far longer than 30 days to produce their work.

When: You can sign up anytime to add your name to the roster and browse the forums. Writing begins November 1. To be added to the official list of winners, you must reach the 50,000-word mark by November 30 at midnight. Once your novel has been verified by the NaNo web-based team of robotic word counters, the partying begins.

Where: You write wherever you’d like. On your computer, on your iPad, on a typewriter—anywhere is fine, just as long as you’re writing!

NaNo write-up at the Watershed in 2008

Sign up at

2 responses to “NaNoWriMo, The Bristol Story”

  1. I decided at the very last minute to take part this year, for the first time. I’m enjoying it so far, and I might make it along to the Griffin next week (though, as I have kids, I’m not really free until later in the evening).

  2. […] Southville Deli and lots of tea, data, transported and baby postings, still unsure about Hooters, a month of novel writing, student protests and working from home, a Good Read at the Old Vic and who would […]

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