Free preparatory workshops offered for National Novel Writing Month

  • Authors break off into small groups during an October prep workshop.

    Authors break off into small groups during an October prep workshop. Courtesy of Tim Yao

Submitted by Eleanor Roth
Updated 9/17/2019 9:42 PM

Every year, hundreds of thousands of people take the plunge and become an author during November.

If you've always wanted to write a novel, this is the year to try National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), a free, annual challenge where novelists strive to complete the first draft of their novel by writing 50,000 words in just 30 days.


Last year in the Naperville region of NaNoWriMo, which serves the western cities and suburbs of Chicago, 129 participants completed their novels.

They were bolstered by online forums and local events, and had fun along the way.

This year, the Naperville region -- nicknamed NaperWriMo -- has another great schedule of workshops and gatherings to encourage local participants.

NaperWriMo has partnered with area libraries and the Windy City chapter of the Romance Writers of America to offer five preparatory workshops in the month of October.

Romance and science fiction novelist Robyn Bachar will lead the first workshop, "8 Easy Hacks to Help You Write Page-Turning Prose," at 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 5, at Naperville's Nichols Library.

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The other workshops are: "How to Use Your Character's Actions and Reactions to Build an Emotional Scene and Drive Your Plot Forward" by K. D. Garcia at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 8, at Glen Ellyn Public Library; "How to Write a Novel When You Have No Plot" by Jenny Johnson at 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 12, at Naperville's Nichols Library; "Story Wall Party" by Sam McAdams at 1 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 13, at Woodridge Public Library; and "Using Descriptions to Enhance Theme and Mood" by Eleanor Roth at 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 19, at Nichols Library.

NaperWriMo will also be hosting a kick-off party with potluck lunch and games at 11:45 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 26, in the lunch room of the Naperville Municipal Center.

Then throughout November, the Naperville chapter is partnering with more than a dozen area libraries to host write-ins where participants can gather to work on their novels.

For more information, visit

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