National Novel Writing Month Powers Up to Promote Literacy in Small Mountain Towns

Idyllwild, CA, October 27, 2013 --( In its 15th year, National Novel Writing Month NaNoWriMo) expects a historic 500,000 writers to join the largest writing event in the world. The challenge? To write 50,000 words of a novel in the 30 days of November. Half a million people on all seven continents including one very chilly writer at Antarctica's McMurdo Station) will set aside the time to write their stories this November.

Julie Johnson, owner of INK Books in Idyllwild is sponsoring the event by offering a venue where writers can gather to write, commiserate, and socialize. In addition, Johnson says that part of the bookstore’s mission is to promote literacy through the Young Writers Program which NaNoWriMo also supports through its program. Johnson stated, “NaNoWriMo provides free resources and curriculum to more than 80,000 students and educators in 2,000 classrooms around the world. Additionally, 692 volunteer Municipal Liaisons will host write-ins and events in 500 regions around the world and we are happy to support that right here in our town.” Idyllwild is a picturesque little berg that is located in the forested mountains above Palm Springs, California and has a population of just 3,000. Johnson continued, “In addition, we have open mic nights, poetry nights, read ins, book themed birthday parties and more. We try to reinforce reading every chance we get. We also are developing several bridging activities with the prestigious Idyllwild Arts Academy which is just a few miles away.”

“NaNoWriMo is an unbeatable way to write the first draft of a novel because it’s such a powerful antidote to that horrible foe of creativity: self-doubt,” said Grant Faulkner, Executive Director. “NaNoWriMo is a rollicking conversation about all aspects of writing, and an invitation to dare to do what seems impossible. As many NaNoWriMo writers have discovered, the best way to learn to write a novel is by simply plunging in to write a novel.”

NaNoWriMo 2013: New and Powered-Up
NaNoWriMo version 2013 boots up as an 8Xbit adventure that encourages writers to "Power Up Your Story. Power Up Your Voice." This year's art comes courtesy of Jake Fleming, cofounder of Piasa Games.

NaNoWriMo 2013 also offers a newly-designed website. "We've redesigned our site to be more intuitive for both new and experienced users: it will guide them through the entire NaNoWriMo journey from start to finish. We've also integrated a responsive layout for phones and tablets, so writers can be inspired anywhere,” says Chris Angotti, Director of Programs.

The 2013 Published Author Line-Up
An incredible lineXup of authors will support writers participating in NaNoWriMo with letters full of wisdom and encouragement. These Pep Talkers includes James Patterson, Lev Grossman, and Rainbow Rowell, who wrote the first draft of her critically-acclaimed YA novel, Fangirl, during NaNoWriMo 2012.

NaNoWriMo 2013 will also have five published authors take over its Twitter account as NaNoWriMo Coaches, answering questions and cheering on participants as they write, including Jason Hough, author of the New York Times bestseller The Darwin Elevator, first drafted during NaNoWriMo.

Expanded Programs
For the first time, Come Write In, a program that offers free resources and support to literacy-related spaces, will expand beyond libraries and bookstores. Three-hundred and ninety spaces, including cafes and community centers and even an American-style pizza restaurant in Japan), will become local beacons for creative writing through NaNoWriMo. Johnson added, “we are very excited to be one of those spaces.”

Debbie Millman, president of the design division at Sterling Brands, returns to run "30 Covers, 30 Days," which challenges designers to create a book cover for a participant's novel-in-progress in 24 hours. A celebration of the collaboration between design and writing, this program will inspire authors and provide prints for an Art of NaNoWriMo event in winter 2014.

National Novel Writing Month is a 501 c) 3) nonprofit that believes stories matter. Through our programs, including the Young Writers Program, the Come Write In program, and Camp NaNoWriMo, we work hard to empower and encourage vibrant creativity around the world.

To find out more about NaNoWriMo in Idyllwild, contact Johnson at INK Books at 951.659.5018 or visit their web site at
INK Book Gathering
Julia Countryman