WCYR’s Mini-NaNoWriMo – FAQs

Congratulation on taking the plunge and setting a personal goal for yourself during the month of November!

This is the FAQ page to help you fully understand what exactly you’re getting yourself into. Below are a list of commonly asked questions that we’ve answered in order to help you better understand what the Mini-NaNo is:

What is the “official” NaNoWriMo Challenge and how does the Mini-NaNo differ?

~ NaNoWriMo challenges writers of all levels of craft and commitment to get 50,000 words of a manuscript written in 30 days. They have their own set of rules to follow and their own world-wide support system in place to help you reach this goal. The Mini-NaNo differs in two major ways: 1) You get to decide your overall word count goal anywhere between 1,000-49,000 words; and 2) You are allowed to break all of the official NaNo Rules (work on multiple projects, work on updating old projects, pre-plan well in advance for a new project, work on a project you’ve already started, work on a compilation project with short fiction, etc.).

How do I register for the Mini-NaNo?

~ Stop on by the WCYR’s goals-for-writers facebook page called Word By Word between October 31st – November 4th, join the group, and state your project(s) and personal word count goal in the comments section of the pinned post announcing the Mini-NaNo registrations for that year.

What if I don’t know what project(s) I’ll be working on the whole time?

~ That’s okay. Let us know that you’re interested in seeing where your idea on “such-and-such a theme” might take you, or that you’re exploring “this character”, or dabbling with multiple poems/short stories. You can be as vague as you need to be, but the more specific you are the easier it will be for the other writers to help keep you accountable to your goals.

What if I don’t want to give a daily word count goal?

~ We understand this conundrum 100%. Perhaps you know that you can only set aside two evenings a week to write and a daily count doesn’t fit. You can either specify a weekly goal and/or just state your monthly goal. Some participants are only able to participate for a week or two and a final tally word count is best suited to their needs.

Do I have to “check in” every day?

~ Not at all. Stop by as often as you need to, but there’s no mandatory check-ins until after the 30 day challenge. At that point, you need to be honest with yourself (and us) about what you were able to achieve during the month, and register your final word count in the comment section of the corresponding post.

How does the Word By Word facebook page work during NaNoWriMo?

~ Anyone who is a member of the group (NaNo participant or casual observer/cheerleader) is welcome to offer support, inspiration, or advice during this time. This may take the shape of a Mini-NaNo writer venting frustrations about not being able to find time to write, and someone encouraging that writer to keep trying and not to worry about today but to make plans for the next day. Or, a writer might hit a roadblock and the plot or characters are misbehaving and they could use some suggestions for how to move forward. Or a writer might be ready to write but are tired after a long day at work and would rather just watch TV and is hoping someone can convince them that even writing for 30 min. before they watch an hour’s program is better than not writing at all. Ultimately, this is your space and however you wish to share your triumphs and tribulations, another writer will be there to share it with you.

The official NaNoWriMo site offers Write-In in the various towns/cities around the world. Do you do Write-Ins as well?

~ Yes! Each year the number of Write-In times/locations varies, but we agree that having the opportunity to write in the company of other writers can be a huge inspiration. We offer one free beverage during the window of time a WCYR rep will be at a given location. The rep will organize the purchase of your drink as long as you plan to stay and write for a minimum of 30 min. Below is the schedule for this year’s Write-Ins:

Mini-NaNo Write-In Schedule – 2017

Thursday Nov. 2nd @ Books/Cafe & Things, Newmarket Main St. S ~ from 9:30am-11:30am (Jenn Sharko)

Saturday Nov. 11th @ Covernotes Cafe, Newmarket Main St. S ~ from 9:00am-11:00am (Nanci Pattenden)

Thursday Nov. 16th @ Books/Cafe & Things, Newmarket Main St. S ~ from 9:30am-11:30am (Jenn Sharko)

Saturday Nov. 25th @ Covernotes Cafe, Newmarket Main St. S. ~ from 1:00pm-3:00pm (Doug Owen)

Do I have to be a WCYR Member to participate?

~ No. All we ask is that you live within approx 1 hour of York Region. We welcome “friends” who are involved in other writing communities/critique groups and even lone wolves looking to run with the pack for a change. As we are not the only group providing an “alternate” to the official NaNoWriMo Challenge, we would ideally like to support our local writers.

Do you offer any incentives for participating?

Oh, yes! We do love incentives 🙂 Here’s what we’re doing in 2017:

  • Just for registering your participation in the Mini-NaNo support group, your name will be entered in a free draw to win a book of fiction. The draw will be held the 2nd week of November and the winner contacted via facebook.
  • Any writer who stops by one of our Write-Ins will register with the WCYR rep and your name will be entered (one ballot per write-in session) in a draw to win a free book of fiction. The draw will be held after the last Write-In date but before the end of the month. Participants will be contacted via email or phone number (whichever is left with the Mini-NaNo Rep).
  • A weekly word count update draw will also be held for a free fiction book.
  • You will receive a certificate via email once you have registered your final word count with us. This will either read “Participant” or “Winner” depending on whether you met your personal challenge or not. Regardless, we want you to know that the time you dedicated to writing in November was worth it 🙂

If I win one of the free draws, how do I collect my prize?

~ Usually we encourage participants to stop by our Holiday Social in early December to select their book from a bounty that we collect over the course of the year. It is not mandatory for you to stay and celebrate the season with us, it’s just a handy location where we know we’ll be. If this is not the best option for you, then one of the WCYR’s Special Event Coordinators will work out a date and time that meets both of your needs. If you do not arrange to select your winnings by the WCYR’s January seminar date, then you will forfeit your prize. All seminars, workshops, and social events run by the WCYR are listed on our main webpage HERE.

What if I have a question that isn’t answered here? Who do I contact?

~ If you’re comfortable asking your question in the comment section for this page, one of our WCYR Team Members would be happy to answer it for you. Otherwise, you can reach a Special Events Coordinator by using our Contact Information tab on the main website.

Happy NaNo-ing!