National Novel Writing Day

National Novel Writing Day (abbreviated NaNoWriDay) is a self-organized timed writing challenge in which participants write a novel-length work in twenty-four hours.


The event dates back to at least August 2006, when Wrimo necoon (former OLL intern Nora Coon) mentioned having participated in a WriDay with other Wrimos. Nora participated in a second NaNoWriDay with other Wrimos in January 2007.

How It Works

NaNoWriDay isn't an official challenge; instead, it's something people decide to do on their own. Participants set aside a 24-hour period to write (typically from midnight to midnight), choose a word count goal, and write. Some shoot for 50,000 words; the first challenge was to write 40,000 words.

For a 50k challenge, caffeine and fast fingers are vital to success. Assuming that no breaks are taken, a minimum of 2,084 words/hour would have to be written (during 2015, when the US had Daylights Savings Time's end on November 1st, this dropped to 2,000 even.) If one sleeps during the challenge, it goes up to 3,125, which requires a consistent speed of over 50wpm for a solid period of 16 hours.

Similar challenges

During 2011, some overachievers attempted a 50k day (similar to 50k Weekend and with many of the same participants) on November 1st. A few succeeded. The challenge continues to be done today, with the usual day being November 1, though some may attempt a different day or month. Challenges for 75k in a day and 100k in a day have also been attempted and won. Day One Ridiculous Goals was inspired by this challenge.

The Twitter hashtag #50kday is used to track successes and commiserations on Twitter. The tag #50kkillmenow is also popular for participating Wrimos to express how they feel about the challenge. Sushimustwrite, cosmam, quixotic_hope, Kateness, Chomskyrabbit, orangekiss, and tiakall (as well as all the members of the Millionaire's Club) are among the Wrimos who have completed the challenge.

See also