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A NaNo Swap is a type of exchange where Wrimos are paired and exchange items. The type of items exchanged vary widely depending on the type of swap.
To participate in a swap, Wrimos contact the organizer in whatever way the organizer specifies. NaNoMail, email, and filling out a survey are popular methods of contact. The organizer then pairs up participants based on the preferences specified, such as willingness to ship internationally or tea preferences. After participants have been paired, the organizer then contacts the participants with the information of their swap partner(s): name, address, preferences.
Many of the swaps feature swap angels, who send additional packages to participants whose partners didn't send anything. Swap angels do this without the expectation of receiving anything in return. Since it can be midmonth before a swap angel knows if they're needed, keeping extras of the item to be swapped is useful so they don't have to scramble midmonth.
NaNo Swap (General)
The general NaNo Swap pairs two participants together, and each participant sends a small package of goodies to help their swap buddies get through the month. The contents of the swap often make for a miniature NaNoWriMo Survival Kit. The price maximum is usually set to around $20 to keep things fair and affordable for more swappers.
For Wrimos not sure of what to send, here are some ideas of fun NaNo swap items: Food/drink noms (sweets, chocolates, coffee/tea/hot chocolate sachets etc.), writing/stationery bits and bobs (pens, pencils, notebooks, post-its, etc.), motivational letters/cards, writing prompts, badges, stickers, stuffed animals, and anything else your wonderful minds can come up with that will fit inside a post-able box or envelope.
To participate, Wrimos contact the organizer with their information: NaNo username, mailing address, number of desired swap partners, preferences, and willingness to ship internationally.
NaNo Tea Swap
The NaNo tea swap pairs participants together to swap tea. Wrimos send at least three different teas and enough to make at least five cups of each tea.
To participate, Wrimos contact the organizer with their information: NaNo username, mailing address, number of desired swap partners, tea preferences, and willingness to ship internationally.
Byronicwoman has organized the NaNo tea swap since 2012, possibly earlier.
syaffolee organized a NaNo tea swap during April Camp NaNoWriMo 2016 and July Camp NaNoWriMo 2016.
A digital swap works similarly to all the other NaNo swaps, except nothing is sent in the mail. Items are exchanged via email or an online file storage and sharing site.
Ideas of items to include if you're stuck: writing quotes, writing prompts, inspirational poems, ebooks (only books you're allowed to distribute, of course!), recipes for writers, writing teleseminar or meditation mp3s or mp4s, secret writing board on Pinterest, designed book cover for swap buddy's novel, etc.
The NaNo CD Swap pairs up Wrimos to make CD mixtapes and send them in the mail. It has happened since 2008 or earlier.
Seras organized it in 2015.
The NaNo Postcard Swap pairs up Wrimos to send postcards from their town to Wrimos around the world.
The contents of the postcard are up to the sender, but some good ideas include: fun facts about the sender's town, writing prompts, noveling encouragement, a flash fiction story... the possibilities are endless.
To participate, Wrimos contact the postcard swap organizer with the requested info, usually: NaNo name, mailing address, number of postcards willing to send, and willingness to ship internationally.
syaffolee organized a NaNo postcard swap during April Camp NaNoWriMo 2016 and July Camp NaNoWriMo 2016, pairing participants up as well as sending a postcard to each person who signed up.