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A shoutout is a celebration of reaching a goal. This goal can be anything: word count, page count, donating, or even backing up your work. During NaNoWriMo and Script Frenzy, participants can post shoutouts to the appropriate shoutout forum to celebrate their accomplishments; they should refrain from posting shoutouts in other forums (such as Reaching 50,000).
Typical wordcount shoutouts include thousand-word increments (1,000; 15,000), daily goals (1,667 on day one, 38,341 on day 23) winning/completing the novel, including certain characters, or odd word count numbers (1674, palindromes, "higher than my zip code", "higher than my car's odometer") Participants are encouraged to post in the specific thread for these common increments, rather than starting a brand-new thread, but duplicates are not disallowed.
The Shoutouts forum was created in 2008 when shoutout threads overtook not one, but TWO forums, Reaching 50,000 and This is Going Better Than I'd Hoped. The Shoutouts forum has one hard-and-fast rule: Under no circumstances may anyone accuse another participant of cheating. Doing so is against the NaNoWriMo Codes of Conduct and is explicitly forbidden in a Sticky post:
Do not. I repeat, DO NOT, under any circumstances, call anyone a cheater.
It doesn't matter if you believe them or not. This is a self challenge, on your honor. If someone's lying, it doesn't hurt you or diminish your accomplishment in any way. :)
If you can't believe someone's word count... don't worry about it. :)
Since the "no cheating accusations" rule is on the Codes of Conduct, it actually applies in every forum. Despite the occasional discouraging remark (often in regards to a large wordcount early on), the forum is largely a positive and encouraging place.
"Hit 50k? 10k? 1,674? Want to send a shout-out to everyone who's been there too? This is the place to do it!" (2008-2014)
"Hit a milestone and have people you’d like to thank? Want to send a shoutout to everyone who’s been there too? Release your inner joy, and declare your victories to the world!" (2015)
Topics and Threads
Various shoutouts, mainly to celebrate word count but also for things like donating, attending an event, and getting past a sticky plot point.