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Submit a novel excerpt to our "Now What?" contest!

Now What? Young Writers Contest

January and February are the "Now What?" months here at NaNoWriMo, the chance to dive back into your novel with the goal of revising, editing, and eventually publishing it. As an added bonus for our young writers (18 and under), we hereby present... the "Now What?" Young Writers Contest!

Submit your excerpt starting February 14!

How to Participate

1. Choose an excerpt (a piece) of your novel up to 400 words long. You can use the "Choosing an Exceptional Excerpt" activity from our novelist workbooks to help. Be sure to pick something where your conflict, characters, and writing style shine.

2. Revise and edit the excerpt so it demonstrates your best work. Check out the resources on our "Now What?" page for support.

3. Submit your excerpt by 11:59 PM PT on February 29. You can only submit one excerpt, and you can’t change anything after you submit it, so be sure it represents your best work. (Note: the submission form won't open until Friday, February 14, so don't try to submit until then! Use this time to revise and edit your piece instead.)

The Prizes

We will award a Grand Prize to writers from each of the three age groups: 14 to 18, 11 to 13, and 10 and under. We'll also award at least three Honorable Mentions. 

The Grand Prizes 

  • Your excerpt published on the NaNoWriMo blog and on the Young Writers Program website, plus a shout out on our social media 

  • A $20 gift certificate for the NaNoWriMo store

The Honorable Mention Prizes

Special Guest Judge

Kat Zhang is an author of books for teens and children. Her Young Adult trilogy, The Hybrid Chronicles, is published with HarperCollins, and she has two Middle Grades, The Emperor’s Riddle and The Memory of Forgotten Things, as well as two picture books, Amy Wu and the Perfect Bao and sequel Amy Wu and the Patchwork Dragon with Simon & Schuster. She wrote her first novel for NaNoWriMo a great many years ago!

A Word of Support

Most writers submit their work dozens of times before it gets accepted. Steven King's first novel was rejected thirty times by publishers. A Wrinkle in Time was rejected twenty-six times. The point is, whether or not your excerpt ends up getting selected, by revising it and sending it in, you're taking the first steps of an exciting journey. Just keep moving forward and we know you'll do great things!

Submit your excerpt starting February 14!

Any questions? Ask in the "Now What?" Contest forum or email

Happy writing!

More Publishing Opportunities

Write a guest post for the NaNoWriMo blog — Got advice for other writers, young or old? Sign up for the chance to write a participant post on the NaNoWriMo blog. Fill out the interest form here, or read other YWP participant posts for inspiration. 

Self-publish your novel — Are you ready to publish your whole novel, not just an excerpt? Use Blurb's tools to print copies of your novel!

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