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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 15!

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 28. 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 Monday, February 15, so don't try to submit until then! Use this time to revise and edit your piece instead.)

The Prizes

We will award one Grand Prize to a writer aged 14 to 18, and one Grand Prize to a writer aged 13 or younger. We'll also award at least three Runners-Up, some Official Finalists, and probably some Honorable Mentions as well. There are so many great stories to love!

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

Christina Li is a student studying Economics at Stanford University. When she is not puzzling over her stats problem set, she is daydreaming about characters and drinking too much jasmine green tea. She grew up in the Midwest but now calls California home. You can find her online at Clues to the Universe is her debut novel.

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 15!

Any questions? 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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