How NaNoWriMo Works for Writers

1. Sign up for NaNoWriMo’s Young Writers Program.

Be sure to register as a “Young Writer.” If you're signing up as part of a class, use the classroom code your teacher provided and no email is required. If you're signing up on your own, you must register with either your email (if you're 13 or older), or your parent/guardian's email (if you're under 13). 

Sign up

IMPORTANT DETAILS: Your parent, guardian, or educator must review the Terms & Conditions and give you permission before you establish an account. 

 2. Tell us about yourself.

Go to your Profile & Settings to upload an avatar and fill in as much profile information as you’d like.

Profile & settings

IMPORTANT DETAILS: We take your privacy and safety seriously. Please see our Privacy Policy for more information on what we collect and display. Consult with your parent, guardian, or educator before you fill in your profile.

 3. Create a novel.

If there's an upcoming or current challenge, click "Yes, I accept!" from the "Take the Challenge" box on the dashboard. If there's no event, then create your own by clicking "Yes please!" then fill in as much information as you know—including your own personal word-count goal. (You can update your novel info at any time, so no pressure!)

Start your novel now

2. Get familiar with your on-site writing space.

  • Have fun! Choose a font, add a cover photo, change your color scheme. 

  • Getting ready for a challenge? Add Novel Notes to brainstorm ideas, write character sketches, or pep yourself up. They don't count towards your word-count goal.

  • Time to write! Add Chapters to your novel to write and update your word-count goal (if you're writing on-site). 

  • Stay motivated! Explore the different charts and stats to keep track of your progress, use the Dare Machine for inspiration, race against time using the Word Sprint tool, or download your novel to see your name in print. 


5. Use our Writer Resources.

We’ve got workbooks, pep talks, videos, and NaNoWriMo flair to get you prepared and inspired to write.

Writer Resources

 6. Connect with fellow novelists.

Visit our forums to talk noveling with young writers around the world—and sometimes procrastinate a little.

Writer forums

IMPORTANT DETAILS: Our forums are governed by strict Codes of Conduct and fully moderated by NaNoWriMo staff members. If you are under 13, you may read but not post in the forums. If you are 13 or over, consult with your parent, guardian, or educator before you begin posting in the forums.

 7. On November 1, start writing!

Your story matters. And for 30 crazy, exciting, surprising days, you get to lock away your inner editor, let your imagination take over, and just create.

Event start

 8. Earn badges and track your progress.

When you use our on-site writing space, we’ll automatically count your words and award you badges for days-in-a-row and percentage completed.

Writing badges

IMPORTANT DETAILS: You can write your novel anywhere. If you write off-site, then just make sure to update your word count manually in the novel box. That option can be set and changed in novel settings at any time.

 9. Stay motivated.

For small bursts of inspiration, try out the Dare Machine or Writing Sprints, found to the left of the writing space or from the novel box on the Dashboard.

Dare Machine


10. Keep writing until the very end.

If you reach your word-count goal by 11:59:59 PM on November 30, you’ll be declared a NaNoWriMo winner! Show off your hard work with a winner certificate or badge. 

Event end

After November

  • Print your novel with our self-publishing partner, Blurb. Use the PDF download from the writing space for a simple process, or get creative. Read our how-to suggestions, or publish your novel now.

  • Your novel will remain on our site as long as you keep your account. Come back to continue writing and editing, start a new personal challenge, or participate in Camp NaNoWriMo in April and July.


Read more on our Help & FAQ page.