Ye Olde 2023 Info Dump

Greetings, Wrimos!

We’re now into the preparatory homestretch before the NaNoWriMo season begins in earnest on November 1. Kess sent you her “inspirational kickoff” on Friday; today I follow up with the dry recitation of facts and dates that are necessary but tedious. I tell you truly, she and I make an excellent good-cop-bad-cop pair; I’ll leave it to you wonderful people to figure out which cop is which. 🙂

Here’s what you need to know:

  1. New Regional Website. To make things easier to communicate with folks who aren’t huge fans of Discord, we’ve built a brand-spankin’-new website. Check out All our events and important regional announcements will be posted as blog posts on this site. We’ll then push links to those blog posts to our Facebook group, the Discord server, and X/Twitter. You are welcome to subscribe to the blog to receive the full-text posts by email. We figure that simultaneously pushing stuff to a blog, email, X, Discord, and Facebook won’t leave anyone out of the loop, and you can engage with us using whatever comms platform is most comfortable for you. When in doubt, go to the website. While you’re at the new website, we encourage you to check out the Code of Conduct page. This document highlights the ethos of the region and serves as our Terms and Conditions for participating in regional activities.
  1. Discord Server. If you like to chat and keep connected through online word sprints, consider joining the Discord server. The server will, again, offer three roles for you to pick from. A news-only role is limited to a handful of administrative categories; you won’t find idle chit-chat there. A writing role adds some channels about writing that we’ll carefully monitor to ensure they’re germane. A social role includes channels that are less writing-focused, including the popular #memes-and-pet-pics channel. So you are welcome to choose the channels most aligned to your needs! Although all of our virtual chats occur on Discord, as long as you follow this blog, you’ll get all the info you need to fully engage and participate with regional activities.
  2. Email the MLs. Despite the use of Discord for chat, we’re trying to make the region less Discord-dependent, given that many more seasoned writers find the platform hard to follow. If you need to reach the MLs, you are welcome to ping us on Discord, use the Contact Us page on the website, or just send an email to Both of us will see it.
  3. Survey and Hosting. Just as we did last year, we’ve developed a pair of surveys for the region. The first survey is already open and it’ll run through the first Saturday in November. This survey requests your name and identifying information so we can send you goodie bags if you can’t attend kickoff. This survey is your chance to volunteer to host a write-in and share any special needs or requests you may have for this year’s activities. We’ll follow up in late November with a de-identified questionnaire that solicits your opinion about the region and our programs.
  4. Flyer for Posting. Want to spread the literary cheer? Consider printing and posting copies of our snazzy new regional flyer. No, really, spread the cheer. Post it everywhere. Plaster all of West Michigan with these flyers.
  5. PREPtober Events. Enhance your prep by attending any of four PREPtober events, held each Wednesday evening in October at Jason’s Books and Coffee in Wyoming, Mich. See the Events page on the website for details about individual sessions. All four operate the same way — a roughly 30-minute presentation starting at 6:30p followed by open conversation and planning. No cost to attend and light snacks will be provided. Oct. 4 focuses on writing for the market, and specifically around archetype and genre considerations. Oct. 11 dives into conflict, and how conflict among characters ought to fuel your plots. Oct. 18 gets structural, with practical advice about mapping A/B/C plots into a five-act structure. On Oct. 25, we weigh some pros and cons of different ways of managing dialog, setting, and action.
  6. Kickoff! This year, we’re happy to host our kickoff celebration at Allendale Township Library on Saturday, Oct. 28, from 1p to 3p. No cost to attend. Goodie bags and light snacks will be provided. We’re happy to send goodie bags by mail to folks who cannot attend the kickoff event.
  7. Day of Knockout Noveling. DOKN is back, and for once, it doesn’t conflict with G.R. Comic Con. The shenanigans start on Saturday, Nov. 11, at 11 a.m. (Please don’t come early.) No cost to attend. Bring a dish to pass if you like — it’s potluck style. Doors remain open until 7p. Come in anytime, for as long as you like. It’ll be held at Jason’s Books and Coffee in Wyoming (the same place as it was last year).
  8. The End Is Nigh. Want to celebrate a win, or cram like mad to get a win before midnight? We’ll be open on the evening of Nov. 30 to reminisce, plan for edits, and cheer on the stragglers. Join the fun virtually, on Discord.
  9. Thank Goodness It’s Over — Now What? “They” say that December is for editing, or for finishing, or, uh, something-something. “We” say that December is for sharing what worked, keeping the fire going, and thinking about what’s next.
  10. Regional WriteIns. Every Friday evening, we’ll conduct our longstanding All-Region Virtual Write-In, on Discord. This is a tradition that long predates the pandemic. (Anyone remember Timmy the chatbot?) If you’d like to host a write-in, either virtually on Discord or in-person, please complete the survey we mentioned earlier no later than October 15 so we can finalize details and post the full schedule with plenty of time before Nov. 1. This survey is the only way to let us know you’re interested in hosting. We ask that any in-person event be free and open to the public; in particular, NaNoWriMo HQ does not allow activities at locations where purchases are required to gain access to the venue. Also, in-person events cannot occur in private residences or in places that are inaccessible to people who have unique health or mobility requirements.

We want this year to be your best year yet. As an ML team, we’re committed to providing you with an exceptional experience as you explore your literary creativity. Let us know if there’s anything we can do to help you on your journey.


(with Kess and Rippy)

P.S. — I know this was a long message, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t remind all of you wonderful people that there’s a wonderful writer locked deep within you. No matter what goals you set this year or how much progress you make, any effort you undertake to help set that writer free is an investment well-spent. Go for it! I believe in you.