Becoming a High-Velocity Writer: NaNoWriMo
Ten-week course, starting September 2019
Stanford University Continuing Studies
Enrollment opens in August 2019

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is the world’s largest creative writing event—a literary marathon that inspires 400,000 people to bash out a novel every November. More than a dozen bestsellers, from Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus to Sara Gruen’s Water For Elephants, started out as NaNoWriMo manuscripts.

In this course, students will plan and write their own 50,000-word novel drafts in ten unforgettable weeks. It’s a ridiculously fun, productive way for folks who have been mulling a novel idea for a while to finally bring it to life. We will spend September and October reviewing key storytelling concepts, including three-act structure, character arc, tone, and point-of-view. Students will also receive an arsenal of outlining tips and writing tools to prepare their books (and lives!) for November. 

On November 1, we’ll dive into a month of literary abandon. Students will write the bulk of their books outside of class, but we’ll come together every week for pep talks, word-count check-ins, plot-doctoring sessions, momentum-boosting activities, guest lectures from successful NaNoWriMo authors, and in-class writing sprints.

The course will conclude with a party, where we’ll share passages from our new books, and chart out our revisions. Students will leave the course with a 50,000-word first draft, a reinvigorated sense of creative momentum, and a blueprint for getting their new books finished and out into the world.


You can be the first to find out about other upcoming talks and classes by joining my low-intensity mailing list!

Would you like to have me speak to your company, conference, or group? Drop me a line at Some places I've spoken include Google, the Romance Writers of America, the Johnson County Public Library, Ghent University, the Craig Alaska Public Library, the European Writing Centers Association, the Crossroads Writers Conference, Facebook, and MIT.