Yes, it’s November and the smell of printer ink and pencil lead is in the air. What? Can’t smell it? Breathe deeply–it’s NaNoWriMo time!

Those of you that know me are aware that I got my first publishing contract thanks to National Novel Writing Month (aka NaNoWriMo). It was back in 2007, and I’d already written (and been rejected countless times) my first paranormal YA novel. I was discouraged. I wanted to give up my writing dream. Then, I heard about NaNoWriMo from a friend and decided to give it a try. I signed up, completed the 50k word challenge, finished the manuscript up by February of 2008, and started sending it out. Six months later, I had a contract for “Despite the Ghosts” and I’ve been a believe of the power of NaNoWriMo ever since.

always right

My mug shot proves that I’m “Always Right”. Except when I’m not.

Today’s the first day of the 30 day challenge, and guess what? You can still sign up (click any of the hyperlinks in this article to go to the non-profit’s homepage)! It costs nothing–just pride. And trust me, I’ve only ‘won’ at NaNo 4 times in the 7 years I’ve done it, so I can tell you all about hurt pride when you don’t hit that 50k wordcount by November 30. But here’s the thing: even in the years I haven’t made my goal of 50k, I still wrote upwards of 25k and 30k words. That’s so NOT a fail in my book. And I’m always right. Ask anyone in my family (see the mug shot on the right to prove it!).

As an RWA author, there’s an added incentive to sign up for the NaNoWriMo challenge: completing your manuscript (of 20k words or more) will earn you that PRO status, and will give you proof of writing pursuit to remain a voting, general member of RWA (and SSRA). I’ve talked many times about making SMART goals and achieving PRO is step one in your path to publication. (Haven’t seen my goal video? Check it out on our website HERE).

my muse

“Mister Darcy” is my muse. He likes to sit on my shoulder when I write so I feel like a NaNo Pirate. Aargh!!

So grab your muse–mine is a fancy, lace-wing cockatiel named “Mister Darcy” (said with an English accent like you’re in Pride and Prejudice) and start writing! If you needed added personalized incentive this month, check out the SSRA events in store for you:

November 4: PRO/PAN mtg from 10-2 at the Homosassa Library. Come get help with your manuscript, ask questions and just absorb the writerly vibe!

November 21: SSRA Annual General Mtg where we will vote on the new by-laws and our new 2016-2018 Officers! After the AGM, stick around for a fantastic program, “A Veteran’s POV on Writing Military Romance” by Marine Cheryl Charles. Oooo-RAH!

Write On…

Dylan Newton

SSRA President



Dylan Newton
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Dylan Newton

President at SSRA
Dylan Newton was born and raised in a small town in Upstate New York where the local library was her favorite hang-out. Despite earning a degree in English Literature, Dylan spent more than a decade sidetracked by an executive position in corporate America where she swears she contracted testosterone poisoning. After leaving, she dedicated herself to more estrogen-rich passions, like motherhood, writing romance novels and her never-ending quest for the perfect date night.

Dylan married her high-school sweetheart and they are busy living out their own happily ever after in sunny Florida with their two incredible daughters and a snoring Shiz-Tsu.

Dylan can be found online at:
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