National Novel Writing Month

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo.org) is about to begin! Join us for write ins this November. Never heard of NaNoWriMo before? We’ll introduce you!

Write ins will include prompts, writing sprints, discussion, encouragement, and more.

Chester County Library and the Henrietta Hankin Branch Library are hosting virtual writing sessions throughout the month of November. Attend any and all events that work for you! See our full schedule and register here.

NaNoWriMo Schedule
Kick-Off Party
Monday, 11/1, 7-9pm
Write In
Monday, 11/8, 7-9pm
Midway Party
Monday, 11/15, 7-9pm
Write In
Monday, 11/22, 7-9pm
Night of Drafting Daringly
Monday, 11/29, 7-9pm
Thank Goodness It’s Over Party
Monday, 12/6, 7-9pm

These are independent events managed by a community partner.
The NaNoWriMo name and logo are used by special permission.

National Novel Writing Month Author Interview – Jennifer Kelland Perry

Dreaming about writing a novel? NaNoWriMo is a great chance to get your book idea going. During the month of November, aspiring and published authors from around the world have committed to writing 50,000 words in thirty days.

Jennifer Kelland Perry

Today we welcome NaNoWriMo published author Jennifer Kelland Perry, whose book Calmer Girls was part of a NaNoWriMo challenge.

Thank you for joining us, Jennifer!

How many years have you participated in NaNoWriMo? First of all, thank you for inviting me for this interview. I’m truly honored to be here. I have taken part in NaNoWriMo three times since 2013. The first two times, I worked on the Calmer Girls series, a duology. I successfully reached the word count of 50,000 words with both. The third and most recent time I participated was in 2016, where I didn’t reach the goal – life and a bad flu bug got in the way – but I did write 29,000 words. So even though I didn’t “win” that year, I have since finished the novel, the first in a speculative fiction trilogy. That book is now in prepublication.

How did you first hear about or get started with NaNoWriMo? I first heard of it when I started my WordPress blog nearly ten years ago. When I followed other writers, I learned about the challenge and became familiar with it. I couldn’t resist giving it a go.

Will you be participating in NaNoWriMo this year? Yes, and I’m looking forward to it. I hope to complete the first draft of my trilogy’s second instalment.

Your first book, Calmer Girls began as a NaNoWriMo project. Can you tell us more about how you got started? Actually, I’d already started Calmer Girls, but I thought NaNoWriMo would give me the extra discipline and focus to finish the first draft. And it did!

Calmer Girls is set in St. John’s, a city in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, where you were born and lived until 2010. How did you incorporate local places into your story? Do you also write about other places? I believe in writing about what you know, more particularly when it comes to setting. It was a lot of fun to write about the capital city of St. John’s, my birthplace. It’s a colourful backdrop for my books, as it has been for many local authors. But I’ve also lived in several rural areas of the province, so it was easy to incorporate that into my writing as well.

What was your process of editing and preparing your NaNoWriMo manuscript for publication? I can’t speak for other writers, but editing is a whole different experience compared to getting a rough draft down. I spend much more time adding, revising, and polishing. And then there is the time spent researching and querying – the list goes on.

What is your favorite method of writing – pen (or pencil) and paper or a computer? Why? Banging away on the laptop is my preferred method because it’s faster and easier for me than handwriting. Supplementing that are tons of notes I’ve jotted down in a notebook or on my phone whenever inspiration strikes.

What’s the most important part of your writing ritual (e.g., what kind of music do you listen to, favorite snack when writing, motivational quotes, etc.)? My ritual is quite boring, really. I only need three things: a quiet space at my desk, a couple of cups of coffee, and one of my bulky turtleneck sweaters. The sweaters keep me cozy and warm when I’m sitting still for extended periods. Oh, here’s a tip (more than a ritual) that helps me: when you finish writing for the day, leave off somewhere good in a scene, so you can jump right in the next day without missing a beat. For momentum, I find it works better than starting off with a new scene.

Are you an early bird writer or a night owl? For first drafts, early mornings are crucial. My pesky inner critic doesn’t wake up until after lunch! For editing and revising, any time of the day will do. I rarely write any fiction at night.

Are you a pantser or a planner? I used to think I was a pantser because I didn’t write a firm outline. Then I realized I’d planned the bulk of the storyline in my head. Nowadays I create semi-fluid outlines, because in the past my characters have sometimes pushed me to deviate from the original plot. It feels necessary to plot a trilogy that way.

What challenges have you faced as a writer? The biggest challenge I’ve faced so far has been the pandemic. It distracted me from writing in 2020, but thankfully I’m back on course. I did use the time to read a lot more.

What makes you want to continue participating in NaNoWriMo? My two-out-of-three success rate? Seriously, I find the word count and deadline motivating. At the same time, I don’t allow myself to feel unduly pressured.

What authors or books have inspired you to write your own stories? Oh, far too many to list here. However, several futuristic works inspired my current project.

Do you have any advice for first-time NaNoWriMo participants? If you don’t have a plotted outline, at least have a rough idea what you will write about by envisioning key scenes. Character development is also vital. And remember to have fun with it!

Jennifer Kelland Perry is a blogger, devoted reader and animal lover from Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. She holds a Creative Writing diploma, Office and Administration certificate, Native Studies certificate and is the author of two novels, Calmer Girls and Calmer Secrets, published on Amazon. Jennifer is a member of the Writers’ Alliance of Newfoundland and Labrador and took part in the Literary Events NL Book Tours of 2017 and 2018. In the city, Jennifer worked in banking and now enjoys a life by the sea in Newtown, Bonavista Bay with her husband and one very spoiled cat.

Jennifer loves to connect with her readers here.

About NaNoWriMo

National Novel Writing Month began in 1999 as challenge to write 50,000 words of a novel in thirty days. Now, each year on November 1, hundreds of thousands of people around the world begin to write, determined to end the month with 50,000 words of a brand-new novel. NaNoWriMo, a nonprofit organization since 2006, supports writing fluency and education. Their website hosts more than a million writers, serving as a social network with author profiles, personal project libraries, and writing buddies.

NaNoWriMo Programs and Links from Chester County Library and the Henrietta Hankin Branch.

It’s not too late to get started with NaNoWriMo! Click here for resources, tips, information about our month-long Write-Ins, and a free virtual Writer’s Emergency Kit.

National Novel Writing Month 101

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo.org) is just around the corner! Have you ever had a story idea you thought would make a great novel? Always wanted to write a memoir about something that happened in your life? Just like to write?

Join us to learn more about getting those words out this November. We’ll go over what NaNoWriMo is, what it isn’t, and how it can help your creativity. Whether you’ve never heard of NaNoWriMo before or have been a regular participant for the last 20 years, whether you want to handwrite or use all the latest software, this session is for you.

Chester County Library and the Henrietta Hankin Branch Library are hosting virtual preparation sessions and virtual writing sessions throughout the months of October and November. Attend any and all events that work for you! See our full schedule and register here.

NaNoWriMo Schedule
NaNoWriMo 101 & Prep
Monday, 10/4, 6:30-7:30pm
Monday, 10/11, 7-9pm
Monday, 10/25, 6:30-7:30pm

Kick-Off Party
Monday, 11/1, 7-9pm
Write In
Monday, 11/8, 7-9pm
Midway Party
Monday, 11/15, 7-9pm
Write In
Monday, 11/22, 7-9pm
Night of Drafting Daringly
Monday, 11/29, 7-9pm
Thank Goodness It’s Over Party
Monday, 12/6, 7-9pm

These are independent events managed by a community partner.
The NaNoWriMo name and logo are used by special permission.

National Novel Writing Month 101

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo.org) is just around the corner! Have you ever had a story idea you thought would make a great novel? Always wanted to write a memoir about something that happened in your life? Just like to write?

Join us to learn more about getting those words out this November. We’ll go over what NaNoWriMo is, what it isn’t, and how it can help your creativity. Whether you’ve never heard of NaNoWriMo before or have been a regular participant for the last 20 years, whether you want to handwrite or use all the latest software, this session is for you.

Chester County Library and the Henrietta Hankin Branch Library are hosting virtual preparation sessions and virtual writing sessions throughout the months of September, October, and November. Attend any and all events that work for you! See our full schedule and register here.

NaNoWriMo Schedule
NaNoWriMo 101 & Prep
Wednesday, 9/1, 3-4pm
Tuesday, 9/7, 10-11am
Monday, 9/13, 7-9pm
Monday, 10/4, 6:30-7:30pm
Monday, 10/11, 7-9pm
Monday, 10/25, 6:30-7:30pm

Kick-Off Party
Monday, 11/1, 7-9pm
Write In
Monday, 11/8, 7-9pm
Midway Party
Monday, 11/15, 7-9pm
Write In
Monday, 11/22, 7-9pm
Night of Drafting Daringly
Monday, 11/29, 7-9pm
Thank Goodness It’s Over Party
Monday, 12/6, 7-9pm

These are independent events managed by a community partner.
The NaNoWriMo name and logo are used by special permission.

National Novel Writing Month Author Interview – Jill Weatherholt

Dreaming about writing a novel? NaNoWriMo is a great chance to get your book idea going. This month, aspiring and published authors from around the world have committed to writing 50,000 words in thirty days.


Jill Weatherholt

Today we welcome NaNoWriMo published author Jill Weatherholt, whose Whispering Slopes series began as a NaNoWriMo challenge.

Thank you for joining us, Jill!

Can you tell us about the story you’re writing for NaNoWriMo 2020? The story I will be writing for NaNoWriMo 2020 is the last book in my Whispering Slopes series, the fictional town in the Shenandoah Valley. The hero, a well-known professional bull rider, is injured and returns to his childhood home to seek medical attention out of the spotlight. He’s unaware that his high school sweetheart, and the only woman he ever loved, has moved back to town and is working as a physical therapist. After this book, I plan to move my next series out West where my hero’s brothers currently live.

What is your favorite method of writing — pen and paper or the computer? Why? When I start a story, I like to write with my favorite Mont Blanc pen, given to me by my father. I also use a separate journal for each book. I use the journal to get to know my character’s backstory, their internal and external goals and the story’s setting. I’m not exactly sure why, but writing my ideas makes me feel closer to my characters. Once I have a solid idea and really know my characters, I move to the computer.

What’s the most important part of your writing ritual (e.g. what kind of music do you listen to, favorite snack when writing, motivational quotes, etc.)? I don’t snack while writing, but I do need water and plenty of caffeine. When I first started the Whispering Slopes series, I listened to a lot of John Denver. Now, when I get stuck, I’ll take a break and play one of his CDs. I also listen to a lot of The Carpenters. I know…corny, but their music is perfect for writing romance.

What was your process of editing and preparing your NaNoWriMo manuscript for publication? For me, NaNoWriMo is a time to get a fast, partial draft written. Since the 50k word requirement is less than a full-length novel, additional writing is required after I’ve completed the competition to get to THE END. After that, extensive editing is required before I submit for publication.

Do you have any advice for first time NaNoWriMo participants? Don’t fall behind in your word count. If you keep a steady pace of 1667 words a day, you’ll reach the 50K word goal. Since I work a full-time day job, I write additional words on the weekends and some weekday evenings. Just keep writing! It will be a mess, but that can all be fixed after November.

How did you first hear about or get started with NaNoWriMo? Around 2008 or so, I became obsessed with reading authors’ websites. I loved to read their bios about how they got started writing, interviews, craft books that were helpful and about their writing process. I would even email authors after I’d finish reading their book to let them know how much I enjoyed it. It was always a thrill to receive a response. During that time, I think I stumbled across the website for NaNoWriMo. I participated for the first time in 2010. That story went on to become my first published book in 2017. I didn’t work on it all of those years. In fact, once I completed the 2010 competition, those 50k words sat on my hard drive untouched for many years, but the characters always stayed with me.

What makes you want to continue participating in NaNoWriMo? I’m not a disciplined writer. I need deadlines. If I commit to something, I’ll do it, so NaNoWriMo is perfect for me. In the three times that I’ve participated in the contest, each book has gone on to become published. That’s my biggest motivation to continue to participate.

What authors or books have inspired you to write your own stories? I can’t say there is one author or book that has inspired me to write my stories. I’ve always used writing as a way to relax and ease my worries. In fact, the first short story I ever had published was written after my mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. I remember after her appointment I sat down with a pen and tablet and wrote a story about a lighthouse keeper’s daughter whose father had Alzheimer’s. It was my way of processing what was happening to my family. There is inspiration all around us. We just need to pull away from our devices and take notice.


About Jill Weatherholt

By day, Jill Weatherholt works for the City of Charlotte. At night, and on the weekend, she writes contemporary stories about love, faith and forgiveness for Harlequin Love Inspired. Raised in the suburbs of Washington, D.C., she now resides in Charlotte, North Carolina, but her heart belongs to Virginia. She holds a degree in Psychology from George Mason University and Paralegal Studies Certification from Duke University. She shares her life with her real-life hero and number one supporter. Their relationship grew on the golf course, and now they have one in their backyard.

Jill loves to connect with readers at JillWeatherholt.com.


About NaNoWriMo

National Novel Writing Month began in 1999 as challenge to write 50,000 words of a novel in thirty days. Now, each year on November 1, hundreds of thousands of people around the world begin to write, determined to end the month with 50,000 words of a brand-new novel. NaNoWriMo, a nonprofit organization since 2006, supports writing fluency and education. Their website hosts more than a million writers, serving as a social network with author profiles, personal project libraries, and writing buddies.


NaNoWriMo Programs and Links from Chester County Library and the Henrietta Hankin Branch.

It’s not too late to get started with NaNoWriMo! Click here for resources, tips, information about our month-long Write-Ins, and a free virtual Writer’s Emergency Kit.