Houstonians participating in National Novel Writing Month can self-publish their work with Houston Public Library

Writers work toward 50,000 words worth of a brand new novel on National Novel Writing Month, which is known as NaNoWriMo in the writing community.

Houston Public Library
Patricia Ortiz / Houston Public Media
The Looscan Library, a location for NaNoWriMo participants to work during the challenge.

Participants of NaNoWriMo in Houston could publish their completed novel as an e-book on the Houston library's database.

NaNoWriMo – short for National Novel Writing Month – is a nonprofit that challenges writers to write 50,000 words for a new novel within 30 days in November. The first challenge was in San Francisco over twenty years ago. Now, writers nationwide participate in the challenge.

The Houston Public Library is partnered with Indie Author Project, a publishing community that includes public libraries, authors, curators, and readers who work to connect library patrons with indie-published books. Melissa Jeffrey is a senior manager for the Houston Public Library. She said NaNoWriMo encourages free-flowing writing.

"NaNoWriMo, you just write anything,” Jeffrey said. “They actually say it could be complete garbage. The whole point is just to get the creative juices flowing."

She said if writers can't participate in NaNoWriMo, they can use the resources provided by this partnership to work on their writing year-round. Writers can use library resources for a more structured version of NaNoWriMo without being limited to writing in one month, or they could even publish one of their works onto the library's database.

The Indie Author Project website says works that have been reviewed and selected will appear on various library databases as an e-book, including the one for Houston Public Library.

Jeffrey said she knew she wanted her libraries to have NaNoWriMo-related events because she has written two novellas during NaNoWriMo in the past.

Houston Public Library's Looscan and Freed-Montrose locations will have designated areas for writers to participate in NaNoWriMo. While the library is always open for study or work, writers will have to RSVP on the library's website to use the NaNoWriMo space.

"We chose Looscan and Montrose because they have a really good vibe and we think that there's a lot more artistic types," Jeffrey said.