News from NaNoLand

December 2019 NaNoWriMo Recap

NaNoWriMo 2019 has come to a close. This year Fort Stockton had 10 participants, 5 of which were winners, and collectively wrote 358,899 words.

We had 10 events throughout the month ranging from short write ins to a weekend re-treat. We had a traveling write in where we checked out several local spots and restaurants throughout the day. Another fun event was an entire afternoon of writing where we all brought food potluck style and enjoyed lots of goodies while we wrote.

This years newest event that will have to become a tradition was a writers retreat. 4 writers shared a cabin in Alpine for the final two days of NaNo. We wrote, ate, wrote, ex- plored, wrote, shopped, and wrote some more. The scenery was gorgeous and provide a much needed peaceful and inspirational environment. An added bonus was several in the group getting to pet a deer. Collectively the writers that attended wrote 53,856 words between arrival Friday afternoon and midnight on Saturday night. A definite highlight was cheering for 3 writers as they each crossed their goal.

Now as the month is over your local writer friends will be coming down off of their over caffeinated states and rejoining society, after they get a full nights sleep of course. We have one final event for the year, the Thank Goodness It’s Over party, and then it’s back to our regular lives. Though hopefully with a more solid writing habit having been established and sleeves pushed up to edit those November words!

~Sarah Shuttleworth~

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News from NaNoLand

November Newsletter: News from NaNoLand

National Novel Writer’s MonthScreen Shot 2019-07-23 at 2.45.49 PM

National Novel Writer’s Months has begun! Fort Stockton participants met at The Garage, Coffee, and More for a kick-off event on Saturday afternoon, October 19. Sarah Shuttleworth, Municipal Liaison, hosted the event. She provided many plotting tools and ideas.

The rest of the month is chock full of writing events:

  • Friday November 1st Kickoff party 5-6 pm @the Garage
  • Sunday November 3rd online Time Travel Write in 12:01 am–2:01 am (daylight savings time change)
  • November 6th Come Write In 5-6 pm @the Garage
  • November 9th Traveling Write in 9 am- 5 pm various locations around town schedule tba
  • November 13th Come Write In 5-6 pm @the Garage
  • November 16th Write In 1-3 pm @the Chamber of Commerce
  • November 17th Afternoon of Writing Dangerously Potluck 1-8 pm
  • November 20th Come Write In 5-6 pm @the Garage
  • November 26th Come Write In 5-6 pm @the Garage
News from NaNoLand

October Newsletter News from NaNoLand

It’s that time of year again! People all over the world are beginning to plot, plan, and stock up on coffee! NaNoWriMo is approaching. If you don’t know, National Novel Writing Month, NaNoWriMo, challenges participants to write a 50,000 word draft of a novel in the 30 days of November. 2018 saw 295,396 participants world wide and an

additional 101,328 student writers joining in on the Young Writers Program. NaNoWriMo believes in the transformational power of creativity. They provide the structure, community, and encouragement to help people find their voices, achieve creative goals, and build new worlds-on and off the page. NaNoWriMo is also a non-profit. While it is free to participate they do ask for donations to keep the site up and running and more importantly they provide a K-12 curriculum and resources and tools for free to teachers, underfunded schools, homeschool families, and more. Last year they were able to provide 2,500 classrooms with kits.


The NaNoWriMo organization is celebrating it’s 20th anniversary this year. Here in our own community of Fort Stockton we have several participants, some of whom will be joining for their 10th year participating. In 2018 Fort Stockton participants wrote a total of 338,703 words. Several of those projects are in various stages of production from still being written and added to and edited with hopes to pursue publishing. Over the years this group has written over 3,016,000 words, some of which have gone on to be published!

If you have ever thought that someday you’d like to write a novel then join NaNoWriMo and take those first steps to make that dream happen today! During November we have several events throughout the month to keep you encouraged and provide support to help you accomplish that goal. Contact Sarah Shuttleworth at if you would like more information or check out

Saturday October 19th Plot In 2-3 pm @the Garage

Friday November 1st Kickoff party 5-6 pm @the Garage

November 6th Come Write In 5-6 pm @the Garage

November 13th Come Write In 5-6 pm @the Garage

November 20th Come Write In 5-6 pm @the Garage

November 26th Come Write In 5-6 pm @the Garage

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News from NaNoLand

July Newsletter: News from NaNoLand

Camp NaNoWriMo by Sarah Shuttleworth

Have you ever thought ‘Someday I’d like to write a novel’? Have you heard of NaNoWriMo and thought that the idea of writing 50,000 words in one month seems daunting? Well I’ve got the perfect thing for you to test those waters and push yourself to write that story! Camp NaNoWriMo is a virtual writer’s retreat, designed for maximum flexibility and crea- tivity. NaNoWriMo has Camp sessions in both April and July, and they welcome word-count goals between 30 and 1,000,000. Maybe a novel isn’t exactly what you had in mind. Camp NaNoWriMo writers can tackle any project they’d like including new novel drafts, revision, poetry, scripts, and short stories. You set your own goal whether it’s to write a certain number of words, hours, minutes, lines, or pages.

If you would like more information, have questions about how NaNoWriMo works, or would just like to connect with other writers who will be writing with literary abandon this July contact Sarah Shuttleworth at

National Novel Writing Month is also a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that believes your story matters. They know that writing makes the world a more crea- tive, vibrant place. Through NaNoWriMo, Camp NaNoWriMo, and the Young Writers Program, they work hard to empower and encourage that vibrant creativity. And, they can’t do it without writers like you.


  • Encourages you to focus on a novel! Bonus points for 1st drafts.
  • One goal everyone shares: 50,000 words in 30 days.
  • Hundreds of in-person write-ins led by local Municipal Liaisons.
  • A 100% fun writing challenge that believes your story matters… and that you can totally write it.


Camp NaNoWriMo

  • Focus on any writing project: novel, short story, cookbook…
  • Set an individual goal! You can even track time instead of words.
  • Join a virtual “cabin” to create your own cohort of up to 20 folks.
  • A 100% fun writing challenge that believes your story matters… and that you can totally write it.

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News from NaNoLand

December Newsletter: News from NaNoLand Wrap Up

National Novel Writers Month Wrap Up by Sarah Shuttleworth

National Novel Writing Month has come and gone. Several members of Critique Cafe joined in the challenge and each pledged to write 50,000 words during November. November is typically a very busy time of the year but this group powered through all of life’s obstacles, challenges, schedules, and events. The participating group wrote an amazing 338,713 words!

During the month we gathered together at various events to come to- gether and write. We had several short write ins at local Come Write In location The Garage Coffee, Music, and More. We had our first ever Write In Motion event where we travelled around town stopping at vari- ous locations to write for a couple hours before moving on to the next one. We also had my personal favorite annual event, the Afternoon of Writing Dangerously. During that event we spend an entire afternoon writing and eating, it’s a potluck and not only can this group write well but they can cook well too! During this years Afternoon of Writing Dangerously a total of 26,260 words were written!

Overall I am really proud of the whole group. One wrote while waiting at the hospital for a grand-baby to be born. Some wrote in free moments at work. Some wrote in cars on the way to visit family. All worked really hard and no matter what their final totals were, have a story they can now start to edit and polish. In the end we had six complete their goal and made it to that 50,000 word count. Now the fun begins as we begin on the editing journey! Well maybe after a nap…nanowrimo