A Reason to Challenge Yourself to Write a Book During November

Although you can take on any number of different nonfiction projects during Write Nonfiction in November (WNFIN),  finishing a book in 30 days tends to be one of the larger goals writers set out to achieve during the challenge. For those who might also write fiction, I suppose this gives them a clearer sense that they are paralleling National Novel Month (NaNoWriMo) with it’s contest rule of writing a full novel (50,000 words) in a month.

All well and good. Even though WNFIN, also known as National Nonfiction Writing Month (NaNonFiWriMo), is not a contest, this year I’ve got a little surprise for participants who are, indeed, writing a book in a month. If you finish, you could win a prize!

Yes, indeed. A prize.

For several years now, author, literary agent and co-founder of the San Francisco Writers Conference Michael Larsen has been suggesting that the conference in some way get involved with NaNonFiWriMo.  This year, we’ve made that happen.

We are having a virtual pitch slam!

San Francisco Writers University, part of the non-profit San Francisco Writers Conference, is teaming up WNFIN/NaNonFiWriMo to reward non-fiction writers for their hard work this fall. If you finish  a book during the challenge–start that book from scratch and finish the full first draft by the end of the month, your book pitch will be forwarded to a team of judges (announced at a later date) who will select a grand prize winner.

  • The first place, grand prize consists of a free one-year membership in San Francisco Writers University (value $49), along with ten downloadable writing classes of your choice (value $100). In addition, non-fiction literary agent Michael Larsen will provide a free 30-minute phone consultation about your non-fiction work.
  • Second place winner receives two of my books, How to Blog a Book and How to Evaluate Your Book for Success.
  • Third place winner receives my book, How to Blog a Book.

And there may be more items added to the winners’ booty. I have asked several of the potential judges to donate consults or books. So, watch for updates.

Since the challenge is completed on an honor system, so is the contest to a certain extent. Here are the “rules.”

  1. Sign into WNFIN using the participants’ page.
  2. Describe your book project with a 25-75 word pitch. (The shorter the better.) This is an elevator speech like you would use at a conference, in a query letter or in your book proposal’s overview and should include a working title and subtitle.  (You can hone this later if need be–see #6).
  3. Describe how many chapters you think the book will have and approximately how many words you plan to write by month’s end.
  4. Make an “oath” as to whether you have started on this project prior to Nov. 1 or will be starting from scratch on Nov. 1. (You can prepare, and should prepare, but you should not begin writing until Nov. 1.) “I,  (your name), do solemly swear that I wrote this whole book during the Write Nonfiction in November Challenge.” (You know if you like about this you will jinx your chances of ever getting your book published, right?)
  5. On Nov. 30. before midnight sign into the WNFIN status updates page.
  6. Let us know if you finished your book. (Refer to your earlier comment on the participants page, and restate your pitch; this can be an edited or revised version if need be, but it should sound pretty similar.
  7. Then send an email to namir(at)copywrightcommunications(dot)com with your pitch and your word count and your oath, once more, that you completed the project in 30 days during WNFIN. (Refer to #4 if you even think of lying about this…bad mojo created for lying!!)
  8. Attach your manuscript to the email. (We won’t actually be reading them; this serves as proof that you finished but the winner might find Mike Larsen taking a peek–who knows.)

During the month of December, a team of experts will review the pitches—that’s where the virtual pitch contest happens!  Several of them will be agents, I hope! And you are allowed to start working on your pitch now.

Need some help with that pitch? Check out Katharine Sands book, Making the Perfect Pitch: How To Catch a Literary Agent’s Eye, or read Wednesday, October 24th’s post on Write Nonfiction NOW!, the sister site to this blog.

Don’t forget to sign in for this year’s challenge on the participants’ sign in page and to “like” the WNFIN Facebook page and begin chatting with other participants there!

One week left until the start of the challenge…Get your computers running!

Photo courtesy of maya picture


  1. Done and done! Thanks so much for this opportunity Nina!


  1. […] officially join the challenge, you can view the rules here: Write Nonfiction in November Challenge. She’s even arranged for a virtual pitch slam with literary agents for those who complete […]

  2. […] those who do, indeed, decide to write a book from scratch, have the chance to participate in a post-WNFIN virtual pitch slam. Even though WNFIN is not a contest, participants who do, indeed, write a book in a month during […]

  3. […] is not just for fiction writers. WNFIN – Write Nonfiction in November – is an annual NaNoWriMo-type challenge to write a nonfiction book in 30 […]

Speak Your Mind