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Celebrate National Novel Writing Month: Resources for Creative Writing

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This month’s Library Podcast focuses on creative writing, in celebration of the month-long writing challenge National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo. Each November, participants are challenged to write 50,000 words of a novel. Once finished, the work can be uploaded onto the NaNoWriMo website, which also features prompts, author speeches, and other assistance to help tackle this challenge.

Whether you are ready to participate in NaNoWriMo or are just interested in trying out creative writing, the library offers many resources to support you. Here you can find links to some of the titles and resources mentioned in this month’s podcast, plus much more!

Online Learning

LinkedIn Learning (which transitioned from Lynda.com as of May 2021), offers many creative writing courses. You can find them through keyword searches such as “Novel,” “Writing Fiction,” or “Creative Writing.” Here are a few eye-catching options:

If you want to focus on specific aspects of the creative writing process, from starting your novel to selling it, these classes may be helpful:

Are you curious about how to write a specific genre or do you already have an idea for a novel? Another great resource for online classes is UniversalClass. Selecting “Creative Fiction Writing” under “Writing Skills” turns up some interesting results, including:

  • Historical Fiction Writing
  • Humor Writing 101
  • Mystery Writing
  • Romance Writing
  • Writing the Great American Short Story

However, you don’t already have a prompt, topic, or genre in mind, you can also try more general introductory courses, such as Novel Writing 101, Creative Writing 101, and Creative Writing for Beginners.

Digital Media

The library offers many ebooks and audiobooks through OverDrive, which you can access by searching the phrase “how to write a novel.” For more general information that isn’t specific to novel-writing, search for “Creative Writing” and “Fiction Writing,” or browse by Subject and select Writing or Language Arts. Here is a selection of titles to help the with the entire novel-writing journey, from basic strategies to help you get started, to more in-depth storytelling craft:

You may also be interested in exploring famous authors’ thoughts on writing, through titles such as Zen in the Art of Writing by Ray Bradbury and audiobooks like How I Write: Secrets of a Bestselling Author by Janet Evanovich and On Writing (audiobook) by Stephen King.

Hoopla also has a great selection of ebooks, audiobooks and even videos on how to write a novel and hone your storytelling. If you have enough to read and listen to, try watching:

You can also locate relevant ebooks by selecting Browse Ebooks, clicking Genres & Collections, then clicking Genres. Choose Language Arts & Discipline, then choose Writing. You will have the option to “See All Writing Titles” or, for more specific topics, try Authorship or Fiction Writing.

Through the library’s website, you can also access the digital magazine resource, Flipster, which includes Writer’s Digest in the Hobbies, Interests & DIY subject list.

Print Materials

For print resources, visit our BiblioCommons Catalog through the library website. You can pull up lots of great titles by searching the Subject Headings such as Fiction—Authorship, Fiction—Technique, or Creative Writing can help you find both how-to guides as well as the writing processes of many renowned authors.

Here are some titles that may be of interest:

Finally, here are a few titles that perfectly complement this month’s podcast to help you act on any NaNoWriMo ambitions you might have: