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MILLLICENT G. DILLON, represented by Harold Ober Associates, is the world’s expert on authors Jane and Paul Bowles. She has won five O. Henry Awards and been nominated for the PEN/Faulkner. I worked with Dillon on her memoir, The Absolute Elsewhere, in which she describes in luminous prose her private meeting with Albert Einstein to discuss the ethics of the atomic bomb. Read more. . .

SASHA TROYAN is a Professor of English at Montclair University and author of the critically-acclaimed novels Angels in the Morning and The Forgotten Island, both Booksense Selections, beautiful stories based upon her childhood in France. I worked with Troyan to develop her new novels, Marriage A Trois and Semester. Read more. . .

LUCIA ORTH is the author of the debut novel, Baby Jesus Pawn Shop, which received critical acclaim from Publisher’s Weekly, NPR, Booklist, Library Journal and Small Press Reviews. I have edited a number of essays and articles for Orth. Read more. . .

BHAICHAND PATEL, retired after an illustrious career with the United Nations, is now a journalist based out of New Dehli and Bombay, an expert on Bollywood, and author of three non-fiction books published by Penguin. I edited Patel’s best-selling debut novel, Mothers, Lovers, and Other Strangers, published by Pan Macmillan. Read more. . .

SCOTT WILBANKS, represented by Barbara Poelle of the Irene Goodman Literary Agency, is the author of the debut novel, The Lemoncholy Life of Annie Aster, published by Sourcebooks in August, 2015. I’m working with Wilbanks on his sophomore novel, Easy Pickens, the story of the world’s only medically-diagnosed case of chronic naiveté. Read more. . .

SCOTT WARRENDER is a professional musician and Annie Award-nominated lyricist specializing in musical theater. I work with Warrender regularly on his short stories and debut novel, Putaway. Read more. . .

M. TERRY GREEN enjoys a successful self-publishing career with multiple sci-fi/fantasy series set in the Multiverse, based upon her expertise in anthropology and technology. I worked with Green to develop a new speculative fiction series. Read more. . .

ANIA VESENNY, represented by Beverly Slopen Literary Agency, is a recipient of the Evelyn Sullivan Gilbertson Award for Emerging Artist in Literature and has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. I edited Vesenny’s debut novel, Swearing in Russian at the Northern Lights, and her second novel, Sandara. Read more. . .

STUART WAKEFIELD is the #1 Kindle Best Selling author of Body of Water, the first novel in his Orcadian Trilogy. Body of Water was 1 of 10 books long-listed for the Polari First Book Prize. I edited Wakefield’s second novel, Memory of Water, and look forward to editing the final novel of his Orcadian Trilogy, Spirit of Water. Read more. . .

GERALDINE EVANS is a best-selling British author. Her historical novel, Reluctant Queen, is a Category No 1 Best Seller on Amazon UK. I edited Death Dues, #11 in Evans’ fifteen popular Rafferty and Llewellyn cozy police procedurals, which received a glowing review from the Midwest Book Review. Read more. . .

JUDY LEE DUNN is an award-winning marketing blogger. I am working with Dunn to develop and line edit her memoir of reconciling liberal activism with her emotional difficulty accepting the lesbianism of her beloved daughter, Tonight Show comedienne Kellye Rowland. Read more. . .

JEFF RUSSELL is the author of the debut novel, The Rules of Love and Law, based upon Jeff’s abiding passions for legal history and justice. Read more. . .

LEN JOY is the author of the debut novel, American Past Time. I worked with Len to develop his novel from its core: a short story about the self-destructive ambitions of a Minor League baseball star. Read more. . .

ALEX KENDZIORSKI is an American physician working in South Africa on community health education and wildlife conservation. I edited Kendziorski’s debut novel Wait a Season for Their Names about the endangered African painted wolf, for which he is donating the profits to wildlife conservation. Read more. . .

ALEXANDRA GODFREY blogs for the New England Journal of Medicine. I work with Godfrey on her short fiction and narrative nonfiction, including a profile of the doctor who helped save her son’s life, “Mending Broken Hearts.” Read more. . .

In addition, I work with scores of aspiring writers in their apprenticeship to this wonderful literary art and craft.

  • By Victoria Mixon

    I’m not actually writing this today, as I’m taking a long weekend so my husband and I can celebrate our sixteenth wedding anniversary. But my ghostly alter-ego is appearing, to point you toward a post that’s been getting a revival lately: The 6 Golden Rules of NaNoWriMo. And, from the year before last: Launching Headfirst into NaNoWriMo.

    What makes NaNoWriMo the event that it is?

    • Is it the time of year?

      Late—we’re all tired of the year by November, tired of the political and economic catastrophes that keep collapsing on our heads, tired of the ever-present, never-ending pressure of our jobs and regular daily routines. We’re looking forward to the holidays, and at the same time the angst of preparing for them is the perfect fuel for a cross-eyed, inexplicable blast out of our blessed minds.

    • Is it having a goal?

      • A wordcount

        And not the real worldcount for a modern salable novel either, but a cheat for today’s industry, a wordcount that harks back to an earlier time, a less restricted market, a less vicious competitive pool. A wordcount that reassures us that all those books we grew up on and have loved all our lives are perfectly good lengths for novels, no matter what anybody in the industry says now.

      • A time limit

        Which, as it happens, incorporates a hidden reward embedded in our calendar eons ago by those wacky Romans who made it up: November only has thirty days. So when you get to that one last day and realize you simply can’t go any further (this game has chewed up you and spit you out). . .you don’t have to. You can collapse right before the finish line, as we are all so tempted to do, and find yourself lying smack-dab flat across it. Hurrah!

    • It is the fact that so many others are doing it too?

      We who spend a lot of time online live in a virtual world simultaneously far more crowded and far more isolated than anything the human animal could ever have evolved to expect.

      Millions of us are out here in both real and virtual time.

      And yet it’s so darn quiet.

      But once a year a time rolls around in which thousands band together in a single project built around this craft we love. And we can find each other. We know we can.

    I try to post stuff for you guys every week throughout November on how to produce great work in only thirty days that’s also (most importantly) fun, but what I don’t usually mention is that I write a book myself every November, and I have for the past nine years. They’re children’s books for my son.

    I don’t do it for NaNoWriMo. (In fact, I think my November habit might older than NaNo. It’s certainly older than my awareness of NaNo.)

    I do it because I want to give my son a new book that will make him laugh really hard every year, and I always procrastinate until November. Also, this year I’m 32,000 52,000 words into a ghost story ghost novel planned to come in around 75,000—that just kind of happened.

    So while you’re reading and wondering, ‘Does this stuff really work? I mean—how would she know?’

    Rest assured: yes, it does work.

    I know because I keep doing it.

    [YES: I finally turned off comments because of the spam. Thank you for all your comments over the years! You’re such a joy to write for. If you like these posts, please feel free to click StumbleUpon and/or Facebook and/or Twitter.]



    “The freshest and most relevant
    advice you’ll find.”

    —Helen Gallagher, Seattle Post-Intelligencer

    The Art & Craft of Writing Fiction

    The Art & Craft of Writing Stories




2 Responses to “Running into the Jaws of NaNoWriMo”

  1. I look forward to seeing your tips each week!

  2. Hey, Victoria! I am one of those millions that participates in NaNoWriMo. This will be year 3 for me. Looking forward to hearing more of your tips and insights