What Is JuNoWriMo?

Photo credit: Anna Howard

I tweeted a few days back that I’d be participating in JuNoWriMo. Then I got a handful of tweets asking what the heck I was talking about. So what is it?

JuNoWriMo is a motivational tool to write a novel (50,000 words) in thirty days. You’ve heard of National Novel Writing Month, right? (If not, go to the NaNoWriMo site to find out more.)  June Novel Writing Month is the exact same thing, but it happens in June instead of November.


So why June, you might be wondering. The reason is because that’s the month I picked. That’s right; JuNoWriMo exists because I made it up. After the hype on Twitter, I decided to Google it to see if anyone else had thought to do a NaNoWriMo style challenge in June. They had. I can’t take credit for being the first one who thought of it. But I found out that even though it had been done in the past (and called various names), it wasn’t a consistent event. The most recent occurrence I found of people talking about it was a few years back. I searched but I couldn’t find anyone doing it this year. Until now.

What’s in it for Me?

If you’re wondering why you should participate, there is a plethora of reasons. But instead of telling you what’s in it for you, I’m going to tell you what’s in it for me. Then, you can decide if you relate to any of my motivations.  Why would I go to the trouble of coming up with this weird spin-off acronym? After all, if I wanted to write a book in June, I could just do it, right?

I consider myself a serious writer. I’ve written two books via NaNoWriMo with a strict deadline and two other books on my own time.  I much prefer the former. I thrive under pressure. My free time is limited, so I’m always looking for things that force me to take advantage of every moment. JuNoWriMo does this. As an author, one of my goals is to write two new books a year. November gets me one. But for me, one NaNoWriMo a year isn’t enough. That’s why by doing JuNoWriMo, I’m pushing myself to make sure I get that second novel written.

The social aspect of JuNoWriMo is a big factor for me. I have a competitive streak and an interest in meeting more writers. This challenge feeds both of those desires. We’ll have regular word wars and word sprints where you can race with other writers to write the most words in, say, twenty minutes. I absolutely love word sprints! I never knew writing could feel so face-paced until I tried one. And best of all, doing word wars seriously boosted my hourly word count. It’s a win-win situation.

Through NaNoWriMo last year alone I met dozens of new writers. I loved that it was so easy to make new friends, find out about cool blogs and expand my Twitter reach. There was always someone to chat with, whether I wanted to vent about a story problem or whine about not being in the mood to write or be congratulated for kicking butt on word count. It’s like having a community of writers surrounding you at all times.

Another reason you might want to participate in #JuNoWriMo is that I’m also hoping to feature some of the authors on the website—maybe you. It would be a way to highlight some of the writers and mention their current project. If you’re like me, any opportunity to get your name out there is pretty motivating. I’ll let you know when I’m taking submissions for those feature articles.

Are You in?

I’ve already got a handful of people on board with the idea. I’ve got a website design in progress (http://www.junowrimo.com) so we’ll have a place to record word counts, compare and be encouraged by other writers. That site isn’t ready yet, but as soon as it is, you can bet I’ll let you know.

In the meantime, if you want to be on my radar, there’s one thing you need to do. I’ve created a Twitter list of JuNoWriMo participants. If you are interested, comment on this post with your Twitter handle or Tweet me and I’ll add you to the list. The only requirement is that you are a real person. I can add you even if you’re not sure if you want to do it yet. That way you’ll have a way to keep tabs on what’s happening. You can follow that list here. You may also want to follow me (@beccajcampbell) and Anna Howard (@annaavenhoward) if you aren’t already. That way you’ll have the inside scoop. Anna is my partner in creating this thing. It’s going to be awesome. Shout out to her for the team effort! Drop by her blogs at http://dailyikon.com/ and  http://wayfaringartist.com/.

I can’t wait for June! Be sure to let me know in the comments if you’re up for the challenge!

You might also be interested in:

Discovering Inspiration: National Novel Writing Month part 1

Discovering Inspiration: National Novel Writing Month part 2

How to Maximize Word Count During National Novel Writing Month 

11 thoughts on “What Is JuNoWriMo?

  • When I first heard you proposition JuNoWriMo, I thought you were crazy, but now you’ve got me thinking that it would be the perfect time to buckle down and work on my sequel to Into the Flames! I’ve been meaning to hash out my subplots and do the prewriting worksheets on it anyway, so this is a great excuse. Thanks for taking the time to make this a reality, Becca!

  • Hi Becca
    I’ve heard you talking about JuNoWriMo several times now and I just wanted to let you know that I am thinking about joining you and the others. My twitter is @JAPaul
    Thanks for the motivation!

  • Heard about this through another friend’s blog. Sounds like a great idea. It’d give me the motivation to get at least two drafts finished in a year. Gives me a deadline to finish editing the WiP I’m on now in time for JuNoWriMo as well. I’m in! 🙂

    • Awesome on both counts. I’m with you on wanting to produce a steady two drafts a year. That was part of the motivation for starting JuNoWriMo.

      Glad to have you with us! 🙂

  • My over-active “Joiner” muscle pushes me into things like #ROW80 and #AtoZchallenge. I’m feeling the #JuNoWriMo pull, but so far I’m fighting it.

    I’ll revisit this in May when #AtoZ is over…


    • I totally understand. I tend to be the same way. But usually only if I believe there’s a chance of me finishing.

      Hope that you get all your projects done successfully and maybe decide to join JuNoWriMo after all. 🙂 If not this year, then maybe next.

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