Red Room's NaNoWrimo 2008 Contest ended November 30th. See the results here.
Months to Write Your Novel: One
Words Required: 50,000
Cost to Enter: Free
Winning a Consultation with San Francisco's Best Writing Coach: Priceless (well, a $2,000 value)
Once you finish your novel, your next step may be to get your writing ready for publication. That’s why Red Room is awarding a three-hour manuscript review and one-hour book coaching call with Red Room Founder and CEO Ivory Madison. The prize is "priceless" because Ivory no longer does book coaching. When she did, she would've charged at least $2,000. Now she only does coaching for good causes. (Learn more about Ivory in the sidebar.)HOW TO PARTICIPATE
It's easy to participate:
- Register at redroom.com (if you haven't already).
- Fill Out Your Member Profile.
- Fill out a brief bio.
- Upload a real picture of yourself.
- If you have previously published a book, consider applying for Author Status. (Read the criteria and instructions first.)
- Write a Blog Entry About NaNoWriMo.
- Your blog entry must be at least five words, and at least one of those words should be "NaNoWriMo." Anything else you want to write is up to you.
- Tag Your Blog Entry.
- In the "Blog Keywords Tag" field at the top of your blog entry, type in this phrase: NaNoWriMo 2008
- Upload Your Finished Novel to nanowrimo.org.
- Between November 25 and November 30, upload and have your 50,000+ words verified on nanowrimo.org. Read details here.
It's not required, but we'd love to find out how your NaNoWriMo journey is going. Feel free to blog about NaNoWriMo—or anything else—as much as you'd like.
In the beginning of December, Red Room will randomly draw a name from Red Room registered members and authors who have participated in the contest during the past month to select the lucky winner.
• I want to register at Red Room just to participate in the contest. Is that OK?
Yes—no problem. (Besides, we think that once you see everything we have to offer, you'll want to stay a part of our community.)
» OK, now I'm ready to register. Take me there!
• I'm registered on nanowrimo.org. Does that count?
While we encourage you to participate on nanowrimo.org, you will also need to be registered with redroom.com in order to have a Member Profile, create a blog entry, and be eligible for the prize.
It takes less than a minute to register at Red Room, and it's easy to set up your Member Profile and create a blog entry. Those few minutes could pay off in a big way, so we hope you'll participate.
• How do I know if I'm going to be a "winner" of NaNoWriMo itself?
We suggest you review the NaNoWriMo FAQ that tells you how to win NaNoWriMo.
• I've never heard of Red Room. Why should I join, besides the prize?
Red Room (redroom.com) is the online home of many of the world's greatest writers, including Khaled Hosseini, Dr. Maya Angelou, Salman Rushdie, Amy Tan, Candace Bushnell, Tobias Wolff, Alice Hoffman, and James Patterson. Red Room provides authors and members with easy-to-use, elegant online homes. It's a place for the literary community to promote their work, express themselves, and connect with their favorite authors.
Red Room is made for people like you who participate in NaNoWriMo and other activities to make their writing ideas come to life. It's a community to support you in November, and throughout the rest of the year as well.
» Learn more about Red Room.
• I am a huge fan of NaNoWriMo. Is there another way I can help the organization through Red Room?
We're so glad you asked—you can select NaNoWriMo and the Office of Letters and Light as causes you support and help generate income for them throughout the year. Supporting nonprofits is part of Red Room's business model: We allow authors to designate "causes they support," and a percentage of the after-tax net profits are donated to the organizations they choose.
More author designations mean more funds. The best part is that it's completely free to you as a writer to support this and other causes. Once Red Room begins making advertising revenue, this will translate into both funds and additional exposure for NaNoWriMo or the Office of Letters and Light even during the program’s off-months.
• Why do I have to blog about NaNoWriMo for a chance to win? Isn't registering enough?
In order for us to be able to track who is participating in this contest, we need a way to differentiate who is participating and who is not. By requiring a specific tag on a blog entry, it gives us a definable metric from which to choose.
• How do I create a blog entry?
While we hope that this will be easy for you to see once you've logged in, you can also refer to the full instructions here. Please note that you will need your real name, real photo, and a brief bio in order for your Member Profile to be visible on redroom.com and, therefore, to be able to blog.
• How do I tag my blog entry once I write it?
When you write your blog, you will see a field on the page called "Blog Keywords Tag." Enter the term "NaNoWriMo 2008" (without the quotes) in this box. If you want any additional tags, just enter them afterwards, separated by commas.
- Example: "NaNoWriMo 2008, writing, fun, prize, contest
- Do Not Use: "I'm entering NaNoWriMo because it's fun and I like writing and want to win the great prize in this contest."
• How will you be choosing the winner?
We'll be using the winner at random. This means that:
- We will not be reading the novels of all of our participants.
- We will not factor in whether or not you are an active participant on Red Room, just that you joined.
- Your novel does not have to be an instant bestseller or be about a certain topic. It just needs to be at least 50,000 words.
• Will the manuscript review and book coaching call result in a book deal?
We definitely can't guarantee any results from the coaching call, but Ivory has helped hundreds of writers become better writers, and her coaching could give you the advice you need to take your novel to the next level. If Ivory thinks your manuscript is great, she may also be willing to pass it along to one of the literary agents she knows.
It's also worth mentioning that Red Room has many members who are professional literary agents and publishers. Our community is a very supportive one, and we encourage you to become an active part of it. You just might establish the contacts you're looking for.
We also offer a page full of tips and tricks of the trade that you may consider reading after NaNoWriMo is over and you're ready for the next stage of the writing process: editing and promoting.
• I really want to win the prize. Can I create two profiles and get a better chance of winning?
Definitely not. If you create two accounts, you will be disqualified from the contest. Red Room is a community of real people, using their real names and real photos. By virtue of this alone, you couldn't have more than one account per one person.
• How do I make sure that other people aren't gaming the contest?
We encourage all users on redroom.com to participate fully in the NaNoWriMo Contest, but hope that our participants will not be so enticed by our wonderful prize that they would resort to cheating. While we don't expect for anyone to cheat, we're taking every step we can to hold an honest and fair contest. Before awarding the Red Room prize, we will verify the Red Room contest winner's eligibility with NaNoWriMo to make sure that they uploaded their completed 50,000-word novel to the website (read the NaNoWriMo FAQ about this process). Please see the Official Rules for the specifics.
Since the winner will be submitting their manuscript to Ivory in order to obtain their three-hour manuscript review, there's an additional built-in verification step.
Good luck with your novel, and we look forward to seeing you cross the finish line with your 50,000th word!
Before launching redroom.com, Ivory Madison founded the Red Room Writers Society in 2002, where she personally helped hundreds of aspiring and professional writers complete their books. As a result, Madison was named "Best Writing Coach" by San Francisco magazine.
"There's no rule that 'real' writers write at home alone without any help. Asking for help is the wisest thing you can do. Everyone needs emotional support and concrete guidance," says Ivory. "Writing doesn’t have to be hard or painful. It can be fun, it can be liberating. I can't wait to hear your story."
• Taking a writing class … is not writing.
• Therapy … is not writing.
• Attending interesting lectures about writing … is not writing.
• Reading books about writing or anything else … is not writing.
• Completing writing "exercises" … is not writing.
• Attending a peer critique writing group … is not writing.
• Feeling guilty all week for not writing … is not writing.
• Participating in NaNoWriMo … is you actually writing.
Save the seminar on publishing for after you have a finished, polished manuscript. Save the group therapy for another night of the week. Recognize that you are doing these other activities instead of completing a manuscript. If you want to leave a legacy of more than just having attended classes or reading the New York Review of Books with keen interest, you need to participate in NaNoWriMo.
If you truly do not feel ready to write what you want to write without more research and personal growth … you’re mistaken. The majority of the most brilliant writers in history had absolutely no training, useful industry information, or self-awareness. Stop talking and start writing.That's why Red Room loves NaNoWriMo!