Announcing the Write Like Crazy NaNoWriMo Challenge!

Posted on: 31st Oct 2013  /   Categorized: Cress

Insignia finalists will be posted soon, but today, I’m announcing yet another contest. And depending on how it goes, this might be your last chance to win an ARC of CRESS!


Many of you know that I’ve done NaNoWriMo multiple times in the past, and that I have a tendency to give myself these insane goals that result in my word count tallying more than the recommended 50,000 words—70,000 words is about normal for me, but in 2008, the year I wrote Cinder/Scarlet/Cress, I came in at 150,011 words.


Well, this year I’m feeling the need to be overly ambitious again, and so I thought: Let’s make a game of it!



I am challenging you, Lunartics and Novelists, to write more words than me this November.



If you succeed, you’ll win a prize. You could even win… a signed ARC of CRESS.



I’ve been trying to figure out the best way to host this contest and make it fair, so pay attention!



To Participate in the Write Like Crazy NaNoWriMo Challenge:


1. Sign up to write your novel at


2. Add me to your buddy list:


3. Write as many words as you possibly can for the next 30 days! Write like crazy! Write like the wind! Write like you have never written before!


4. While you’re at it, keep track of how many words you’re writing using the web site’s tracker.


Note: I will not be publicly tracking my word count throughout the month. I’m going to leave you in the dark, so that you’ll never know if you’re ahead of me or not. I figure this is the best way to keep people honest.


So, while you are in competition with me, you’re also in competition with yourself. What are you capable of? Let’s find out!


5. On November 30, validate whatever you have written using the NaNoWriMo web site, which will give you your official word count. I will also upload my work and receive my official word count.


6. On December 1, I will announce my end word count. If your word count is higher, comment to the post and link to your NaNo profile as “proof.”




– Everyone who submits their NaNo word count and who did, in fact, write more words than me, will win a prize. What that prize is will depend on how many of you there are. (If only five people write more words than me, the prize will probably be really cool. If there are a hundred of you, it will be decidedly less cool, but you’ll still get something.)


– The person who writes the most words will win a signed ARC of Cress—on the condition that they did, in fact, write more words than me.


– If nobody writes more words than me, I will be sad.




– To be entered, you must have me on your NaNo buddy list, you must track your words throughout the month, you must submit your work to the NaNo word counters before the end of the month, and you must comment to my December blog post with your final, official word count.


I know that’s a lot to ask, but it’s the only way that I can make this as fair as possible.


– Open internationally.


I do not care what you write. Please do not ask me if it’s okay if you write one novel or multiple novels or fanfiction or short stories or poetry. It’s your NaNo, it’s your writing, do what you want. Just rack up those words!


(That said, for heaven’s sake, please don’t use non-NaNo-related words that you just happen to write that month, like every email or tweet or facebook post.)


Be honest. The nature of this challenge is somewhat based on the honor system. Yes, I am aware that there are ways in which people can cheat, but I am asking that you please don’t. I want this to be fair to everyone, and that can only happen if everyone is honest about what they accomplish, so that the people who really do put in the most effort will be the people who win.


Agreed? Agreed.


– Have fun! This is meant to be a fun challenge for everyone, to help motivate, inspire, and encourage. I know that I’m capable of doing amazing things when I really put my mind to it, and I hope that by the end of the month, many of you will realize that you are too.


Let’s do this, everyone! Happy writing!


  1. Hana commented on:

    Challenge accepted.

    See you at the finish line. Toodles. 🙂


  2. Sarah commented on:

    Score! Challenge totally accepted. I’ll be doing NaNoWriMo anyway, so this is just even more incentive to write, write, write!

  3. Alexandra commented on:

    Is it okay if I write in another language since English is not my mother tongue? If it is, challenge accepted! c:

  4. Vyki @ On The Shelf commented on:

    Wow. Awesome motivation and a fun challenge!

  5. Stephanie B commented on:

    This is such a cool challenge! Thank you!

  6. Doll commented on:

    Wow! This is awesome! I’ll do my best!

    Happy writing! 🙂

  7. Mary @ BookSwarm commented on:

    I’m IN!! Consider it ON, girl!

    (Buddied w/ name: MaryBrebner. I’m so original, using my real name. *sigh*)

  8. Marissa commented on:

    *high fives all around*

    Yes, Alexandra, it’s totally fine for you to write in another language!

  9. E.F. Jace commented on:

    Hey! Just a quick question (and maybe a silly one) I’ve got about 20k left to write on one WIP plus the NaNoWIP as well as a ghostwriting assignment. I want to count all of those, so when I get to the end (since I’ve never actually made it to the end of NaNo) how do I go about uploading that for the official count? Just put them all temporarily into one document so they can be counted at once and together?

    This may really be fun! And I’m really excited that you’er allowing us to count ALL THE (writing) THINGS. I just love your contests!


  10. Patricia Thomson commented on:

    This is mean, but I hope you’re very uninspired this month, Marissa. I must have Cress – and I will have it. I better make my goal 200,000.

  11. Elizabeth Briggs commented on:

    Ooh I’m definitely doing this (I’m lizwrites on there), although I doubt I will beat you! But it will still be fun to try.

  12. Nicole Cardarelli commented on:

    Challenge definitely accepted! I am soo excited. This has given me the much needed ambition to finish for the first time this year. Good luck everyone and to you Marissa! 🙂

  13. Meridian commented on:

    This is going to be fun!

  14. Keanna commented on:

    It’s on. I’ll do my very best.

  15. Sarah commented on:

    Does the novel have to be finished in a month? Or do you just write as much as possible?

  16. Cassandra commented on:

    CHALLENGE ACCEPTED!! I will try. I will most likely fail. I WILL TRY ANYWAY!

  17. Michelle @ In Libris Veritas commented on:

    Sounds like fun! I doubt I’ll beat you but it’s definitely worth a try!

  18. Emma Blyth commented on:

    i gonna try and give this a shot…xD

  19. Marissa commented on:

    I appreciate all the enthusiasm, and am wishing you all much inspiration!

    Jace, it’s definitely okay to work on multiple projects (I will be, after all). My plan is to copy all my new words from the month into a temporary doc – like you suggested – and submit it as one.

  20. Nicole commented on:

    Challenge definitely accepted! Now I have even more incentive to get my ideas out onto paper!

  21. Megan W commented on:

    Count me in 🙂 though 150k?!?! No way I can beat that. Happy nanoing everyone!

  22. Debz commented on:

    Sounds like fun! I’m already falling behind in my NaNo-ing, but fingers crossed that I can catch up (and maybe even beat you!)

    Thanks for being awesome!

  23. Erleen Alvarez commented on:

    CHALLENGE ACCEPTED! First 3 days of NaNo and I’m way behind my word count but I’m more motivated than ever to write right now! I’m going to vomit words like crazy until this month end. I just hope I don’t die of word dehydration after this. LOL!

  24. Crysti Caro commented on:

    I am going for it! This helps me quit whining about how much harder this is than I thought I just do the minimum for NaNo- this is my first try!

  25. Bridgid commented on:

    What a fun contest! I’m not sure I can beat your word count, but I’ll definitely be passing this along to my wordy friends. Happy writing! 🙂

  26. Debbie commented on:

    Challenge Accepted!

  27. Wendy Beck commented on:

    (brushes hands off. Cracks knuckles.) Let’s do this.

  28. Josiphine commented on:

    Just curious–do you only have one arc of CRESS? I’m wondering just how many people I have to beat.

  29. kym commented on:

    OMGoodness I love this challenge but I am a single mother of a 4 year old girl so spending every last minute of this Nov trying to beat you seems to be a no go. But I love your inspiration and I guess I well be buying your “CRESS” book when it hits. Thanks a million.


    P.S. GOOD LUCK TO ALL and may your novels be forever lingering.

  30. Melissa (My words and pages) commented on:

    I’m in. Although…I don’t think I will even compare to 150,000 words. lol. But I’m thrilled to get the 50k+ I do get. Here’s to an amazing month in words and pages!

    Best to you!

  31. Adele commented on:

    Tried to open an nanowrimo account. Total didn’t work. That’s okay, I’ll work on my novel like crazy this month though as if I am enrolled in nanowrimo. I’d fail the challenge anyway! LOL. Will totally buy cress the day it comes out. Peace, LOve and LUNARS!

  32. Weronika commented on:

    I know I have no chance to win but I don’t really care. The idea is so great and I’m really curious if it’s possible for me to have a word count at least similar to yours. It really motivates me to write when I feel tired. Than you so much! 🙂

    Good luck to all participants, I’m sure you will do your best! (I’m keeping my fingers crossed for you)

  33. Nat commented on:

    You know I’m in! 😉

  34. Caitlyn commented on:

    I was feeling I had a chance until I looked at all the buddy profiles on the NaNo website! I can write a lot, but I’ve also got three kids to chase. Oh, well, I’m still going to try!

  35. Lark O'Neal commented on:

    Totally fun. I’m in.

  36. ZaBeth Marsh commented on:

    I know I’ll never write more words than you but I love the fact that I can claim fame to being “your” writing buddy during #NaNoWriMo. Can’t wait to read what you are working on in November! thanks for writing such great books. Here’s to typing lots of words.

  37. Grace commented on:

    I love this contest. It’s making me write more than I could have possibly imagined myself writing every day. Almost around 50K! 😀

  38. Carla commented on:

    This sounds fun!
    I’ll give it a try. Maybe this will make me write more. 🙂

  39. Katie G commented on:

    This is the most incredible contest ever! I was already trying to write more than I ever have before, but this just gives me more incentive to keep pushing myself. My original goal was 250k, but I might have to see if I can write more than that now!

    By the way, thank you for being awesome. We’ve had a lot of haters on the NaNo forums recently saying that everyone who writes more than 50k in a month must be writing crap, and it’s super encouraging to be able to point to an awesome author as proof that super fast first drafts can lead to wonderful, wonderful novels!

  40. Angelique commented on:

    Oh your on! 😉

  41. Tia commented on:

    I doubt I’ll win the ARC, but I think I can take you, madam 😉 This will also be an excellent reminder that I need your books in my life.

    (Also, Sailor Moon fanfic? WIN!)

  42. Red commented on:

    That’s just what I needed, so: Challenge accepted! I don’t really think I’ll win but it’ll still be fun 🙂

  43. Piercie Shields commented on:

    Fellow OA’s all of the place! Glad to see this is helping to push those who weren’t interested in going over 50k at first~

    You should probably add on there that the need to validate their word count on the last day, though. It will at least one extra check to avoid cheaters. Hopefully nobody tries to pull a fast one :c

  44. Zoe commented on:

    Challenge accepted and I only usually managed about 1500 before I end up on a block so this is going to be absolutely hilarious and massively pathetic.


  45. Cat commented on:

    Can you do it with the YA nano program?

  46. Grace commented on:

    I was initially just going to use the Young Writers Program, considering that I am a young writer, but because of this contest I joined the main website too.

    I’ve added you and my username is ChocolateWisdom, good luck! (And good luck to everyone else as well!)

  47. Isabel commented on:

    I doubt I’ll write more than you, but I’m in none the less!

  48. Meg @ A Bookish Affair commented on:

    I’m going to try this!!! This will be my second NaNoWriMo!!!

  49. Amanda commented on:

    Going to give it a shot! Either way, it’s going to be fun. Thanks for the challenge!

  50. JK Leonard commented on:

    Challenge accepted! Write on!
    Thanks for the extra incentive!

  51. hpbookworm commented on:

    OH I am in for sure 🙂 Extra motivation 🙂

  52. Eden commented on:

    Challenge accepted! This is more motivation to keep writing as much as possible throughout my first NaNo. Yay!

  53. Hannah commented on:

    I love this! Just found it and feel completely rejuvenated in my inspiration to keep at my novel! (I am so behind right now. Better speed up!) If I make it over 50,000 words and actually finish the novel–because I feel like the whole plot can’t fit into 50,000 words–I’ll be really happy/proud!

    Good luck in your speed-writing!


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  56. Patricia Thompson commented on:

    Has really been an incredible month, and probably because of this challenge, mostly. Can’t wait till the word counts are revealed. Probably did amazing with the word count and the awesomeness of your project, Marissa. Yeah. Likely.

    Mkay, bye.

    *snores on computer*

  57. Roxy P. as OlgaE commented on:

    I can’t believe that it’s over (such a crazy, crazy ride ). Now I’m tired and just glad that I could do it, but it’s been so fun that I can’t make myself to regret it even if I want to- and I don’t! Well, now I’m going to sleep and when I wake up , well… I hope that I’ll win, but I doubt it. Anyway, thank you for this crazy, amazing ride, because I don’t think motivated enough till you posted this contest and good luck in everything you’ll be doing…


  58. Kennedy Smith commented on:

    I had a higher word count than you yay i am so proud of myself thankyou so much for this amazing opportunity I really didn’t know I had that in me 🙂

  59. Isabella commented on:

    Is this still going in the year 2016?

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