Our Nonprofit

National Novel Writing Month is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, formerly known as the Office of Letters and Light. Our office in Berkeley, CA employs nine full-time employees, houses files full of local writers’ novel excerpts, and proudly displays an oil painting of Tom Selleck.

Most importantly, we believe your story matters.

For more information on our impact and financials, read our 2013 Annual Report.


What exactly does this nonprofit do?

Our main program is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), and it’s a behemoth. It’s the biggest writing event in the world: 500,000 novelists will join in the literary mayhem this November. Through our site, we share pep talks from published authors, provide word-count- and deadline-tracking tools, and nurture an incredible online community.

In a less-virtual setting, a network of more than 600 amazing volunteers—whom we call Municipal Liaisons—create writing magic in more than 538 cities, countries, and regions on six continents. During November, thousands of write-ins and other imagination-fueled events light up coffee shops, libraries, and classrooms with sparks of pure creation.

On top of that, NaNoWriMo’s Young Writers Program promotes writing fluency, creative education, and the sheer joy of novel-writing in K-12 classrooms around the world. We provide free classroom kits, writing workbooks, Common Core-aligned curricula, and virtual class management tools to more than 2,000 educators from Dubai to Massachusetts.


What do you do during the other 11 months of the year?

January: The “Now What?” Months were inspired by a perennial December question: “I wrote a novel. Now what?” January focuses on novel revision.

February: The “Now What?” Months continue with a focus on both self- and traditional publishing. Editors, agents, and publishers come together to help shape first drafts into works of art that makes people weep with their sheer beauty.

April: Camp NaNoWriMo, the gentler cousin to the main NaNoWriMo program, throws open its gates. Camp allows you to set a personal goal from 10,000 to 1,000,000 words, and provides support for writing of all kinds—including novels, memoirs, dissertations, and even pop-up books.

July: Camp NaNoWriMo returns. If you’re in the Northern Hemisphere, beat the heat with writing feats. And in the Southern Hemisphere, counter the cold with writing goals!

September: NaNo Prep begins! We focus on outlining and planning in all its organizational goodness. Rules help guide the fun.

November: NaNoWriMo returns, and the noveling madness begins all over again.


How can I get involved?

Spread the word. Do you know an educator, would-be writer, or librarian who would benefit from our brand of literary support? Tell them about us!

Apply to be a local Municipal Liaison. Our MLs are hard-working creative visionaries, who spend their free time helping people tell their stories. Join our volunteer team!

Become a monthly donor. We couldn’t support new voices and novels without you. Your monthly pledge will power stories year-round.

Ask us about our NaNoWriMo Ambassadors program—or if you’re in the San Francisco Bay Area, our Associate Board and internship program. Shoot us an email at jobs@lettersandlight.org.


Learn more about NaNoWriMo.