The History of WNFIN
In October 2007, a year after Nina Amir participated in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), she asked herself, “What’s a nonfiction writer supposed to do during November?” After all…she was really a nonfiction writer.
Searching around in the NaNoWriMo forums, she discovered NaNoRebels. Participating as a rebel might have been fine for some nonfiction writers, but not for her. Although she has a rebellious nature, she wanted to participate in a legitimate manner. “So, I gave birth to Write Nonfiction in November (WNFIN), aka National Nonfiction Writing Month (NaNonFiWriMo),” Nina explains.
“Unlike its fiction counterpart, WNFIN is not a contest and offers no word-counting mechanism to deem anyone a winner," she says. "The event is a personal challenge conducted on the honor system to start and finish a work of nonfiction in 30 days - any work of nonfiction. If you meet your goal, you get the personal satisfaction of knowing you did so - and a manuscript, or maybe several manuscripts, with which to pursue publication.”
WNFIN has always offered its participants a way to learn about writing, publishing, promoting, and monetizing nonfiction as they complete the 30-day challenge. The first year, Nina wrote and published 27 days of posts.
When November 2008 rolled around, Nina enlisted help - 27 expert guest bloggers. She wrote the three remaining posts and an introduction to each post.
However, the blog sat dormant the rest of the year.
In 2009, Write Nonfiction NOW!, which Nina considered the “sister blog” to Write Nonfiction in NOVEMBER!, took over the other 11 months of the year, challenging nonfiction writers to continue writing nonfiction all year long. During the challenge itself, Write Nonfiction NOW! ran a snippet of each post and linked readers to Write Nonfiction in NOVEMBER! to read the rest, since that was where challenge participants had “signed in.”
In 2012-13, instead of remaining dormant, the Write Nonfiction in NOVEMBER! blog “stayed alive” during the majority of the year with links to Write Nonfiction NOW! posts and with a “training program” of writing prompts to help writers prepare for the November writing marathon. You can still access the “I Know I Can WNFIN” program. It’s a great way to prepare for the challenge at any time of the year.
In October 2013, the two blogs, Write Nonfiction NOW! and Write Nonfiction in November!, were combined. All the great content from both - including the 30 days of WNFIN/NaNonFiWriMo posts dating back to 2007 - now resides on Write Nonfiction NOW! The yearly WNFIN challenge and all the NaNonFiWriMo events and announcements take place on the one site. Additionally, a forum was put into place two years in a row, making it much easier to “register,” report on progress, ask questions, and converse with other participants on topics raised by guest bloggers or by participants. This forum was not overly successful and tended to be silent by about the middle of November. Therefore, all activity was moved to the WNFIN Facebook page, which exists all year long.
In 2014, participation in the event increased - as it did every year, but, for the first time, readership fell off during November (instead of increasing) at Write Nonfiction NOW! Nina analyzed activity during WNFIN, and determined that participants were too busy writing to read so many posts. So, in 2015, she reduced the number of posts per week but included a variety of tips from experts in the posts. She also added in a weekly video with an expert; these were archived in the Nonfiction Writers’ University (NFWU) for members. Although she published fewer posts overall, she featured almost as many experts.
In 2017, Nina changed things up yet again. The focus of the four posts published on Wednesdays during November was on how to start and finish a writing project in 30 days. The videos she produced with four experts, all of whom discussed how to write a book in 30 days, were again archived in the Nonfiction Writers’ University and only available to members. (You can enjoy a one-month trial of the NFWU for only a $1. After the initial 30 days, you will be charged $37 per month until cancellation.) She also added in a WNFIN Prep Program and WNFIN Coaching Program.
The next year again brought changes to the WNFIN program. The blog posts featured on Write Nonfiction NOW! focused on productivity and writing performance. Nina, who is a Certified High Performance Coach as well as an Author and Blog Coach, strives to help writers level up their productivity and success during WNFIN - and all year long.
Also, instead of just four video interviews, Nina included nine interviews as part of the “WNFIN Summit.” These videos are archived in the Nonfiction Writers’ University (NFWU) for members of the Masters program, but the Summit can be purchased here.
Last year, Nina decided to focus on writing support during the WNFIN Challenge with a Remote Writing Room. The WNFIN Prep Program was given as a bonus to NFWU and NFWU-M members as a bonus course featuring newly recorded trainings to go with four checklists.
Last year—2020, Nina brought back the live version of the WNFIN Prep Program and coached WNFIN participants for free LIVE during November.
This year—2021, Nina is offering complementary live group Author Coaching from mid-October until the end of November. WNFIN Challenge participants can join her via Zoom or on the Facebook page.