National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is an annual writing event created by established writers, to encourage aspiring new writers. The premise is simple -- you have the entire month of November in which to write a 50,000 word novel, at any pace you please. You submit your creation to the website to verify word count, after which they delete all entries. All rights and ownership remain with the author. After that, the month of December is devoted to revisions and polishing.
I took part in NaNoWriMo last year -- you can find my assessment (enthusiastic) at my post for 29 November 2009, which includes a description of not only the writing process that worked for me, but also a summary of the rough draft I completed.
I learned yesterday on writer John Scalzi's blog Whatever that some published novelists have been dumping on NaNoWriMo, calling it a waste of time. I couldn't disagree more, and neither can Scalzi -- his post NaNoWriMo and Kvetching perfectly sums up the value of the event, and the pitiful midset of its detractors. Scalzi minces no words, a trait we share gleefully. His post is well worth checking out for any writer, aspiring or established.
On an entirely different note, from an equally non-word-mincing source, try Memoirs of an Anonymous Phone Sex Worker. It takes all kinds, not only to make a world, but to survive in that world. Here's to us all !