24 Books that Won NaNoWriMo

Posted by Marie on October 25, 2017
With National Novel Writing Month starting on November 1, you might be feeling a combination of Rocky-esque determination and sweaty nervousness. After all, this is the month where established authors and aspiring writers alike from all over the world take the challenge to buckle down and pen a full-length novel. Whether you're a rookie or a veteran, participation is no ordinary feat. The goal is roughly 1,667 words per day, 11,669 words per week, with the grand total of 50,000 words due by November 30.

No pressure.

But before you sharpen your pencils, fire up your computer, draft up your outline, or play The Final Countdown, get inspired with these 24 books that can trace their roots back to NaNoWriMo projects. Not only did books including The Night Circus, Water for Elephants, and Fangirl reach the finish line, they reached the pinnacle—publication.

Who knows? Maybe your NaNoWriMo book could wind up on this list someday. Which ones do you recommend? Let us know in the comments!


Water for Elephants
Rate this book
Clear rating

The Night Circus
Rate this book
Clear rating

F
Rate this book
Clear rating

Wool
Rate this book
Clear rating

The Darwin Elevator
Rate this book
Clear rating

Cinder
Rate this book
Clear rating

Scarlet
Rate this book
Clear rating

Cress
Rate this book
Clear rating

You Bring the Distant Near
Rate this book
Clear rating

The Beautiful Land
Rate this book
Clear rating

Crewel
Rate this book
Clear rating

The Forest of Hands and Teeth
Rate this book
Clear rating

Persistence of Memory
Rate this book
Clear rating

Take the Reins
Rate this book
Clear rating

Livvie Owen Lived Here
Rate this book
Clear rating

First Grave on the Right
Rate this book
Clear rating

Losing Faith
Rate this book
Clear rating

The Compound
Rate this book
Clear rating

The Hungry Season
Rate this book
Clear rating

Olivia Bean, Trivia Queen
Rate this book
Clear rating

The God Patent
Rate this book
Clear rating

Time Off for Good Behavior
Rate this book
Clear rating

The Atlas of Forgotten Place
Rate this book
Clear rating

The Secret Diary of Anne Boleyn
Rate this book
Clear rating

Check out more recent blogs:
Two Centuries of Frankenstein's Monster
7 Ways Winnie-the-Pooh Inspires Readers of All Ages

24 Great New Paperbacks to Pick Up Now

Comments Showing 1-50 of 56 (56 new)


leo (in bookworld) Another one is Anna & the French Kiss c:


message 2: by Daphne (last edited Oct 25, 2017 07:53AM) (new)

Daphne So did this book! :)
Murder on the Orion Express by Nate Streeper
Murder on the Orion Express


message 3: by Lupe (new)

Lupe Dominguez WOW! I didn't realize so many of these had beginnings in NaNo!! That's so encouraging for aspiring authors! Thanks for the list GR!


message 4: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Taylor I love the whole Lunar Chronicles series! (I'm working on finishing it right now.) I had absolutely no idea those started through NaNoWriMo. That's amazing!!! :)

I'm also sincerely impressed how many NaNo books have made it to publication (because I'm sure there are more).


message 5: by KJ (new)

KJ Also "The Ill-Made Mute," if I'm not mistaken


message 7: by Delanie (new)

Delanie Jones So did Carrie Jone's Tips on Having a Gay (Ex) Boyfriend


Elizabeth ♛Smart Girls Love Trashy Books♛ Wow, this is really interesting and inspiring!


message 9: by Patricia (new)

Patricia Loofbourrow All my main series books won NaNo. You can check them out here: Patricia Loofbourrow


message 10: by Breslin (new)

Breslin White Rainbow Rowell got her start with Naniwrimo, that's incredible news!


message 11: by Savannah (new)

Savannah (The Book Prophet) The Night Circus is one of my all-time favorites <3


message 12: by Sam (new)

Sam Barbara wrote: "Don't think you should say 'Won' because they really didn't win anything it wasn't a competition it makes somebody think they really accomplished something and got a prize or their book gets publis..."

It is not a competition, no, but it is a challenge, and therefore completing the challenge is referred to as winning. Even the NaNoWriMo site refers to reaching the word count goal as winning.

Words can have multiple meanings, and winning refers to more than just a competition. So, I don't think the use of winning in this case is deceitful at all.

Oh, and I am an 11 time winner of NaNoWriMo, going for my 12th win next month.


message 13: by P.S. (new)

P.S. Winn My book The New Moon Killer won a few years ago!
The New Moon killer


message 14: by P.S. (new)

P.S. Winn Samantha wrote: "Barbara wrote: "Don't think you should say 'Won' because they really didn't win anything it wasn't a competition it makes somebody think they really accomplished something and got a prize or their ..."
I understand what you are saying. I won, but it really doesn't mean anything and with 50 books in 5 years, almost all of my books could have easily be in the contest to finish the story in 30 days. I quit joining because I really got nothing out of the whole thing.


message 15: by Katsuro (last edited Oct 25, 2017 04:24PM) (new)

Katsuro Ricksand Barbara wrote: "Don't think you should say 'Won' because they really didn't win anything it wasn't a competition it makes somebody think they really accomplished something and got a prize or their book gets publis..."

It's slang. To finish a Nanowrimo novel within a month is called "winning;" that's established Nano-slang. It's not deceitful any more than saying "my outfit is totally sick today!" even though my outfit suffers from no illness.


message 16: by Joyce (new)

Joyce Hertzoff My book won in 2008: The Crimson Orb https://tinyurl.com/yccooy2k


message 17: by Jean (new)

Jean Marie Bauhaus So did this one...
Restless Spirits


message 18: by Izzy (new)

Izzy Barbara wrote: "Don't think you should say 'Won' because they really didn't win anything it wasn't a competition it makes somebody think they really accomplished something and got a prize or their book gets publis..."

Barbara, take part in NaNoWriMo.
Once you reach the word goal in your novel, only then will you understand why writers beam with pride and say, "I won NaNoWriMo."
You may not realise but there are prizes and exclusive deals for NaNoWriMo winners. Last time I participated, I remember one of the prizes was to receive a free paperback copy of your NaNo novel.

So the Youtuber you were following didn't lie to you - they completed a challenge and received prizes for it. They won NaNoWriMo.


message 19: by Jean (new)

Jean Marie Bauhaus Seriously. 50,000 words in 30 days is not a challenge for the faint-hearted. You manage to meet that goal, darn skippy you're going to tell people you won.


message 20: by Emily (new)

Emily My book, Running Back won in 2012.


message 21: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth My book, unvamped, won 2012 and 2013 (I wrote half one year and half the next) and Netherfield Prep won CampNaNo 2016.

The term 'winning' might sound like more than it is to many people when they find out how you win, but it is a challenge you pass or don't and you get prizes/rewards for completing it. People compete against each other and the clock - plenty of sports like that where people win. Not to mention the fact you've written 50,000 words in 30 days! Some of us find that easy, some of us find that hard. The purpose of the blog post - I believe - is to remind emerging and aspiring writers that they can make it if they try and that Nano is a great motivator and starting point.


message 22: by SℓιM (new)

SℓιM Some of these books looks interesting.


message 23: by Raeleen (new)

Raeleen Lemay yeahhh Denise Jaden!!


message 24: by Michelle (new)

Michelle So happy and proud to see Darynda's First Grave on the Right <3


message 25: by Holly (new)

Holly Great job to all the nanoers that published. Good for you! :)


message 26: by Christine (new)

Christine Meunier Inspiring to read, thanks! Am a part of a group that will indeed be utilising next month to get on top of some writing projects for 2018 release!


message 27: by Kylie (new)

Kylie Graham Amanda wrote: "I love the whole Lunar Chronicles series! (I'm working on finishing it right now.) I had absolutely no idea those started through NaNoWriMo. That's amazing!!! :)

I'm also sincerely impressed how ..."


IT'S THE BEEEEEST!! I'm so excited for Renegades! O:


message 28: by Cathryn (new)

Cathryn Amanda wrote: "I love the whole Lunar Chronicles series! (I'm working on finishing it right now.) I had absolutely no idea those started through NaNoWriMo. That's amazing!!! :)

I'm also sincerely impressed how ..."


Not only was TLC's first 3 books written for NaNo, but the series began as Sailor Moon fanfiction. :) Marissa's a huge fan.


message 29: by Carly (new)

Carly I didn't know The Night Circus was a Nano book! It's so detailed -- really impressive that Morgenstern wrote it in a month.


message 30: by Katherine (new)

Katherine Oostman It's encouraging to know that books written during that time go on to be so well loved! Is anyone else participating this year? We should be writing buddies!


message 31: by Tecla (new)

Tecla Samantha wrote: "Barbara wrote: "Don't think you should say 'Won' because they really didn't win anything it wasn't a competition it makes somebody think they really accomplished something and got a prize or their ..."

Oh God be quiet.


message 32: by Kylie (new)

Kylie Graham Katherine wrote: "It's encouraging to know that books written during that time go on to be so well loved! Is anyone else participating this year? We should be writing buddies!"

I want to, but I am totally stumped this year. :/


message 33: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Mandina Barbara wrote: "Don't think you should say 'Won' because they really didn't win anything it wasn't a competition it makes somebody think they really accomplished something and got a prize or their book gets publis..."

I think you're being pretty judgmental in calling them deceitful. They are not lying just because you didn't personally understand how NaNoWriMo works.


message 34: by Katherine (new)

Katherine Oostman Kylie wrote: "Katherine wrote: "It's encouraging to know that books written during that time go on to be so well loved! Is anyone else participating this year? We should be writing buddies!"

I want to, but I am..."


I know the feeling. It might be fun to do something stream of consciousness and just see how it evolves? Or find a folk tale/myth and make an adaptation?


message 35: by Katsuro (new)

Katsuro Ricksand Carly wrote: "I didn't know The Night Circus was a Nano book! It's so detailed -- really impressive that Morgenstern wrote it in a month."

I think it was the first draft, and not the final text, that was written during NanoWriMo.


message 36: by Samantha (new)

Samantha Harris Barbara wrote: "Don't think you should say 'Won' because they really didn't win anything it wasn't a competition it makes somebody think they really accomplished something and got a prize or their book gets publis..."

I think I have to agree with other people, that you not understanding NaNo and CLEARLY not being a writer yourself, kind of makes your "they're deceitful" point fall flat. Your ignorance of the process doesn't mean they're lying. Thousands of people win, yes, and write 50,000 words in the timeframe, but every year thousands of people LOSE, too, by not meeting that goal.

Also, the point isn't "winning" and the winner's perks (which you do get if you succeed). It's a CHARITY DRIVE.


message 37: by Kylie (new)

Kylie Graham Katherine wrote: "Kylie wrote: "Katherine wrote: "It's encouraging to know that books written during that time go on to be so well loved! Is anyone else participating this year? We should be writing buddies!"

I wan..."

Yeah I was thinking of just writing and seeing what comes out first. I have along weekend so its on the to do list! :P also I messaged you lol.


message 38: by Mary (new)

Mary Kenyon Coupon Crazy: The Science, the Savings, and the Stories Behind America's Extreme Obsession I've worked on three books during NaNoWriMo that have been traditionally published, and doing so again this year.


message 39: by Holly (new)

Holly Walrath I love seeing this. I hope that many more are added for 2017 :) I know there will be so many cool novels coming out of this November! You can read about my process for prepping here: https://medium.com/@hollywalrath/how-...


message 40: by Brittany (new)

Brittany So did Learnt To Be Cautious: The Story of Kitty Bennet - there are so many great books that got their start some November or other!


message 41: by Lauren (new)

Lauren Mitchell Two of mine started out as NaNovels, which I am super proud of because I'm also my region's Municipal Liaison (Australia::Melbourne). The Triad Trial (Less Than Three Press) was my 2011 novel, and The Fear Collectors (self-published for my MComm) was my 2007 novel. Both of them underwent extensive editing; NaNo lets me bash out a first draft, but it's always easier to fix the words once they're on the page rather than still in my head!

Ida by Alison Evans is another novel that came out of our region. Matthew Lang, Cecil Wilde, I want to say Amie Kaufman is or was one of ours, um... I know there's more but I actually just got home from hosting our Kick-Off Picnic and I'm so tired, but other Melbourne Wrimos might know!


message 42: by Billie (new)

Billie Fremont Barbara wrote: "Don't think you should say 'Won' because they really didn't win anything it wasn't a competition it makes somebody think they really accomplished something and got a prize or their book gets publis..."

People start and finish. That is winning. It's awesome. Naysayers need to understand this is and epic personal struggle for many. We live in a society where people routinely suppress personal dreams because some other somebody wants to piddle all over whether or not they deserve to use the word "won". If I go ahead and write 50,000 words this November IN SPITE OF some person who has already decided my effort is probably worthless because the joy of the experience has no value if its not published, I HAVE WON!!! Nobody likes a spoil sport. It doesn't make you superior to walk up to the laughing kid in the swing and knock them down into the sawdust because you have decided that people can't fly so they shouldn't enjoy swingsets. Boo! Hiss!


message 43: by Katsuro (new)

Katsuro Ricksand Megharin wrote: "All the Harry Potter books"
I don't get it. Are you saying that they were written as Nanowrimo projects?


message 44: by Shaun (new)

Shaun Mackelprang Kylie wrote: "I want to, but I am totally stumped this year. :/"

I have been a little stumped lately, too. I'm hoping NaNoWriMo will get me going.

Good luck!


message 45: by Patricia (new)

Patricia I don't think I'll join it but maybe I can take the challenge as an inspiration and come up with a few short stories and one shots!


Heather Codename: ♕Dutchess♕ Carly wrote: "I didn't know The Night Circus was a Nano book! It's so detailed -- really impressive that Morgenstern wrote it in a month."

If you really think she wrote the whole thing in a month, you have no understanding of what goes into writing a book.


Heather Codename: ♕Dutchess♕ Megharin wrote: "All the Harry Potter books"

So incorrect it's not even funny.


message 48: by Chika (new)

Chika Lupe wrote: "WOW! I didn't realize so many of these had beginnings in NaNo!! That's so encouraging for aspiring authors! Thanks for the list GR!"

SAME!!


message 49: by Adam (new)

Adam Lane Barbara wrote: "Don't think you should say 'Won' because they really didn't win anything it wasn't a competition it makes somebody think they really accomplished something and got a prize or their book gets publis..."

Firmly disagree here. You're widely considered to have "won" NaNoWriMo by hitting your 50,000 word target. On the site itself, you're called a winner, giving you a Year X Winner badge, for any years you finish. Yes, it's an honour based system, but that doesn't make it any less real, or indeed the use of the word deceitful.


message 50: by Marti (new)

Marti Bradish If anyone writes 50,000 words in 30 days, that equals approx 1666 words per day. Just doing that much writing per day is equivalent to "winning". People who poke their head out of the woodwork just to tell any writer "that's not really winning, cuz there isn't any prize" ought to stick their head back up their butt & mind their own business. I'm "winning" every day I'm alive & breathing, whether anyone hands me a "prize" or not. Writing 1666+ words per day, takes a lot of self-discipline. That alone makes a winner.


« previous 1
back to top