Write Your Novel in November

Want to be inspired to write that novel you've been planning, but feel like you don't have the time? Trying to overcome a huge case of writer's block? Want to meet other writers? NaNoWriMo  or National Novel Writing Month is your chance.

Each year on Nov. 1 about half a million writers from all over the world converge on the internet and at local Write-In locations to work toward the goal of creating a 50,000 word novel by 11:59 PM on Nov. 30. That's a novel about the size of Catcher in the Rye.
The event began in 1999, and in 2005, National Novel Writing Month became a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. NaNoWriMo’s programs now include National Novel Writing Month in November, Camp NaNoWriMo, and the Young Writers Program.

Even as the Pandemic raged in 2020, NaNoWriMo had: 


  • 383,064 participants, including 97,439 students and educators in the Young Writers Program, started the month as auto mechanics, out-of-work actors, and middle school English teachers. They walked away novelists.
  • 906  volunteer Municipal Liaisons guided 671 regions on six continents.
  • 448  libraries, bookstores, and community centers opened their doors to novelists through the Come Write In program. (Down from 1200 due to Covid)
  • 71,832 Campers tackled a writing project—novel or not—at Camp NaNoWriMo.
  • In past surveys, 86% of respondents said that NaNoWriMo helped them learn what they can accomplish when determined. 89% of respondents said that NaNoWriMo made them more excited about writing and 87% of student participants in our Young Writers Program said that it made them more confident writers.
  • Hundreds of NaNoWriMo novels have been traditionally published. They include Sara Gruen’s Water for Elephants, Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus, Hugh Howey’s Wool, Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl, Jason Hough’s The Darwin Elevator, Marissa Meyer’s Cinder, Carrie Ryan's The Forest of Hands and Teeth, Elizabeth Acevedo's With the Fire on High, and Julie Murphy's Side Effects May Vary.
  • Each year, authors offer mentorship to our participants through pep talksPast author mentors have included Gene Luen Yang, Roxane Gay, John Green, N. K. Jemisin, Andy Weir, Veronica Roth, Ann Lamott, and Brandon Sanderson.

Become a Participant

To get started in NaNoWriMo, use this Step by Step Guide:
  1. Fill out a Profile so other writers with similar interests can find you.

  2. Brainstorm a story for your Novel with Flagstaff Writers Connection.
  3. Announce your Novel to the world. This will help you stay the course when things get tough.

  4. Plan the plot for your Novel with NaNoWriMo, or NaNo Prep or C. Alex Smith. Or don't. Pantsers welcome!
  5. Select Flagstaff AZ as you home region. 

    Each region has Liaisons who schedule meet and greets and writing sessions which usually take place at coffee houses or bookstores. Our incredible Liason is Cory.  You can talk to other Flagstaff authors participating in NaNoWriMo at Discord. These Write-In sessions encourage writers to collaborate and share ideas. If you’re not into the idea of writing in public, the NaNoWriMo website also has numerous message boards so you can talk to writers from all over the world.
  6. Come November, WRITE! And earn Badges for reaching milestones.
  7. Get help when you get stuck. The encouragement that you receive is unparalleled. The website even e-mails inspirational quotes and messages to your WriMo inbox daily.
  8. Update your word count until you get to 50,000 words or more.
  9. About 13% of participants "win" and get to 50,000 words. Claim your Win by pasting the full text of the novel into the NaNo word counter. Winners can also claim prizes. You can even get 50% off on Scrivener for winning!
  10. NaNoWriMo also hooks you up with people who can help you find out what to do with your novel once it’s been completed. FWC is also planning to start a series of revision workshops this Jan.
More from


Open Submission to Mimbres Press!!

We are so sorry, but we have to 


We apologize for any inconvenience.

 Free Zoom Webinar & Open Submission


2-3 pm on 

This Zoom Link


The Managing  Director of

Publishing Demystified

The publishing industry has never been more accessible. That is both good and bad news. With the floodgates open, the role of author, publisher, editor, agent, and publicist have become blurred. And we are inundated with conflicting information and challenges. Yet, more books are being produced and consumed through more platforms than ever before. 

Join industry expert Jared Kuritz, as he offers key insights on the state of the publishing industry,  the publishing process, and Mimbres Press, with a Q&A to follow. He will also be giving instruction on how to submit your work to Mimbres.

As an academic press, we are a traditional publisher. However, in addition to academic works, Mimbres Press welcomes agented and unagented submissions in the following genres: 

  • literary fiction
  • creative non-fiction
  • essays
  • memoir
  • poetry
  • children’s books 
  • historical fiction
  • academic books

We are particularly interested in academic and commercial work with a strong social message, including but not limited to works of history, reportage, biography, anthropology, culture, human rights, and the natural world. 

Here are a few things that make Mimbres Press unique:

  • We welcome agented and unagented submissions.
  • We welcome submissions from both new and previously published authors.
  • We pride ourselves on a personalized approach, so you will hear back from us promptly.
  • We offer above industry standard royalties.
  • We are NOT a vanity publisher and publishing with us costs you nothing!

Mimbres Press is named after the Mimbres people, whose culture thrived between 825 and 1450 CE. The Mimbres people lived in the Mimbres Valley in southern New Mexico, although their territories extended to parts of Arizona in the West and the Rio Grande in the Southeast. The culture is now known particularly for its pottery, which was the inspiration for our logo designed by artist Paul Hotvedt.

Jared Kuritz is the Managing Director of Mimbres Press of Western New Mexico University and also oversees book marketing efforts. For more than 20 years as a Managing Partner with STRATEGIES Public Relations, he has worked with domestic and international authors and publishers on literary and publishing development, business modeling, and public relations and marketing. Jared is also the Director of the La Jolla Writers Conference—an annual, three-day immersion that educates attendees about the art, craft, and business of writing and publishing. Jared is also the Founder and Director of the Kops-Fetherling Books Awards. A regular contributor to IBPA, BEA, Tucson Festival of Books, and more, Jared enjoys sharing his expertise with members of the writing and publishing community. Jared Kuritz is the Managing Director of Mimbres Press of Western New Mexico University and also oversees book marketing efforts. For more than 20 years as a Managing Partner with STRATEGIES Public Relations, he has worked with domestic and international authors and publishers on literary and publishing development, business modeling, and public relations and marketing. Jared is also the Director of the La Jolla Writers Conference—an annual, three-day immersion that educates attendees about the art, craft, and business of writing and publishing. Jared is also the Founder and Director of the Kops-Fetherling Books Awards. A regular contributor to IBPA, BEA, Tucson Festival of Books, and more, Jared enjoys sharing his expertise with members of the writing and publishing community.

Book Release Celebration for "To Travel Well, Travel Light"


Book Release Celebration 


Long Time FWC Author 

Rev. Mary Coday Edwards 

Sept. 28, 5:30 to 7 pm

Join Her At
18 N. San Francisco St.
Flagstaff, AZ
Light refreshments will be served.

"I served a god that didn’t exist …"

     To Travel Well, Travel Light is a story of the joys and pitfalls of living and working abroad for many years with children in tow. Mary, her husband Mike, and their two young sons moved to Peshawar, Pakistan, to help their Afghan friends rebuild their country after the Soviet departure in 1992. A USAID program brought educated young Afghan men to the Midwest to instruct them in public administration. Mary and Mike befriended them through a community friendship program, and these mujahideen persuaded this adventurous family to move to Peshawar. 

     Mary worked for an Afghan NGO as a consultant for construction projects inside Afghanistan, and Mike administered the Afghan Eye Hospital. Their older and outgoing son finished high school in Peshawar through a university distance-learning program and in the process learned to hang glide, met young people from all over the world, and grew fluent in the Pashtu language. Their younger son learned British English and had to be reminded by his parents that in the US, an eraser is not called a “rubber.” 

     The cover shows Mary in a chador. She wore that in public to protect her Afghan refugee friends from ultra-conservative Muslims who would punish Muslims who were suspected of consorting with loose Western women. She didn’t know it at the time of their move, but she was also wrapped in the chador of patriarchal, conservative Christianity, a religion that served a nonexistent male god that kept adult women as children. This family lived and worked abroad for 20 years, time enough for Mary to experience how her resistance to this religion found affirmation in wisdom ancient and modern and to rebuild her values with soul-driven goals. 


     Before becoming an internationally published author, Mary Coday Edwards was a project manager on multi-million dollar construction projects in the US and continued in this field when her family moved to Peshawar, Pakistan, where she was a consultant for post-conflict reconstruction projects in Afghanistan. A trailing spouse, she traveled the world with her family through her husband’s employment with CBM, a nonprofit headquartered in Germany. Her writing skills landed her jobs with international, English daily print newspapers, The Jakarta Post and The News, in Indonesia and Mexico, respectively. With her MA in Environmental Studies from Boston University, her articles and op-ed pieces on local and global environmental issues were published internationally.
     The many countries she has lived in—Pakistan, Indonesia, Kenya, Tanzania, and Mexico—provided her with the opportunities to pursue spirituality as expressed through the various worldviews she encountered. Mary took post-graduate studies in theological ethics from the University of South Africa, focusing on Ecological Justice: how to keep both the human species and the natural environment flourishing. Upon returning to the US after living abroad for almost twenty years, she became a nonsectarian spiritual growth facilitator and ordained minister through People House, a center for spiritual and personal growth based in Denver, Colorado. She’s been a regular blogger for People House for six years. 
      Mary spends her free time pulling invasive weeds from their small plot of shortgrass prairie land in Flagstaff, Arizona, where she lives with her husband and is within easy driving distance to their two adult sons and their families.

Compelling Openings Course

Hook Your Reader 
the First Page

A Uniquely Formatted Online Course to Create a Compelling Opening 

What to Expect:

  • Starting 9/14, participants have 12 days to watch instructional videos and do exercises via a private webpage. Participants spruce up or create a dynamic opening for a book, memoir, or short story of up to 300 words. 
  • By 9/25, opening pages are submitted to C@CAlexSmith.com who will anonymously distribute them to participants via a link.
  • By 10/4, participants review other writers’ openings and answer three questions: 
    • Does it make you want to turn the page and keep reading? 
    • What hooked you? 
    • What would have been an even stronger hook? 
  • Instructor emails summary of participant feedback to each writer prior to 10/9. 
  • On 10/9, group meets on Zoom from 1-3 p.m. to review and discuss feedback received.


Registration Due by 9/14

Limited to 15 participants

Register Here 




C. Alex Smith started her writing career as a political blogger on the Daily Kos in 2008. She was invited to be one of three editors on a well-researched weekly blog concerning economics, politics, environmental concerns, medicine, and science.  There, she cultivated far left celebrities to guest post on the blog including Robin Upton (host of  Unwelcome Guests), Gar Alperovitz (author of Beyond Capitalism), Roger Rothenberger (author of Beyond Plutocracy), and Prof. Richard D. Wolff (Economic Update, The New School in NY). She was also instrumental in getting the blog reposted on several political news sites and maintained the blogs social media presence. 

She moved on in 2014 to being the host of Spec Fix Pix, a podcast for fans of Sci Fi, Fantasy and Horror. 

After moving back to Arizona in 2018, she became a co-founder of Flagstaff Writers Connection. She continues to work for FWC to maintain their internet presence, host the local Critique Circle and Publishing Club, and to provide occasional workshops and courses on writing and the publishing industry.

Since 2008 she has been writing science fiction and alternate history. She has five complete manuscripts and three partial manuscripts. Two of her manuscripts took second place at the Arizona Authors Association Literary Contest.

Introducing The House of Authors


HBO premieres the prequel to Game of Thrones 

8/21/22 at 9 pm EDT and 6 pm MST

The original Game of Thrones turned out to be one of the most popular shows HBO ever produced. So much so that they assigned their best writers to the show and hired excellent acting talent. The House of the Dragon prequel will likely get the same red carpet treatment. That means writers have an opportunity to learn from these top-of-their-game professionals.

Watch an episode and enjoy it. Then watch it again and take notes. Here are some handy forms to help you keep track of your findings.


Review Form


Writer Recap


Episode 1        

S1E1 Script



Episode 2 

S1E2 Script



Episode 3

S1E3 Script



Episode 4

S1E4 Script



Episode 5

S1E5 Script



S1E6 Script



S1E7 Script



S1E8 Script



S1E9 Script


If you notice something I missed, please leave me a comment below. I will keep track of all our findings and publish them on this Playlist and at this Website.

Need Help Marketing Your Book?

Flagstaff Writers Connection 

hosts free, online group to help you 

Build Platform, Get Published, and Market Books?

Join the 

Pub Club

Members meet monthly for support, accountability, and education. We take turns presenting a topic related to the business of being a writer. Both traditional publication and self-publication are discussed. Handouts and worksheets are kept in a Drive File accessible anytime.

Future Meetings

July 23 at Noon: Book Launch Timeline by C. Alex Smith

Aug 20 at Noon: Media Kits by Barbara Mealer

Google Meet Link: meet.google.com/ebq-dszq-yqa

Instructions to join the meeting.

Calendar of All AZ Writing Events

Learn more at the Pub Club Webpage.

Let Them Talk!: Writing Compelling Character Dialogue

Arizona Authors Association Presents:
Writing Compelling Character Dialogue

A Zoom Workshop Presented by 
Award-Winning Author Penny Orloff

This Free Workshop Includes:

  • Exercises to help participants hear what their characters have to say, expressed in the characters' own voices
  • Examples
  • Discussion 

Saturday, July 9, 2022

10am-Noon MST online


Email Toby Heathcotte to participate.

Penny’s award-winning book                  Jewish Thighs on Broadway:  Misadventures of A Little Trooper

    Penny’s award-winning book

Jewish Thighs on Broadway:

 Misadventures of A Little Trooper

Penny Orloff was a working actor and dancer in Los Angeles when a Juilliard scholarship took her to New York. She sang more than 20 Principal Soprano roles for New York City Opera, and played featured roles on Broadway under directors Harold Prince and Joseph Papp. Theater, concert, and opera engagements took her all over the US, Europe, and the former Soviet Union. Her solo show, “JEWISH THIGHS ON BROADWAY" –based on her novel of the same name—toured the US for a decade, including a successful run off-Broadway in 2005. Her current show, “SONGS AND STORIES FROM A NOT-QUITE-KOSHER LIFE,” is on hold until the theaters open again.


She is the author of "Art as Lifework, Life as Artwork," a creativity seminar and workbook offered nationwide since 1991; and is still procrastinating on her new book, "Who Would You Be If You Had Nothing to Bitch About?" A Tarot reader for over 50 years, Penny has used the cards in her counseling practice for decades. She is a regular contributor of stories to the Chicken Soup for the Soul series, and has worked for a dozen years as an arts journalist for various online and print media.

Find out more about Penny and her work