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One month. 10,000 words. Are you ready?

The next 10K Novel Writing Challenge starts on October 1, 2018.

Write 10,000 words

This is your chance to add 10,000 words to your novel, whether it's currently a blank page or halfway done.

Win an award

You could be an award-winning writer by the end of the month! You'll also appear in Books & Buzz Magazine as a Challenge winner.

Work as a team

Increase your chance of winning an award by picking up to 10 writers to be on your Team—while still working on your own novel.

Receive feedback

Develop your talent and build confidence in your writing skills by receiving friendly feedback from other participants.

E-mails that motivate

I'll send you daily e-mails to help you (and your Team) stay on track and motivate you to keep writing.

Post your word count

Show off your progress and make sure you hit those deadlines by posting your daily word count.

Ready to kick your writing into high gear?

But be careful. You could be eliminated!

You're writing 10,000 words, but there are 4 deadlines you must meet.

The Challenge is divided into 4 weeks, each with a 2,500-word target. If you miss a deadline, you could be eliminated from the Challenge—unless your Team's average is at least 2,500 words for the week, then you're safe. Whew!

If you're not part of a Team, you must meet each deadline or you'll be eliminated.

Ready to kick your writing into high gear?

Recent award winners

by Liberty Henwick

Fan Favorite Award
~March 2017~
The Daffodil Witch
by Kaitlyn Abdou

Challenge Choice Award
~March 2018~

See more award winners...

More than a writing challenge.
It's an experience.

I don't think I've ever wanted to work so hard for something before. The morning I opened the email informing me The Girl with White Hair had won an award, I was half asleep and squinting to read the screen. There was this pause where I processed it, followed by the biggest flood of relief and sense of achievement. I'd written for hours on the last night of the Challenge trying to hit that 10,000 word mark and I am so happy that I managed to get through and finish.”

Bexx Matthews, winner, Most Buzz Award, October 2017

I loved the Challenge. I work anywhere from 36-74 hours a week so the lower daily word count made this Challenge very managable for me. I also love that I've been able to connect with other writers, which is something I've always found a bit difficult to do.”

—Sibille Rose, author of A Crack in the Mirror

The Challenge pushed me to write more than I ever have before—every day—which in itself has given me so much pleasure. I have made a start on my very first novel, which is something I'd always thought only other people did! The sense of pride and personal achievement is immense. I have made some new friends who share my enthusiasm and excitement in the process. I think that's one of the crucial elements, actually: to be encouraged by a community of writers who understand how difficult the process can be. Truth be told, after I reached the high of achieving the target of 10,000 words, I was very disappointed that it was all over. I am convinced that this month will absolutely stand out as one of the high points of this year for me.”

Liberty Henwick, winner, Fan Favorite Award, March 2017

This Challenge was a huge boost for my writing and my ego. It was refreshing to receive so much feedback on my work-in-progress that I can't stop now. Thank you for creating this amazing opportunity.”

Dacia M. Arnold, winner, Most Buzz Award, March 2017

Ready to kick your writing into high gear?

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the 10K Novel Writing Challenge?

It's a month-long writing marathon that challenges you to make 10,000 words' worth of progress on your novel. You can choose to be part of a Team or work by yourself. Daily e-mails of encouragement, regular writing deadlines, and the possiblity of being eliminated from the Challenge will help keep you motivated along the way.

The Challenge is a great way to connect with other writers, start "getting your name out there" and building your readership, and even possibly win an award for your work!

Why 10,000 words?

By focusing on a relatively small number of words—instead of, say, 50,000—you'll be able to put more thought into what you’re writing, and end up with a solid foundation for a great novel that you can build on over time.

Although 10,000 words may sound like a lot, keep in mind that it's actually about 350 words a day, or a few paragraphs' worth. Manageable for sure!

I've already started on my novel. Can I still enter?

Yes! You're encouraged to prepare materials in advance so that you don't have to start cold. This includes outlines, character sketches, even unfinished books you've already posted on ChapterBuzz. Heck, bring your 50,000 words from the last NaNoWriMo!

As long as you write 10,000 new words during the Challenge month, you'll be eligible for an award.

As a Team, are we collectively writing a novel?

Nope, everyone works on their own individual novel. But being on a Team provides certain benefits:
  • Can save you from being eliminated from the Challenge
  • Helps you stand out more easily in a crowded field of participants
  • Get more personalized feedback from those on your Team
  • Increases your chance of winning an award
Not to mention that if your Team wins, your name will appear in Books & Buzz Magazine.

What awards are given?

Three individual awards recognize excellence in writing: The Most Buzz, Fan Favorite, and Challenge Choice Awards. You can win one of these awards whether you are part of a Team or not.

There's also a prize for the winning Team: each Team Member will receive bonus Fame Points and a mention in Books & Buzz Magazine.

How do we win as a Team?

Just write as many words as you can, and earn as many Fame Points as you can during the Challenge month.

Teams will be ranked on a leaderboard throughout the Challenge month based on these criteria. The Team that is in the #1 spot when the Challenge ends will be the winning Team!

How do I win an award for my book?

Write your heart out, and do the best job you possibly can. It also helps greatly to promote your ChapterBuzz profile so that people can read and BUZZ your chapters. The more BUZZ you get, the faster you move up the Charts!

What happens if I'm eliminated?

If you are eliminated from the Challenge, keep in mind that you're still a valuable member of the ChapterBuzz community. Even if you don't make it through the Challenge, we hope you'll continue to write your novel and give and receive feedback. We all look forward to reading your work-in-progress as you post new chapters.

And we also hope you'll give it another go in the next Challenge! They happen every March and October.

What are the writing deadlines?

While working toward your goal of 10,000 words, there are 4 writing deadlines during the Challenge month:
  • 2,500 total words by the 9th
  • 5,000 total words by the 16th
  • 7,500 total words by the 24th
  • 10,000 total words by the 31st
If you miss a deadline and you are not part of a Team, you will be eliminated from the Challenge.

If you miss a deadline and you are part of a Team, there's a possibility you will be safe, depending on decisions made by the Team Captain. If you're on a Team, there's also the possibility that the word count target for certain weeks could be increased, but you can always check your Challenge Dashboard for each deadline's word count target.

What is the advantage of being a Team Captain?
  • You get to choose who's on your Team
  • You make the crucial decisions that affect your Team's success
  • You enjoy double Fame Points during the Challenge month
  • You can't be eliminated from the Challenge (unless all other Team Members are eliminated first)

What protection does working as a Team give me against being eliminated?

At each deadline, your word count will be calculated as a Team Average (by adding up everyone's word count, and dividing by the number of Team Members).

If your Team Average is at or above that deadline's word count, your entire Team is safe.

But if your Team Average is below that deadline's word count, then your whole Team could be eliminated—unless the Team Captain uses one of these "savesies":
  • Eliminate a Team Member. It's a move a Team Captain may certainly be hesitant to make, but by eliminating the lowest-ranked Team Member, the rest of the Team can continue in the Challenge. Just be sure to hit the next deadline!
  • Increase target word count for next deadline. Take the difference between the current deadline's word count target and the total word count of the lowest-ranking Team Member. Add that number to the next deadline's target word count. (Example: Word count target for this deadline was 5,000. Your lowest-ranking Team Member has written a total of 2,000 words. That's a 3,000-word difference, so your target word count for the next deadline, instead of 7,500, will be 7,500 + 3,000, or 10,500.)

Does the quality of my writing affect my Team's success either way?

No. Teams rankings are based strictly on word counts and Fame Points, not quality of writing. The quality of your writing will, however, be a factor when it comes to individual awards.

Why would a Team Captain not approve my request to join the Team?

It's up to each Team Captain to create a Team that he or she feels will be most effective in the Challenge. For some, this could mean limiting the size of the Team, working only with writers they know in person, or only approving new Team Members who write in the same genre.

There are many more possible reasons, so don't feel offended or take it personally if a Team Captain doesn't approve your request to join their Team—simply send a request to another Team Captain, or become a Team Captain yourself and start your own Team!

How can I avoid being eliminated?

You'll always be safe from elimination as long as you meet the target word count of each of the 4 writing deadlines (whether you're on a Team or not). It's only when you don't meet a deadline that you're at risk.

How do I keep track of my word count if I'm starting with a half-finished novel, and I'm cutting old material while adding new words?

That's what the Scratchpad is for! Your Scratchpad starts out blank at the beginning of the Challenge, and as you write new material, those words go into your Scratchpad. Your word count for the month, and for each of the deadlines, will be based on what's in your Scratchpad. This way, you can feel free to edit your book and your chapters as much as you need, and your Challenge word count will remain unaffected.

Just remember, your Scratchpad should contain only the new words that you've written during the month of the Challenge. (To keep the competition fair, posting any other content on your Scratchpad could be grounds for disqualification.)

Does it cost money to enter?

Nope, it's totally free!

Is any genre allowed?

We have a good answer in the general ChapterBuzz FAQ: Is any genre allowed?

Do I have to post my writing publicly?

In order for your word count to be calculated, your Scratchpad must contain all the words you've written during the Challenge. Your Scratchpad is visible to all Challenge participants. You are not, however, required to post chapters in your book for the general public to read.

If you choose not to post your writing publicly, you'll be missing out on half the fun! Feedback from readers can be especially useful and informative at this stage. Keep in mind that you also wouldn't be eligible for an award since we wouldn't be able to read your story.

What if I'm not confident in my writing, or unsure about the best way to write my novel?

At this stage, don't worry about how great your writing is—just do your best. Since 10,000 words is only a fraction of the length of a novel, it's still very much a rough draft this early on. Recognizing that it by no means has to be perfect might take the pressure off just enough to accomplish the real objective: getting those words onto paper.

See also: I'm nervous. Will I fit in at ChapterBuzz?

Ready to kick your writing into high gear?

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