What do all these strange acronyms mean, anyway?

NaNoWriMo National Novel Writing Month – the month of November, filled with too much caffeine, too many distractions and a lot of “social” writing events wherein everyone ignores each other, gets absorbed in their NaNovel, types much faster than usual and wears headphones. Often shortened to just plain ole NaNo.

OLL The Office of Letters & Light— NaNoWriMo headquarters: where all the NaNoMagic happens.

Meet-Ups A gathering of writers for various nefarious purposes. Please refer to sub-definitions for further identification.

Write-In A gathering of writers for the purpose of absorbing creativity, way too many caffeinated beverages, writing a novel (or other masterpiece) and feeling less alone in the big scary world of noveling. This is generally a working meeting.

Writerly Social A gathering of writers who have the best intentions of writing, bring their laptops & notes, but mostly just gab, catch up on each others’ lives & think about writing.

Critique Circle A gathering of writers for the express purpose of exchanging samples of writing in order to receive & give constructive feedback to one another. No flaming is involved in this process.

Retreat A gathering of writers for an extended period of time, often overnight, where sleeping doesn’t occur, but a lot of quality time with writing projects, NaNovel or other manuscript should and usually does occur.

Workshop A gathering of writers to hone their skills via active participation in a workshop environment. Generally, a group leader will be assigned to host such an event. (Past events include dialogue, plotting & character development workshops.)

Topical Meeting A soothing salve to apply to your writerly itches…erm, a meeting wherein a group leader(s) talks about a specific topic of writerly interest (outlining, copyright issues, genres, etc. These types of meetings thrive on participation, so there will be much Q&A.

Hike & Write A write-in that occurs outdoors before, during or after a hike.

Field Trip A road trip to some writerly destination far, far away.

ML Municipal Liaison for NaNoWriMo regions around the world. Basically, an ML is chief cook & bottle washer, cat herder, cheerleader, large-Marge-in-charge and an all-around cool volunteer who donates his or her time & organizational skills for the love of NaNoWrimo. The ML plans local meet-ups, answers questions, promotes writerly events, encourages & prods Wrimos– all while writing a 50,000-word novel of their very own.

Thread Master A minion who helps the ML by their welcoming presence on the Regional Forum. This person or persons keeps an eye on the posts to make sure nobody feels left out and answers questions from Wrimo participants, thus freeing the ML to concentrate on writerly gatherings.

Minion A helper to the ML. Mostly a taste-tester (in case of overt or accidental poisoning of the ML’s food or beverage), bag holder, gopher, plate-spinner & juggler.

Wrimo One who participates in NaNoWriMo.

NaNo Used as a prefix to describe anything related to NaNoWriMo. Examples of common NaNoisms are:

NaNoism A NaNoWriMoish word.

NaNovel The novel a Wrimo is writing or has written during NaNoWriMo. See also NaNoNovel.

NaNoNovel The novel a Wrimo is writing or has written during NaNoWriMo. Same as NaNovel only with two unnecessary, but extra letters.

NaNoMail The electronic mailbox assigned to your username at

NaNoBubble The state in which a Wrimo is so absorbed in their NaNovel, it becomes nearly impossible for them to comprehend the question, “What would you like for dinner?”

NaNoFog The inability in November to see past your computer screen and/or next cup of coffee.

NaNo Eve Sometimes also known as Halloween.

NaNoSpeak The language two or more Wrimos speak fluently with each other while the rest of the world is convinced they are speaking in tongues.

NaNoSwag Goodies or trinkets that pertain to NaNoWriMo and make a writer’s inner muse squee in delight.

Meet & Greet Held in the month of October, a writerly gathering to explain NaNoisms, NaNoWriMo & local events to the public. Also, another excuse to get together and drink a lot of caffeinated beverages. Swag is almost always present at these meetings.

Kick-Off The first write-in of the season. This may be an online or real life event.

TGIO Party Thank God(s)/Goddess(es)/Goodness/George/Guillotines/{insert appropriate G word replacement here} It’s Over Party. This is an event to celebrate your NaNo Win or attempt and is usually held in the month of December. The possibility of swag and fun is high at this event. Warning: Occasional debauchery and pole dancing.

WoWW Weekend of Writing Wildly – a writerly retreat held in the month of November. This is held in tandem with OLL’s Night of Writing Dangerously, alas, there can only be one Night of Writing Dangerously, and it is held in San Francisco, CA every year.

NoWD Night of Writing Dangerously—a writerly retreat held in San Francisco, CA every November.

Swag Goodies that don’t necessarily pertain to NaNoWriMo, but can. Most swag items are trinkets that make a writer’s inner muse squee in delight.

Post-NaNo Blues The crushing, heart-wrenching feeling on December 1st when a writer realizes that NaNoWriMo is over for the next very long 11 months. This is a similar feeling to the Christmas Let-Down that small children feel on December 26th.

Off-Season Any month that isn’t November.

PeoWrimos A group of NaNo enthusiasts based in the Greater Peoria, Illinois area who meet, write and drink caffeine together year-round. PeoWrimos are slightly cheese slipped off their crackers and oodles of fun to hang out with.

NaNoFiMo National Novel Finishing Month – December.

NaNoEdMo National Novel Editing Month – March.

NaPoWriMo National Poetry Writing Month – April.

NaNoSubMo National Novel Submission Month – no set month in place for this, but it is after writers have polished their work & are ready to submit.

Script Frenzy Used to be held in the month of April and was an official program of the OLL. This program was discontinued in 2012.

Camp NaNo An officially sanctioned program of the OLL. It’s like NaNoWriMo with looser rules and is held in June & August.

NaNoWriYe National Novel Writing Year.

ArtMo Art Month.

Headphones Universal “Do Not Disturb” sign. If a writer is wearing headphones, this is a strong signal that they are in a NaNoBubble, and they are not in the mood for chatting.

Word Wars Competition between Wrimos or groups of Wrimos for highest word count in an specified amount of time.

Word Sprints A process to see how many words a Wrimo can write within a specified amount of time. This is not as competitive as the Word War.

Power Half-Hour A word sprint with the duration of one half hour.

Word Count How many words a WriMo has accumulated toward their NaNovel or other writerly project. A typical November NaNo Greeting will be, “What’s your word count?” This is usually meant to be a friendly greeting, said in place of “Hello. How are you? Good to see you.”