How To Win NaNo: A Writing Podcast

Kristina Horner & Liz Leo

How To Win NaNo is a no-nonsense guide to writing a novel in 30 days. November ticks closer every day, but don't worry — your hosts are here for you! Kristina Horner and Liz Leo are NaNoWriMo experts (and lifelong writing friends) with a passion for helping people tackle National Novel Writing Month. Join them each week as they share their personal tips, tricks and other things they've learned over a decade of consecutive NaNoWriMo wins.

Trailer: How To Win NaNo
Trailer 10 min 42 sec

All Episodes

There are a whole bunch of reasons why a person might write more than 50,000 words for NaNoWriMo: maybe you're just a naturally fast writer, maybe you're trying to finish the book, or maybe you just need a bigger challenge! In this week's episode, hosts Kristina and Liz get into the nitty-gritty of being NaNo over-achievers.Follow us on Twitter: @howtowinnanoJoin our Discord server: https://discord.gg/u92vfhgAYmBecome a Patron: https://www.patreon.com/howtowinnano

Nov 24

19 min 35 sec

Something you might find yourself asking is, "how important is theme when writing my story?" Should  theme come before you start writing, or is it something I can figure out along the way?Like most things with writing, there's no wrong way! In this episode, Kristina and Liz discuss different approaches to story theme and why it's sometimes something you might be already doing without even realizing it!Follow us on Twitter: @howtowinnanoJoin our Discord server: https://discord.gg/u92vfhgAYmBecome a Patron: https://www.patreon.com/howtowinnano

Nov 17

22 min 38 sec

Have you outlined your book, but then once you start writing everything falls apart? How do you push through when feeling disorganized? What if the urge is strong to go back and edit?In this week's episode, hosts Kristina and Liz discuss a number of tips to help you through this frustrating experience.Follow us on Twitter: @howtowinnanoJoin our Discord server: https://discord.gg/u92vfhgAYmBecome a Patron: https://www.patreon.com/howtowinnano

Nov 10

23 min 23 sec

Book covers definitely aren't the MOST important thing to be thinking about during NaNoWriMo, but since the NaNo site gives you a nice spot to upload one, it's something that's likely on your mind! In this week's episode, hosts Kristina and Liz share  some great tips on making your own!Follow us on Twitter: @howtowinnanoJoin our Discord server: https://discord.gg/u92vfhgAYmBecome a Patron: https://www.patreon.com/howtowinnano

Nov 6

19 min 6 sec

Why this is going to be the best year of NaNoWriMo ever and how you're going to absolutely crush it. Or something like that. In this week's episode, hosts Kristina and Liz do their very best to get you pumped.Follow us on Twitter: @howtowinnanoJoin our Discord server: https://discord.gg/u92vfhgAYmBecome a Patron: https://www.patreon.com/howtowinnano

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Nov 1

20 min 42 sec

Have you ever thought about using tarot cards to help inspire your novel? Or just want to find out what's in store for your writing future? On this special Halloween episode, hosts Kristina and Liz do just that.Follow us on Twitter: @howtowinnanoJoin our Discord server: https://discord.gg/u92vfhgAYmBecome a Patron: https://www.patreon.com/howtowinnano

Oct 31

12 min 2 sec

It's almost November, and maybe you're worried that your tank is ALREADY empty! Whether that be creatively, physically, of just straight burnout, the idea of finding any sort of creative reserves to draw from might be daunting.In this week's episode, hosts Kristina and Liz discuss a number of options for how to fill that tank and get the words written.Follow us on Twitter: @howtowinnanoJoin our Discord server: https://discord.gg/u92vfhgAYmBecome a Patron: https://www.patreon.com/howtowinnano

Oct 27

28 min 3 sec

Are you writing a fantasy novel? Do you need to name way too many characters? Not sure where to start?In this week's episode, hosts Kristina and Liz give a few tips on how to tackle this very specific writing problem.Follow us on Twitter: @howtowinnanoJoin our Discord server: https://discord.gg/u92vfhgAYmBecome a Patron: https://www.patreon.com/howtowinnano

Oct 20

23 min 43 sec

Picking which project to work on is the first challenging step in NaNoWrimo...especially for veteran wrimos! Do you always start a brand new project? Do you pick up something you've worked on before? In this episode, hosts Kristina and Liz weigh the pros and cons of each idea.Thank you to @froznmangos for inspiring this topic.Follow us on Twitter: @howtowinnanoJoin our Discord server: https://discord.gg/u92vfhgAYmBecome a Patron: https://www.patreon.com/howtowinnano

Oct 13

21 min 17 sec

Can you believe it's already NaNoWriMo season again? In this economy?!Your hosts Kristina and Liz are back for SEASON 3 of How To Win NaNo, in which we get you ready to crush that daily word count and hopefully come out the other end with a novel you're proud to have written.It's so good to be back!Follow us on Twitter: @howtowinnanoJoin our Discord server: https://discord.gg/u92vfhgAYmBecome a Patron: https://www.patreon.com/howtowinnano

Oct 6

11 min 45 sec

Or you didn't, and that's okay too! As we wrap up a particularly strange year of NaNoWriMo, your hosts Kristina and Liz leave you with some final thoughts on what this year was like, and what to do next.

Dec 2020

12 min 6 sec

What if you're behind? What if all of your friends are ahead of you? What if you *gasp* finish early? In this episode, we discuss all things related to the home-stretch. 

Nov 2020

15 min 3 sec

We're halfway! How are you feeling? Need a pick me up? Then you've come to the right place.

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Nov 2020

13 min 20 sec

How to write your novel this November when you're just plain tired of being on your computer.

Nov 2020

14 min 33 sec

Feelin' blue about the pandemic? Missing all your IRL NaNo buddies? Here are some tips for connecting with people even when you have to do it remotely!

Nov 2020

15 min 26 sec

It's November 1st! Feeling overwhelmed? US TOO! HAPPY NANO!

Nov 2020

14 min 59 sec

Thinking about doing short stories, a memoir, a rewrite, or some other kind of non-traditional idea for NaNoWriMo this year? In this episode, Liz and Kristina discuss strategies, and how this is a totally okay thing to do.

Oct 2020

20 min 37 sec

In this week's episode, we talk about ways to find inspiration, ways to reward yourself for hitting certain world milestones, and just plain pushing through when things get tough. It's going to be a wild NaNoWriMo, folks, but we've got your back.

Oct 2020

15 min 33 sec

Has 2020 already taken its toll on you? Need some advice on how to get yourself to write in a pandemic? We're here for you. <3

Oct 2020

16 min 40 sec

2020 didn't turn out to be quite the year we expected it to be, but our second season of How To Win NaNo has finally arrived! Things might look different this year, but NaNoWriMo is still on its way. We're here to be your #1 source for surviving National Novel Writing Month in a pandemic.

Sep 2020

22 min 7 sec

Love the podcast and sad to see it over? YOU'RE IN LUCK. Here's a rundown of what to expect in 2020 for our little writing community.

Dec 2019

7 min 25 sec

Is there life after NaNoWriMo? Of course there is! We're here to help you deal. Have a plethora of free time now and you're not sure what to fill it with? Not sure what to do next on your writing project? We got you.

Dec 2019

15 min 1 sec

NaNoWriMo ending can be jarring for a number of reasons! In this episode we talk about the things we've learned this year, regional epilogue parties, and how much we think about NaNoWriMo the rest of the year.

Dec 2019

22 min

There are 3 days left in NaNoWriMo. Let's talk about how it feels, how those last 10,000 words feel, and what we'll miss about NaNo once it's over. 

Nov 2019

18 min 18 sec

Need to buckle down and get some words written? We've got you! Put this episode on when you've got a free 30 mins and want to focus on writing. Music by Marc Straight.

Nov 2019

31 min 1 sec

The hardest part of NaNoWriMo -- week 3, or the 30k slump. Why it's the worst, but we're all in this together.

Nov 2019

24 min 34 sec

We discuss a bit of the darker side of NaNoWriMo: bad writing days, how to recover when falling behind, and why you should keep going anyway.

Nov 2019

19 min 18 sec

Marc Straight wrote the music behind our word sprint bonus episodes and he's also a fellow NaNoWriMo participant! Join us for a quick bonus episode where we interview Marc about all things writing, music and NaNo.

Nov 2019

12 min 48 sec

Need to buckle down and get some words written? We've got you! Put this episode on when you've got a free 30 mins and want to focus on writing. Music by Marc Straight.

Nov 2019

31 min 24 sec

Rewards and punishments can be strong motivators during NaNoWriMo. In this episode, we talk about how to set the right ones for yourself and then get completely derailed and talk a LOT about pie.

Nov 2019

14 min 2 sec

A quick bonus episode to help get you through Day #1! We discuss naming your document, the new official website and how it feels to finally START.

Nov 2019

19 min 52 sec

Grant Faulkner is the Executive Director of NaNoWriMo! This week he joins us for a discussion on how to pick your novel idea — and stick to it.

Oct 2019

34 min 54 sec

Everything you need to know about NaNoWriMo as a beginner, or some excellent tips and refreshers for veterans!

Oct 2019

34 min 9 sec

This episode is all about naming your characters! We discuss how to choose names, what happens if you decide to change any names, and how to avoid making naming mistakes.

Oct 2019

32 min 26 sec

What are your biggest writing distractions? How do you cope with distraction? And does "writer's block" actually exist? 

Oct 2019

31 min 17 sec

What type of outlining is useful for writing a novel in a month? Is there such a thing as overplanning? How can you tailor your outline in a way that keeps you excited to work on your novel? 

Oct 2019

21 min 6 sec

In this episode, we dive into some of our favorite writing tools and take a look at some lovely messages from listeners!

Sep 2019

27 min 37 sec

In this week's episode, we delve into genre and setting — and how the two are connected.

Sep 2019

25 min 14 sec

In this episode we talk about how we come up with ideas for characters, what makes a character interesting, and how to make those characters feel like living, breathing beings you can form empathy for.

Sep 2019

29 min 56 sec

Get to know Kristina and Liz, the hosts of How To Win NaNo! In this episode, we delve into our writer origin stories, including how we got started writing, what we like reading, and ways we've been involved in NaNoWriMo in the past beyond just writing our novels.

Sep 2019

32 min 41 sec

The secret to NaNoWriMo is in building strong habits. It takes 21 days to build a habit, so we're here to help you get this stuff down BEFORE November starts!

Aug 2019

17 min 46 sec

Where do story ideas come from? How do you choose what to write? How do you keep track of your ideas? Join us this week as we discuss tips for generating novel ideas.

Aug 2019

23 min 8 sec

Liz and Kristina dive into what it means to be successful at NaNoWriMo, and why this tool for getting your book written works for so many people.

Aug 2019

17 min 4 sec

A brief intro to what NaNoWriMo is and why we do it every year.

Aug 2019

19 min 57 sec

How To Win NaNo is a writing podcast aimed to get YOU ready to tackle NaNoWriMo this November. Episodes will go live every Wednesday starting in April, but until then: please enjoy this trailer!Kristina Horner and Liz Leo are best friends and 13/12 year NaNoWriMo champions respectively. They've known each other since middle school, and stayed friends all these years thanks to their shared love of writing.Join them each week as they share their tips, tricks and things they've learned over a decade of consecutive NaNoWriMo wins.

Jul 2019

10 min 42 sec