JANO 2014 Wrap-Up

NaNo (National Novel Writing Month) is great, but if you’re a writer and you’re not doing Sleuths’ Ink Mystery Writers’ JANO writing challenge, you’re missing out. It’s not just for mystery writers, or just for people who live near Springfield, Missouri, or just for people who want to write a novel in a month. It’s for anyone who wants to be challenged to push themselves while enjoying the camaraderie of other authors. And prizes. Did I mention prizes?


A fabulous prize basket including V. J. Schultz’s book, DEATH OF BIGFOOT.

I had been hoping to have book two fully researched and plotted and be ready to dig into the first draft during JANO. Instead, I was still finishing revisions on book one and just beginning to plot book two. It worked out, though. One of the great things about JANO this year was the ability to include more than one work in progress, so my efforts on both books counted toward the 12,000 words I collected.

That was enough to allow me to join the reindeer games at the wrap-up party last weekend. I love the fun contest categories the organizers of JANO come up with—best title, most unusual setting, most unique character name, etc. I took home prizes for best blurb, author’s favorite line and best cliffhanger sentence. I still need to dig into those prize baskets and see what all is in there. I know I have two bottles of wine, lots of chocolate and, to mitigate the damage, a workout video. Plus some great books to relax with.


My haul from the JANO 2014 wrap-up party.

Like last year (see post here), I once again “lost” JANO, yet made good progress and had a great time. That’s a win in my book!


35 thoughts on “JANO 2014 Wrap-Up

  1. Barbara Bettis

    First, congrats on the wins. Sounds like fantastic prizes!! Wine and Chocolate. What could be better 🙂 If I’m ever able to do a concentrated writing month, I’d definitely go with Jano. Great group to work with. Best of luck with wrapping up edits and getting the story going.

  2. Beth Carter

    Congrats on all of those prizes! I love JANO–obviously since it was my idea back in 2009 and we launched it in 2010!!! I have to take credit for it since I wasn’t able to participate this year. 🙂 I’m so happy Sleuths’ Ink has carried on the tradition. I feared it would die out or lose momentum over the years but it just keeps getting better. It’s a big job to be the chair and everyone has done a fantastic job.

    Btw, Shirley and I came up with those categories in the beginning (aren’t they fun?!!) and they keep growing and changing through the years, too. I liked the new one that was added this year: Best Cliffhanger Sentence. That’s a great addition. Again, congrats, Sharon.

    1. Beth Carter

      Most don’t hit 50k, Barb. I never have. I think 28k was my highest and another year it was 18k. And that’s way more words than I would have had if I had not participated in JANO. That’s the beauty of it. The timing is much better after the holiday frenzy and when we’re holed up due to winter. It’s fun to write “along” with others and post results/encouragement on a special JANO loop. The prizes in early February are the icing on the cake but the added words to a new or existing ms are the real prize. I hope everyone participates next year. We’ve had participants from many states and even other countries. I hope to participate next year from Florida!

  3. Chris Cannon

    Someone needs to create a Nano event that includes wine and foot massages. Think of all the writing you could get done if you were that relaxed.

  4. Tierney James

    I wanted to tell you what a good job you’re doing for ORA. It’s also good that you are active in Sleuth’s. I enjoy your Facebook posts on archaeology so much I’m thinking about subscribing to the magazine.


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