Is Writing a Novel in Your Future? (3-Day Novel Event Group Discussion)

As writers, I would fairly guess that most of us have long-term goals in mind concerning the progress of our writing. What do we want to accomplish? What steps should we take to reach our writing goals? We write tons of short stories, flash fiction, and poems, and yet our hunger to write still has a bigger dream… The dream to write books! Is this dream attainable? Do we have what it takes to follow through and finish such a project?

If you want to take a stab at writing your first novel, or pumping yourself up to write another novel, here is an experience that could help you along the way to your dream:

The annual Three-Day Novel Contest

“The Three-Day Novel Contest is an annual Canadian literary contest conducted in September of each year. The contest, which is open to writers from anywhere in the world, gives entrants three days to write a novel. Writers are permitted to plan and outline their novel in advance, but the actual writing cannot begin until the contest’s opening date, which is traditionally on Labour Day weekend.” (Wikipedia)

My Experience of this Event:

Last year, five members of Writer’s Carnival (Anisa, Doug, Tim, Dave, Rebecca) decided to enter the contest, and support one another in our efforts. It was my first time participating in this event. I was exhilarated! Excited. Nervous… But, I totally looked forward to trying my best to write a novel in three days. It served as a very positive vehicle to propel me to plan, prepare, outline a brief summary of what I intended to write, and think about a new exciting story idea. Plus, I had other writers to cheer me on before and during the event!

I never intended to win the contest, I just knew it was another step in experiencing writing on a new level. The goal is to write about 100 pages, double spaced. I managed to write around 9,000 words. Yes, I came up short, but I submitted my entry anyway, as it was part of the process. It was a wonderful experience!

Registration for this event is $50.00 CAD(40.05 USA). A small price to pay to get your butt activated toward your writing goals! Here is the link that contains all the information about this event:

The annual Three-Day Novel Contest

Some of us are planning to participate, again, this year! If you decide to register, let us know. We will be happy to support your effort! Be sure to have lots of comfort foods, hydrating liquids, and post-it notes scattered about you. When you are pulling your hair out or in a delirious state of fatigue, vent in a status post and we can talk you down or up!  LOL   Maybe I have said too much…. Hahahahahahaha!

*If you have participated in this event or something like it, please comment about your experience. You can ask questions about it here on this post. *

Author Notes

11 Comments for “Is Writing a Novel in Your Future? (3-Day Novel Event Group Discussion)”

reigny dai


Hmm. Maybe I’ll give it a whirl this year. I’m not a novel writer, but that doesn’t mean I can’t be. ☺
Thanks for the information.

Carol Moore


I would love to try the 3 day novel thing in September, If I can afford it this year I might give it a try. I love your story 🙂


It’s about $40.00. I think you would love it, Carol. I hope you are able to experience it. It’s a great learning experience, and I experienced a writer’s high like no other, as I barely got any sleep during that time…lol If you can’t rationalize paying the money, you could do it on your own without registering and do it at the same time while others are doing it. Treat it like you have paid the money and do all the planning and preparation and write for those three days non-stop!


Hi, I am in awe of those that took part. I can’t imagine the pressure to write a whole novel in three days. I have had a successful NaNo but that was a month. But I will think on it and peek at the link, I will let you know if I go completely mad and take the challenge. Good post Beccy… I think *mutter* “three days!”


I was not able to complete my novel in 3 days, Ellen. Far from it. But, the process of just doing it was a wonderful learning experience for me. And, I got a chunk of story to work with and expand, if I so choose. I would recommend it to any writer trying to reach a new level in their writing progress. 🙂 YOU CAN DO IT!


It was an exhausting, but fantastic, experience. I only finished 5,000 words or so, but it was a terrific start. I learned a lot in the process. The toughest lesson learned was how important preparation is – outlining to character sheets to planning breaks. It’s half the battle, if not more.

I highly recommend this to anyone thinking about it.


I know I got stuck a few times and had to research quite a few things which took up a great deal of time. Other than the family in my story, I created a ton of characters I never planned on, and the only name I came up with before starting to write was Elektra, so I spent even more time deciding on names and researching those for my characters… I must do better planning this time! I just “let ‘er rip” and should have done a lot more planning before I started.

Tim Hillebrant


I loved doing this, and I got a ton of knowledge from the experience.
I won’t lie, after completing the 3 days, it was a little while before I was able to write much of anything again, but the experience was spectacularly worthwhile all the same.
My effort netted me 96 pages written of a story that I’ve only just recently taken up the task of writing on again. I hope to finish this one- it will be my 2nd completed novel if I do.

As for this year? Waiting to narrow down what’s going on during that timeframe, and hope to be free to participate again.


Yeah, I remember not even wanting to write for awhile after the event…lol You sure were successful in reaching the goal amount of pages and word count. I don’t know how you did that. I waste too much time editing while I write, I think, and researching when I should be writing. My goal this time is to reach 20,000 words. LOL! You must have gotten around 50,000?


I did this two years ago and ended up with a rough draft of a novella. It was challenging and I learned a lot. Totally recommend it.

Doing it again.


Looking forward to sharing this experience with you, Doug. 🙂 Remember how nervous I was last year? I was totally scared to do it, but very excited. So glad you guys talked me into it.

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