Camp, S’mores, and Word Counts? I’m in! by Ann Woodford

Let’s welcome back monthly columnist Ann Woodford as she shares with us: “Camp, S’mores, and Word Counts? I’m in!” Enjoy!


Greetings fellow writers! 

How is your summer going?

Probably better than last summer went, since last summer was all quarantined and closed businesses. Thanks plague. 

I know, not everything is reopened, and we aren’t completely back to normal, but we’re moving in that direction. 

We can socialize, at least a little, and sometimes even leave the mask behind. 

Hang in there! The end is nigh, and this time it’s a good thing. 

In the meantime, I’ve been nostalgic for camp. 

Ah! … the summer camp of my youth. We hung out in the woods; okay, it was a woody area. 

I lived in the city, and we took a bus to the suburbs for day camp. 

We sat on the grass, got stung by mosquitos and sometimes bees, ate crappy food, hung out with friends, and played great games. 

When I say it that way the only parts I really miss are the friends and games. 

What if I said you could have the best parts of camp again AND get some serious writing done? 

Admit it, the best fun we authors have is getting words on paper and screen. 

Time to Ramp Up Your Word Count at Camp Nano

You’ve probably heard of NaNoWriMo

It’s the month just before the holidays where writers addicted to word count and getting sh** done, write like the wind and finish a novel. 

If you can’t wait for November and you long for summer camp, come join us in July for Camp NaNoWriMo!

The Barany School of Fiction will be hosting a writer’s group (previously the cabins, Nano calls them groups now) called Fellowship of the Pen on the Nano site. 

We will also be supporting our campers in the weekly sprints we host on Wednesday’s (11amPT/2pmET) and Sundays (10amPT/1pmET). See below for more Writing Sprint info.

CampNano is different from November Nano. 

In CampNano, you set your own word goal.

You can choose between editing and writing (which I think is true for November as well now) and you can make s’mores to celebrate! 

(Technically you could make s’mores in November, but it seems disrespectful to pumpkin pie. And campfires are harder to enjoy in November, in the northeast anyway. Pumpkin s’mores? I’ll get back to you on that.) 

Want to Increase Your Word Count? Edit Your Book? 

What do you have to do to join us? I’m glad you asked! 

If you don’t have a Nano account (free for everyone) then go over to the site and sign up. (Detailed instruction below.)

If you do have an account at Nanowrimo, then just log in, search for the Fellowship of the Pen writing group, or friend me — I’m Ann Woodford on Nano — and I’ll send an invite. 

Once you find the group, use the code word Elixir, so I know you’re from the Fellowship of the Pen since it’s an exclusive group. 

From there all you have to do is announce your project, set your goals, and warm up your fingers for 31 days of writing! Word counts here we come!

I can’t wait to write with you!

Share in the comments what you’ll be writing this summer.

(Don’t worry, if you can’t play this July, I’ll be hosting the same group in November as well. Because who doesn’t want to write like the wind?!)

Increase Your Word Count at our Weekly Writing Sprint

Barany School of Fiction hosts 2 weekly sprints — one on Wednesdays and one on Sundays. 

On Wednesdays, there are 2 prompts in case you need them, no requirement to use them, and we sprint for 2-20 min blocks with a bit of visiting before, during and after. 

On Sundays, it’s the same format, except we sprint for 3-20 minute blocks. 

We are a relaxed group, there is no need for a camera or even a screen. For full accessibility, I describe and read the prompt every time. 

While I will always ask if anyone wants to brag on themselves and tell how well they did, there is no expectation for you to do so. 

We’d love to have you join us! Beth sends out a reminder Wednesday and Sunday mornings. All you need to do is sign up to get blog updates and you’re on our list. Sign up here:

How To Join Camp Nano Detailed Instructions 

Step 1. Sign in.

Sign in

Sign in at Nanowrimo:

You can make an account or use Facebook or Google to sign in and fill out your profile.

Step 2. Announce your project.

Go to the Projects tab on your profile page and announce your project. 

Announce your project

Step 3. Make sure to associate your project with CampNaNoWriMo.

You can always do this after you’ve added your project as well. 


Step 4. Find Buddies! 

Search for me — Ann Woodford — and all your other Nano friends so we can all camp together. 

Find Buddies

Step 5. Find the Fellowship of the Pen Group and join us. 

This group is limited to 20 people. If we have more than 20 participants I will figure out how to split us into 2 groups.

When you click on find a group you will be directed to the forums page. 

Use the search feature at the top of the page to search for Fellowship of the Pen and join up! 

You can join more than one group so if you find a local group, and that’s not too much to keep track of, then join them too!

find a local group

find a local group

Photo credits
Smores photo: Photo by Kenrick Mills on Unsplash
All the screenshots are mine by Ann Woodford.


Ann WoodfordAnn Woodford is a writer of many talents. She writes both fiction and nonfiction and will release her first novel this year. She just finished her Master’s degree in Professional Communication and is working on building her grant writing consulting business, launching soon. She works as a marketing assistant and program facilitator for the Barany School of Fiction and does coaching and ghostwriting on the side.

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