November is National Novel Writing Month, in which contestants write a 50,000-word novel over the thirty days of November. I've taken part six times, and I can't recommend it enough to aspiring writers: Nothing demystifies writing like pounding out 1,667 words every day for thirty straight days. One of the first questions people ask when I tell them about "competing" in NaNoWriMo is "what do you get if you win?" The answer, basically, is: Nothing. You win the right to say you wrote a novel in one month.
This year, though, there will be a prize. The good folks at University Book Store are hosting a competition for local NaNoWriMo winners: Just drop off or e-mail the novel you wrote for NaNoWriMo 2011 with University Book Store by December 2nd, and one winner will be chosen to be published by University Book Store Press. (What that means is that the winner will receive ten free copies of their book, their novel will be stocked on UBS shelves for at least three months, they'll take part in a special reading to celebrate the contest, and they'll get a $100 gift card. Two finalists will get $50 gift cards and will also take part in the post-contest reading.)
I'm one of the judges for this competition. I'm looking forward to reading your book. More information about the contest is right here.