Mighty Pen Winner: C.J. Subko

Welcome one and all to celebrate C.J. on her NaNoWriMo win and becoming the Mightiest of Pens! While she calls Illinois home, you can find her on Instagram, BlueSky, Substack, and her website! In recognition of her achievement we interviewed her about writing, NaNo, and being a Mighty Pen. Check that out below! And don’t forget that C.J. is attempting to raise money for We Need Diverse Books, you can find her fundraiser here.

Is this your first time winning Nano?

Nope! I’ve won I think 4 times before 

Have you participated in The Mighty Pens before?

Yes but this is the year I did the most work for it 

What made you inspired to join The Mighty Pens this year?

I wanted to do something good with my words.

What’s the working title of your NaNoWriMo23 project?

Vae Victus 

Give us an elevator pitch of your project.

When the Romans come back to Germania, Odila has one goal: take them down. She decides to marry a Roman officer and steal his secrets. But the more she gets to know him, the more confusing her path. Will she choose love or freedom, or is there a way to find both? 

What’s your current favorite part of your NaNo project? Feel free to share your favorite line / short paragraph so far!

I love the banter between Odila and Cato.

“May I accompany you there? It’s growing dark and dangerous.”
She did not answer at first, but she did lower her spear. “And I am one of the dangers,” she said, and then, before he could say something else to provoke her, she turned on her heel and sprang off into the twilit forest, towards where the hart had gone.

What was a frustrating part of the NaNo/Mighty Pens this year? What was rewarding?

It was rewarding to finish 50k in so short a time. It was frustrating to cut out most of the middle of my outline and have to craft it anew. 

What advice would you give to other Mighty Pens / NaNoWriMos participating this year?

Go at your own pace, whether that’s breakneck or slow. Word vomit. Forget about editing. Just let yourself flow with the words. And take at least one break, even if just a few hours. 




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