National Novel Writing Month coming soon

National Novel Writing Month, a.k.a., NaNoWriMo, is almost upon us!

What is NaNoWriMo, you ask? According to the Young Writers Program website, NaNoWriMo is: National Novel Writing Month happens every November! It’s a fun, seat-of-your-pants writing event where the challenge is to complete an entire novel in just 30 days. For one month, you get to lock away your inner editor, let your imagination take over, and just create!

That means participants begin writing November 1 and must finish by midnight, November 30. The word-count goal for our adult program is 50,000 words, but the Young Writers Program (YWP) allows 17-and-under participants to set reasonable, yet challenging, individual word-count goals. In 2011, my two children (ages 11 and 8 at the time) participated in the program, wrote, and ultimately self-published, 10,000 and 1,000 word novels, respectively.

Prior to “winning” NaNoWriMo, I would have characterized them as non-writers — only writing when absolutely necessary, and almost never attempting anything close to creative writing. I was delighted to watch this process un-fold. Over the course of the 30-day challenge I saw them struggle, concentrate, create, suppress inner editors, fight writers block, and finish their novels by the deadline!

Last year, my oldest attempted NaNoWriMo again, but only wrote about 2,000 words before throwing in the towel. He was taking a journalism class that fall and wasn’t able to find the time or inspiration to write a novel. 

This year we are giving it another go! We are joining forces with a group of students and meeting twice a month to prepare for our writing adventure. There are some wonderful ideas emerging already, and as facilitator of the group I am so looking forward to seeing these novels come to fruition next month.

It’s not too late to sign up for NaNoWriMo — simply click the typewriter graphic above. Educators: there are Lesson Plans for grades K-12 and grade/age appropriate Workbooks available, too — all for FREE. If you have 10 students or more, you can even order classroom noveling kits for a small donation. The kits include a writing progress wall-chart, stickers, and NaNo buttons for the “winners”.

If you have any questions about how the program works, please drop us a line in the comment section. Now sign up, set a goal, and join us in creating something great!