Last November, 21 students wrote first drafts of novels. Starting in January, they spent hours and hours editing and readying them for publication, and now 18 of them reaped the benefits of their labor, following through to see their novels published. Here’s a video of their work.
Doesn’t that look fun? It’s not too early for you to think of signing up for next year’s NaNoWriMo Young Writer’s Program for November 2011. This will be the third year 8th graders and I have written novels in November.
Eighth graders (and some high schoolers at my school who choose to do it again) make a goal–usually around 10,000 words. It’s a challenging objective, but most of them make it to that lofty number. I write a 50,000 word novel and connect with other writers on the main NaNoWriMo site.
I encourage my educator friends to join in the fun with your students of all ages. NaNoWriMo does things excellently, and it is geared for all students K-12. (The younger the student, the smaller the word-count goal, of course.) NaNo provides an incredible interactive virtual classroom where you can connect with other novel-writing students around the world. Oh, and did I tell you the program is free?
“It is not often that someone comes along who is a true friend and a good writer,” said E.B. White about Charlotte. Those of us who have joined in at NaNoWriMo would concur with White about the staff members at NaNo. Not only are they true friends and good writers, but each one has an incredible sense of humor, impeccable taste in stickers and posters, and the ability to help you when you have a need. The workbooks make the planning fun and meaningful (and tied into standards). In the past CreateSpace.com has provided free proof copies of their novels for all participants who reach their goal.
Check out the program links, and leave any questions in the comments section. I’ll be happy to try to answer them from my limited perspective. And, as I said at the beginning, it is not too early to think about it. November comes fast once school starts!