National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) occurs every November thanks to the non-profit of the same name.
National Novel Writing Month operates under the belief "in the transformational power of creativity. We provide the structure, community, and encouragement to help people find their voices, achieve creative goals, and build new worlds—on and off the page.”
Starting November 1, participants will have until November 30 to pen a 50,000 word novel, inspiring writers to work towards their ultimate goal of writing a novel.
This year, NaNoWriMo features a special focus on educators and K-12 students thanks to a re-vamped Young Writers Program. The beta version of the site provides young writers with a series of resources like free PDF downloads of novelist workbooks that help to "create characters, build settings, and hatch plots.”
The workbooks are separated for elementary, middle school and high school grade levels to ensure that every young writer can participate and receive the guidance they need to get started.
Throughout the writing process, the Young Writers Program also offers a series of pep talks from established authors who can help inspire young writers and seasoned writers alike to keep working.
Although young writers can get involved on their own, the Young Writers Program encourages educators to be guides to their students interested in participating in NaNoWriMo. Educators are encouraged to register on the site for no charge, where they’ll receive access to resources like Common-Core aligned lesson plans, a classroom kit and a series of forums that serve as connections to other educators doing the same thing.
Educators have the option to create virtual classrooms where they can hold class discussions and monitor students’ progress. After students create their own free accounts, they can join the classroom and start creating their novels with the help of the on-site writing space where students can draft and save their novel.
The online tools help educators monitor student progress throughout the month, keep students motivated and ensure they keep writing until the very end.
Unlike the traditional program, young writers are encouraged to set their own word goal as opposed to adhering to the 50,000 goal for participating adults/seasoned writers, so the ultimate goal is for students to achieve their personal best as they balance their other studies.
After the month ends, students can continue to work on and edit their novels with continued support from NaNoWriMo.
"In January and February, we support the revision and publishing process. It’s an extension of our anything-goes, wombat-infused noveling philosophy, with the added aim of helping you fulfill your novel’s potential: from first draft to final,” says NaNoWriMo on its site.
Nicole Gorman, Senior Education World Contributor