National Novel Writing Month's Young Writers Program

By Goodreads Staff | Published Oct 31, 2012 06:30PM

Young writers read from their NaNoWriMo novels in Berkeley, California.

November is National Novel Writing Month! The annual NaNoWriMo event encourages writers everywhere to start and complete an entire novel in 30 days. And it isn't just for adults—since 2005, writers 17 and under have penned their own works through NaNoWriMo's Young Writers Program. Participants in the YWP have more flexibility with their goals and can set individual word-count targets. The program also provides valuable support for students on its Web site, including advice from best-selling authors, forums to chat with other writers, and workbooks to guide the novelist-in-progress. Educators can also sign their classrooms up for the challenge, using the YWP's online lesson plans and classroom kits.

In 2012, it is projected that more than 60,000 people will participate in the event worldwide. Your donations will help the YWP reach even more budding writers!

Tags: 2012-november and do-good

Comments (showing 1-13 of 13) (13 new)

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message 1: by Priscilla (new)

Priscilla This is a fabulous idea. Good for you.
Priscilla Oehlschlaeger

message 2: by Mamzel (new)

Mamzel This is the third year I have organized a writing group to participate in NaNoWriMo with motivated high school students. I appreciate any support Good Reads member can give to encourage these amazing kids. Thank you!

message 3: by Priscilla (last edited Nov 05, 2012 12:52PM) (new)

Priscilla We have a new theater group in Cincinnati Ohio that is called True Story Theater. This year the topic is Cincinnati. Storytelling, writing and dramatic movement are all very healing for the mind, body and spirit.
When we quiet our mind and write with passion we are
learning to listen to our intuition. Learning to listen to our intuition is a great achievement for accomplishing understanding for who we are. This is good for the soul at whatever age.
I teach a class called Theater Magic and we create productions so we can dress up, sing, dance and pretend. Remind your students they are the creators of what they manifest on paper. It can be lots of fun. Pretending is good for the imagination. Love the name NaNoWriMo....

message 4: by Alta (new)

Alta If everybody is writing novels who's going to read them? I would rather encourage young people to read novels, and someday one of them may become a (good) novelist. Besides, if you write a novel in just 30 days, it's very unlikely that would be worth reading. It takes more work than that. Young people who really want to write can try poetry and short stories--but a novel implies a knowledge and life experience that only adults can have.

message 5: by Irene (new)

Irene Taylor NaNoWriMo for young authors is a great idea! My piece on the Young Writers Program has useful links to curriculum materials, teaching guides, and teaching ideas for getting young writers involved. NaNoWriMo YWP is a great vehicle for teachers, since the activities can be tailored for even the youngest of writers.

message 6: by Emily (new)

Emily Alta wrote: "If everybody is writing novels who's going to read them? I would rather encourage young people to read novels, and someday one of them may become a (good) novelist. Besides, if you write a novel i..."

As a teenager who's currently writing a novel, I agree with you wholeheartedly that very little of what is produced during NaNoWriMo will be worth reading. The dubious literary merit of young writers' novels does not, however, render the entire experience of NaNoWriMo worthless. Yes, writing good books absolutely does "take more work than that"--that's the point. The more you participate in the writing process, the more you appreciate and understand truly great literature. Having noticed several major flaws in my writing, I've suddenly begun to read more carefully. How does this particular author transition between scenes? Why does her dialogue sound so much more natural than mine? What makes another author's characters so lifelike? I don't expect that I'll ever be a professional writer, but I'm learning to write better prose and to pay attention to what I read, both useful skills. Plus, telling stories is fun!

message 7: by Ezekiel (new)

Ezekiel Carsella yeah!! i am a teen and writing a novel and am enrolled in NanoWrimo and think it is kewl!!! cant wait to finish in time for NanoWrimo!!! and i admit it is a hard long process but rewarding in how i love to write books.

message 8: by Annie (new)

Annie I'm doing this for my second year and I'm so happy I got involved in NaNoWriMo :) It's really helped me see that I can do what I set my mind to. And it helped me write my first completed novel last year, and as a girl who wants to be a writer professionally, that was a major milestone.

message 9: by Dawn (new)

Dawn Heathers NaNoWriMo is a great writing program. I entered in it last year and had so much fun writing and trying to reach my deadline. Unfortunately, my "novel" was terrible, but the point of writing is to rewrite drafts, which is what I am currently trying to do. I applaud anyone who has entered in this wonderful contest because it takes a lot of planning and a lot of courage to attempt to write something in only a month. It's hard to write a novel, and it's even harder to write something good. I hope anyone who has entered reaches their goal and good luck to every one of those people!

message 10: by Evelyne (new)

Evelyne Holingue Nobody believes that a novel will be ready in 30 days, but getting a first draft, or enough of a story to be able to work on it, is what really matters when you participate in NaNoWriMo.
Kids, teens, adults, I think it's cool to know that so many people are writitng at the same time.
Happy writing to everyone who does it this year!

message 11: by Clodagh (last edited Nov 11, 2012 12:39AM) (new)

Clodagh great idea! keep up the good work!


message 12: by Rache (new)

Rache Oh, I'd love to write a story some day... I hope I someone would read it too and it wouldn't just be shoved onto another overstuffed and unread library shelf...

message 13: by June (new)

June Alta wrote: "If everybody is writing novels who's going to read them? I would rather encourage young people to read novels, and someday one of them may become a (good) novelist. Besides, if you write a novel i..."

Both "Water for Elephants" by Sara Gruen and "The Night Cirucs" by Erin Morgenstern started out as NaNo-novels. You wouldn't call those "not worth reading", would you?

NaNoWriMo is meant to make people who want to write a novel "someday" do so in November because "someday" might just as well be "never".

There are other programs aimed at making children and adults read more.

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