This week, I've been catching up with school assignments and taking a break from reading. So today, instead of reviewing a book, I'd like to talk about something starting tomorrow: National Novel Writing Month!
Known to those who participate in this event as NaNoWriMo, November is a month of challenges and frenzied typing. The adult program, for anyone 13 or older, challenges writers to complete a 50,000 word novel in exactly 30 days. Writers begin this enormous task on November 1, and must 'turn in' their completed first drafts by midnight, November 30. Time zones are taken into account, and each writer sets their time zone when they fill out their author information. Forums are available for participants, as are web badges, NaNoToons, and pep talks from several famous authors.
I had never heard of NaNoWriMo until halfway through November of last year, and I figured by that point I might as well wait. So I did. In fact, I almost forgot to register this year.... until I followed a cool-looking link on TeenInk's website. Guess what I discovered? NaNoWriMo's Young Writers Program! This is similar to the original NaNoWriMo site, but it's geared towards kids 17 and under. You can sign up as a K-12 teacher who wants their whole class to participate, or you can join as a student of such a class or an individual. Pep talks, web badges, and forums similar to those on the original site are geared towards the younger participants. Flyers, handbooks, and other resources are also available for spreading the word or getting ready. The major difference between the regular program and the YWP is the word count - original participants must meet the 50,000 word goal to win. YWP participants set their own goals, based on their own situations.
I signed up for NaNoWriMo YWP 2011, and I invite all of you to join me!