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NaNoWriMo: Novel Writing for Kids (and Adults)

How does the idea of getting your children to write a novel in a month sound to you?  Incredible?  Well, it might be, but last year 35,000 kids were involved in NaNoWriMo’s Young Writers Program.  NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month.

Last year Miss 17 and Miss 12 participated.  For the entire month of November they cut out all ‘non-essential’ schoolwork, as well as English, while they struggled with characterization, plot, settings, scenes, and getting all their thoughts down on paper.  No, they did not produce the greatest literature, but did they ever learn a lot!  It was an empowering as well as highly educational experience.

Mr. 15 and I had planned to participate this year, but now he’s doing technical writing for his website, Teen Geek, and I’m blogging.  In fact, Miss 12 will be our only NaNoWriMo writer this year, and she is really looking forward to it.

If you have any children who love to write, give them this challenge.  NaNoWriMo provides all sorts of support, advice, and encouragement, including free workbooks.   Children get to choose their own word-count goal, and if they meet it they can even get a free soft-cover copy of their novel!

Of course, one month is not long enough to write a quality novel, but this project is about quantity, not quality.  If they wish, children can edit their writing after the month is over before getting it printed.

And if you, Mom, want to join in yourself, there is an adult NaNoWriMo as well.   You’ll be joining professional novelists (some of whom apparently use this month to jumpstart their novels) as well as amateurs.  Last year over 30,000 of the 165,000 participants met the 50,000 word goal by midnight, November 30.    

Note:  As always, parents should be aware of what their children are doing, including on the NaNoWriMo forums.

Disclosure:  As usual, I am not compensated in any way for my posts, although I admit that this one sounds like an ad.  Perhaps I should start a new career in advertising!  Hmmm.  

For other Finer Things, visit Amy’s blog.

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