I love November! There is something about the crispness in the air, the coziness of a warm blanket as you cuddle on the couch with a good book, and the many wonderful events taking place, including NaNoWriMo!

There is no need to grab your dictionary or run a spell check. NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. Open to both adults and students, this program takes place every year from November 1st-30th.  I cannot recommend it highly enough!

How I Learned About the Program

It was almost ten years ago, and we were sitting around the Thanksgiving table. My daughter, who was in junior high at the time, had a look of keen interest on her face as her older cousin told her about the annual writing program. I could tell my daughter was extremely interested in what her cousin had to say by the look of concentration on her face. She loved to write!  Much to my daughter’s chagrin, she could not participate that year because she found out about it too late. However, when November next rolled around, she was raring to go! Any program that can foster this much enthusiasm in a child has my endorsement.

Participants

To give you an idea of the magnitude of this program, in 2015, NaNoWriMo had 431,626 participants, including 80,137 students and educators in the Young Writers Program.

Further, over 250 NaNoWriMo novels have been traditionally published. To see a full list of their published authors, click here.

Girl Writing

Young Writers Program

As mentioned above, NaNoWriMo is an excellent way to get children excited about writing. Whether you are teacher looking to expand your curriculum in the classroom, or a parent introducing the program to their child, this helpful .pdf will explain the Young Writers Program. Here are a few statistics from their brochure:

  • 87% said the program made them more excited about writing.
  • 86% said it made writing more fun for them.   

  • 84% said it helped improve their writing skills.

  • 81% said it taught them what they can accomplish when they are determined.

Those are some impressive statistics! Especially considering that in 2011 only 27% of 8th grade students in the United States performed at or above proficient levels.

Program Resources

The program offers a multitude of resources including classroom kits, common core-aligned curricula based on grade level, workbooks, author mentors, and student publications.

To sign-up for the NaNoWriMo Young Writers Program, please visit their website. To quote their website, their writing program is “free, now and forever.”

My Thoughts

As parents, teachers, and mentors, we want to do everything within our power to see children succeed. Writing and learning to express themselves is part of that process. By encouraging a love of reading, and writing, we are investing in their future. I hope you will introduce the program to a child today.

The NaNoWriMo adult program can be found here. To offer inspiration to a child, and to be a good role model, sign-up! We all have a story to tell. It’s just a matter of finding the right words and learning to express them.

Happy writing,

K. Lamb

[Information Source: NaNoWriMo.org]