I’m a few days late with this post for the #AuthorToolboxBlogHop, but I hope they forgive me. Teaching during a pandemic with students in the classroom and at home is a bit stressful. (It’s actually going quite well, but it’s taken several months to get the hang of it.)
Since we’re on the subject of teaching, I’ll stick with it for this post. One of the classes I teach this year is Creative Writing (which we started last school year). During the month of November, my students and I participate in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) utilizing the Young Writers Program.
What is the Young Writers Program?
The Young Writers Program (or YWP) is a way for NaNoWriMo to be accessible for participants 17 and younger (18 only if they’re still in high school). Writing 50,000 words would be near impossible for young writers, so YWP allows them to choose their own writing goal.
Resources are available for both young writers and teachers of young writers. Planning workbooks (high school, middle school, and elementary school levels), word-count trackers, lesson plans, challenges, and more are just a click away on the website.
Young writers who sign up have a plethora of things to do on the website. They can update their profile, add information about their November book idea, and view forums (if allowed) for writers.
Teachers who sign their class up, have options to allow certain functions on the site, too. They can even order a classroom kit to get started!
Above is a photo of my main page on YWP. I can participate with my students. They can see my progress as I add words to my novel.
We’re working on determining our word count goals next week. Each student will have a personalized goal that can be accomplished during our class in November. We can re-evaluate their goal any time in the first half of the month.
Planning and Writing…
When it comes to planning, students can do so on the website. None of the planning counts toward their goal, but doing so allows their plans to be easily accessible when they’re writing.
Additionally, students can choose to write their novel on the website. This helps with word count since the website counts their words for them each time they write.
In the “Chapters and Notes” section, they can write their book in chapters with separate headings. Another option is writing on a separate document and tracking their own word counts.
Do you see the “Dare Machine” on the left there? Students can use this feature for fun or when they get stuck on what comes next while writing. They offer quite a few unique challenges that can be used in the novel or for a fun short story on the side.
We started planning our novels a bit late this year, but we’re on track to start writing in November. Students are excited and ready to begin this journey together.
Are you participating in NaNoWriMo? What tips do you give young people or those new to NaNoWriMo?
This post is part of the #AuthorToolboxBlogHop (hosted by Raimey Gallant), which is dedicated to helping writers become stronger and more confident in their craft. Click here for more information, to continue hopping through other posts, or to join in!