This week we began planning for our “epic” writing project of the year: Life Christian Academy freshmen will be writing a 15,000-50,000 word novel during the month of November. I know, I know, it sounds impossible. However, it isn’t…it’s amazing! Thousands of schools around the world participate in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) every year, and our students will be successful! NaNoWriMo will build writing skills, reading skills, and confidence skills. Plus, it will give our kids incredible bragging rights; it’s not every day you meet a high school freshman who is a novelist!
This will be the sixth LCA freshman class to participate in NaNoWriMo, and all our noveling classes have left quite a legacy! LCA freshman classes have written a combined total of over 2 million words during November since 2012. Ninety-two percent of our novelists met their word goal on time our first year – a remarkable success rate. Almost forty LCA students are now published authors, and their books can be purchased on Amazon.com. We even made the front page of the Tacoma News Tribune!
Much more information can be found at http://ywp.nanowrimo.org.
I have a plethora of ideas that I am brainstorming to help our noveling adventure be meaningful and fun, and you can help! Here are some things you can do to help the students embrace this project and get the most out of it:
- Be encouraging. Remind him/her of all the other things he/she has accomplished that he/she didn’t think possible. NaNoWriMo is like running a marathon. It will be difficult, but when students complete it, they will have a tremendous sense of accomplishment.
- Consider writing along! Maybe this is the perfect opportunity to write that book you have always wanted to write.
- We will spend the remainder of October learning the elements of novels and planning our novels. Brainstorm with the students; help them unleash their inner creative genius!
- Refer “author” friends you may have who would be willing to come give the class a pep talk.
- Donate treats to help contribute to the “coffee-shop” writing vibe I am hoping to create. You can donate goodies for one class period (20-25 students) or for all the freshmen classes (45 students). You can donate one time or sign up to bring “snacks” once a week. I know some of you miss elementary school “snack days.”
- Do you have other ideas? I would love to hear them! Let’s work together to make this a positive and memorable experience!
Please feel free to send me an email with any other questions or ideas you may have. I am so excited to begin this project, and I am confident that it will be a valuable learning opportunity. These are phenomenal students, and I know they will rise to this challenge!