New group provides help for writing first novel

Noelle Konieczny/Staff Writer

Ready, set, write your heart out! NaNoWriMo is a new writing group being started at the high school. What is NaNoWriMo? It stands for National Novel Writing Month, which is from Nov. 1 to Nov. 30 at midnight.

The very first NaNoWriMo took place in July, 1999, in the San Fransisco Bay area, with 21 participants. Ten years later in 2009, over 170,000 people signed up and participated and over 2,427,190,537 words were written.

The goal is that if you’re over 17, you write a 175-page (50,000-word) novel. If you’re 17 and under, you can participate in the Young Writers Program, which allows you to set your own word count if having to write 50,000 words in one month scares you.

If you’re in grades 9-12 and you meet your word count goals, NaNoWriMo has partnered with CreateSpace, a website devoted to self publishing, to provide one free proof paperback copy of your completed novel only a few short weeks after NaNoWriMo ends. NaNaWriMo is a novel-writing program for everyone who has thought fleetingly about writing a novel but has been scared away by the time and effort involved. Due to the limited writing window, the only thing that matters is how much you write. It’s all about quantity, not quality.

The kamikaze approach forces you to lower your expectations, take risks and write on the fly. “I think many of us have a novel inside of us, and we simply need the motivation to sit down and write it. National Novel Writing Month gives you the opportunity to do just that,” media specialist Kim Traw said.

She is planning to not only invite anyone interested to participate, but form a writing/NaNoWriMo support group. This group would meet weekly after school in the library throughout November and would serve as a form of encouragement and help for when the writing gets tough. The group plans on meeting Mondays and Thursdays weekly starting Monday, Nov. 1. They will have use of the library computers until 4 p.m.

If interested in more information or sign up, see either Traw, Beth Kosmicki or me. I think that this is a great opportunity for all aspiring young writers and an opportunity that should be taken advantage of.

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