The month of November is annual National Novel Writing Month, otherwise known as NaNoWriMo. Mrs. Abbot in the Timber Creek library and the TCHS Creative Writing club want to make more students aware at a meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 18 in the library from 3:45 to 4:15.
NaNoWriMo is funded by NaNoWriMo.org, a nonprofit organization which helps guide participants to write 50,000 words — an entire novel — in the 30 day span of November. All you have to do is win is complete your word count goal and copy and paste your writing into the word counter to verify your number. “NaNo,” as the event is abbreviated even further, offers webinars, pep talks, and numerous other resources for participants. The event hosts hundreds of thousands users each year, and in 2016, Timber Creek students and teachers plan to join them.
“We’re trying to create a buzz,” Abbot said. “It’s crucial for students to develop writing skills and to have a chance to be guided through a creative endeavor.”
Abbot personally plans to push NaNoWriMo’s Young Writers Program, which allows those under the age of 17 to compete in a NaNo of their own. Through this program, participants have the same resources and more, and this time, they get to determine their own word count goal. But some students, such as Hannah Mailhos, already plan to go for the full 50,000.
“I’ve been doing chapter by chapter plot breakdowns and I’ve been creating character sheets to help fully flesh out my characters,” Mailhos detailed. “I find that is a helpful tool when I’m stuck and I need advice on what a character should or shouldn’t do, or if an action would be out of the ordinary for them.”
Other students are taking creativity into their own hands. Although National Poetry Month is in April, Izzy Para, one of Creative Writing Club’s presidents, plans to write a poem each day of Nov.
“This year I’ve been working on my poetry a lot,” Para commented. “I want to try the challenge before this year ends.”
Abbot plans to have nights throughout the month of Nov. on which the library will be open late for TCHS participants to hold writing sit ins. The goal of the Oct. 18 meeting is to spread the word about the program as well as organize potential write-in dates. Both the library and Creative Writing Club encourage writers of all levels of experience to join.
“Why is it important?” asked Abbot. “My gosh, it’s writing!”