Superpowered Noveling


Cennedi Fry , Online Editor

November is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo.) Each year NaNoWriMo holds a writing event all month long.

In the NaNoWriMo press release they stated that this year they are expecting over 400,000 people to participate– including over 70,000 K-12 students and educators on the Young Writers Program website to start a 50,000 word novel in the month of November.

The theme for this year’s challenge is Superpowered Noveling.  

“NaNoWriMo ignites people’s superheroic creative powers every year by empowering them to write their stories. It takes courage, grit, resilience– and wild imaginative leaps- to write 50,000 words of a novel in a month. Our stories save us from villainous forces that we encounter everyday. Our stories determine the future of our world,” said Grant Faulkner, Executive Director of NaNoWriMo.

Last year NaNoWriMo welcomed 384,129 participants, in 646 different regions, on six continents. More than 34,000 met the writing goal 50,000 words.

Writing 50,000 words in a month may seem daunting, but with careful planning it is possible. Writers who plan before November  call themselves a Plantser. They prepare all of October to have the perfect story plan and outline.  Other people, however, have no plan at all  at the beginning November.  They are called a Panster. They go into the month with nothing but a blank page and the will to write.  

To help writers reach their goals, the site offers weekly pep talks penned by published authors, including Roxane Gay, Kevin Kwan, Julie Murphy, and Grant Faulkner. NaNoWriMo is also offering participants access to mentorship from authors including Emily X.R. Pan, Mur Lafferty, and Jasmine Guillory. For example Roxane Gay wrote in her pep talks that what went on in her mind when she started her first novel, most of which were about the logistics of a novel.  

Additionally, the NaNoWriMo Twitter does daily word sprints. The small writing prompts  help build word count. Words sprints  range between 10-15 minutes of furious writing. Writers can choose to share what they wrote with other writers or just keep it to themselves.    

NaNoWriMo isn’t just a writing event, they are a nonprofit organization that believe stories matter. Through participants fundraising on Facebook, NaNoWriMo is able to purchase and send writing kits to classrooms all over the world. The writing kits include posters, stickers, and other offline resources used for getting students writing creatively in the classroom.   

They started the Young Writers Program (YWP) to gets kids writing. The YWP helps young writers participating in both in the classroom and independently– set individualized word-count goals and divide their work into daily, achievable milestones.

“NaNoWriMo gives kids a crazy task, but a real, authentic one: tell your story, whatever story matters to you. It doesn’t matter how you tell it, just that you get it out into the world. Students, even those who thought they hated writing, get invested. It becomes the best part of their day. By the end of the month, they’ve worked hard, developed confidence and new skills, and have their very own novel to show off!” said Marya Brennan, Young writers Program Director.

NaNoWriMo may not be an actual competition but they do offer a range of prizes for the writers that complete the 50,000 word count goal. Some of the prizes include 50% off Scrivener (Word Processor) and a chance to get your novel published.

Some of the English and Creative writing teachers thinks NaNoWriMo is a great way to get students writing. Mr. Krack said, “It’s a way for students to immerse themselves in creative writing.

Dr. Snyder said, “It’s an amazing opportunity for young would be writers to sharpen their practice and hone their craft. It incentivizes writers to create or develop the habit of writing which is necessary to be successful.”