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Getting Kids Excited About Writing Through NaNoWriMo

In an age when so much of our communication takes place online and in written form- in emails, texts, tweets, and status updates – the ability to express oneself in writing is an important skill for kids and adults.

But getting kids excited about writing can be tough. Enter NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month. This month-long event is a fun way for writers of all ages to challenge themselves with completing a novel in a month. This year, nearly 500,000 writers are expected to participate, including over 80,000 students and educators.

Participants can register online at any time, and can use tools to track their progress, connect with other writers and get encouragement and inspiration. For adults, the goal is a novel of 50,000 words. For students, the Young Writers Program lets participants set their own achievable, but still challenging, goals.

Why participate?

If your child enjoys writing stories, participating in NaNoWriMo could be a fun way to challenge him or herself to complete a longer piece of writing.

Participants say that they experienced improved self-confidence, creative writing skills, overall writing skills, and time management at the end of the challenge.

If you’re a parent who likes to write, why not participate with your child? You can encourage and challenge each other, and demonstrate to your child that writing is fun!

Not sure where to start?

The Young Writers Program offers free downloadable workbooks for elementary, middle school, and high school students to help writers get started. They cover all the basics- from creating characters and settings, to hashing out a plot.

To add to the fun, and help get the creative juices flowing, the site features a Dare Machine with fun challenges to include in your plot. Dares include things like include a descriptive scene where a character makes a sandwich, and make something blow up.

Ready to get started, or want more information?

Visit the Young Writers Program at NaNoWriMo for all the details!

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Ashley MacQuarrie

Ashley MacQuarrie began writing professionally more than ten years ago and has covered education, technology, current events, pop culture, and other topics. A former homeschooler, she studied English and Film & New Media, graduating with a bachelor's degree from San Diego State University. Ashley has classroom experience working with children who have autism and other special needs. She has also tutored students from kindergarten through college and taught English to teens and adults at a language school in London.

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