Monday, December 05, 2011

NaNoWriMo Wrap Up

In late September, I heard about NaNoWriMo's Young Writer's Program and thought it might be fun to do with the boys.  I contacted Katie Charland, the director at Gangplank to see if she had anything planned.  She ran an amazing summer journalism camp for kids as part of her Gangplank, Jr. program and I thought NaNoWriMo would fit right in.

She said that she would love it if I would do something!  Of course, I couldn't say no.

She helped publicize it, and I got the information out in my circle, and in the end we had a small group of young people get together.  I was so impressed to hear about their plans for their novels and how ambitious they were when setting word counts.

Even Lydia got into it, and was very excited to write her own novel.  (It was about a princess who saved a prince, in case you were curious.)   Thanks to NaNoWriMo's youth website, the writers were able to update their word count and I was able to watch in amazement at the number of words they were writing.  As a group, they wrote over 50,000 words.  Pretty amazing for a group of kids ranging in age from 4 to 12!

This past Sunday, I got together with them one last time to celebrate their success.  The majority of writers met the word count goals they set for themselves, but found that their stories were still not completed. I hope they continue writing and see where their stories end up.  I know I am very interested in reading what they came up with.

I was very fortunate that Bookmans in Mesa donated gift bags to all the young writers I worked with. They received a great canvas bag, a sticker, a pencil AND a gift card to spend at the store. The kids were all very surprised, and very thankful for their generosity.

It's a great program, and I do look forward to next year.  I didn't meet my personal word count goal, but for the first time trying, I'm not too upset.  I'll have a better idea next year and I hope to work with an even larger group of kids.

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