NaNoWriMo or National Novel Writing Month takes place every November. Writers sign-up for the challenge through the NaNoWriMo’s website any time during the year but must write and submit the novel between November 1 and November 30 i.e. they have to write a novel in exactly thirty days which may sound over whelming but NaNoWriMo is there to help you with the process.
According to the website : “The thing that matters most in NaNoWriMo is output. Our high-velocity approach forces you to lower your expectations, take risks, and write on the fly. Make no mistake: you will be writing a lot of strange stuff, and some of it will be just plain bad. But that's a good thing! For 30 days, you get to lock that inner editor in the basement, let your imagination take over, and just create!”
Even if your young learners have never written a novel, you can still participate in this event. NaNoWriMo’s resources section contains free, detailed, and downloadable workbooks to take the budding writers on a detailed novel writing journey. The "100% Awesome NON-LAME workbooks" are highly recommended because they help writers learn about the elements of a novel and provide plenty of explanation in an engaging way. The workbooks are available for elementary, middle, and high school levels. NaNoWriMo also features tips from published authors, links to other writing challenges, and a blog-style section for event-related news.
Participating in the event is free and fun and although there are no fancy prizes to win but the satisfaction of completing the challenge is the real reward. Adults who sign up for the challenge have thirty days to write 50,000 words. Young writers under the age of seventeen are encouraged to choose their own challenging word count goal.
Even if your learners are not interested in signing up for the challenge, the resources available on the site are excellent to use. Check out the resources page and educators page for more helpful ideas. Also don’t forget to check out young writer’s page if your learners are younger than 13. I absolutely loved the Dare Machine and some of the lesson plans are very good too.