Writing with kids

NaNoWriMo: Get your kids writing!


NaNoWriMo is short for National Novel Writing Month, a fun, seat-of-the-pants approach to creative writing. Participating in NaNoWriMo means you will challenge yourself to write an entire novel in just 30 days.

NaNoWriMo’s adult program has a word-count goal of 50,000 words (at around 400 words a page, that’s 125 pages) for ages 13+.  They also have a Young Writers Program (YWP) for ages 17 and under, where your kid can set their own word-count goals.

“Valuing enthusiasm, determination, and a deadline, NaNoWriMo is for anyone who has ever thought fleetingly about writing a novel.”

How does it work? It’s easy.

  1. Write on your own computer, or with a pen and paper. Any genre of novel is okay, including fiction, fan fiction, or memoir – whatever gets you excited about writing.
  2. Track your progress. Update your word count regularly on the NaNoWriMo website.
  3. Validate your word count by pasting the full text of your novel in the Word Count Validator between 11/25 and midnight on 11/30. If it meets your goal, you win!

What do you win? An official “Winner” web badge and a PDF Winner’s Certificate. And pride in yourself – you just wrote a novel!

“The real prize in NaNoWriMo is the manuscript itself, and the exhilarating feeling of setting an ambitious creative goal and nailing it.”


According to the NaNoWriMo website, over 300,000 adults and 80,000 young writers participated in 2012. And some NaNoWriMo novels have even been published:

“Over 250 NaNoWriMo novels have been traditionally published. They include Sara Gruen’s Water for Elephants, Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus, Hugh Howey’s Wool, Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl, Jason Hough’s The Darwin Elevator, and Marissa Meyer’s Cinder.”

Have any questions or need more information? Check out the NaNoWriMo FAQ.

It’s time to sharpen those pencils, and start jotting down some plot ideas. On 11/1, let your imagination take over and just create.

In 30 days, you will be a novelist.