NaNoWriMo, what? Students tackle national writing challenge

Brooklyn Norrell

More stories from Brooklyn Norrell

Rob Hankes
January 31, 2017

Kaitlyn Hankard

One day others could be reading the books written by the authors pictured: Emma Lane, Merilee Miller and Harriet Rankin.

When we think of writing, we tend to think of assignments, especially for English class.  However, many CHS students actually enjoy writing for fun, including the daunting task of writing a novel.

Several CHS students attempted to complete the National Novel Writing Month challenge this year.  The program begins on November 1 and runs until the 30 at 11:59 pm. The goal is to reach 50,000 words or more by the deadline.

Although many participated, junior Emma Lane, junior Harriet Rankin, senior Merilee Miller, and sophomore Daniel Webb fully completed a novel.  They will now be able to get them published through the self-publishing site, FastPencil, which offers one free copy to every NaNoWriMo winner, plus other publishing options.

The four learned about the program after eleventh grade AP Language and Composition and Creative Writing teacher  Sarah Clayville introduced it to her students.

Clayville herself has participated in the program previously and hopes her students “gain confidence in their writing, because young adults have important things to say, and as an educator, I support anything that fosters that.”

The NaNoWriMo website allows for writers to create a personal profile to allow them to keep track of their progress, get pep talks, and advice from other writers.

The process of writing an entire book in about a month seems overwhelming, but Rankin was able to overcome the stress by doing “a ton of planning of characters, events, and setting.”

Finding inspiration to write an entire book is hard to come across, so Miller admitted to “looking at my surroundings and drawing plot and description from those.”

Doing it all over again doesn’t seem like something these writers would want to do, but if they did, they would do things slightly differently. Lane said she would “not worry about it too much and just write.”

The writers were not willing to share their topics, keeping them secret until the publication returns, but the overall feeling of these writers is without a doubt, accomplished.