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NaNoWriMo: Kids Writing Novels

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CORVALLIS, Ore. – Some Corvallis middle schoolers are getting ready to take on an exciting challenge that could put their names on the front of published books.

November is NaNoWriMo: National Novel Writing Month. About fifty middle school students at Cheldelin Middle School are getting ready to write their own novels. If they meet their word count goal, they will be able to get their work published.

Melissa Cadotte, a Language Arts teacher, is heading the project at Cheldelin. She says interested students will have exactly one month to write their pieces.

“That time frame is there to kind of push yourself,” Cadotte said. “To get down on the page what’s been in your head. Get those ideas out on the page.”

Students say they could not be more excited to write their own novel.

“It’s a part of me that I can show people,” said Paulette Bohan, a seventh grader at Cheldelin.

Writing a novel is a challenge enough, but NaNoWriMo provides an extra challenge. There is a thirty day time limit. Participants must complete their novel before the beginning of December.

“It scares me that I’m not going to meet my goal,” Bohan said. “But I’m going to try.”

Cadotte says the timeline motivates writers to get involved in the project.

“The idea behind it is to kind of let go of your inner editor that stops you from doing the writing,” she said. “Because a lot of the times we convince ourselves out of writing because: ‘Oh that’s not a good idea,’ or: ‘Oh, I didn’t phrase that right.’ Or: ‘I have so many mistakes that I’m just going to give up.’”

But at the end of the month, there is a reward. If kids meet their word count goal, they get a free published copy of their work.

“I’m super excited because all I could imagine is showing my parents that and how happy they would be,” Bohan said.

Teachers are also planning on participating in the challenge as well. For students, the average goal is about 30,000 words in 30 days. For those who are at least 18 years old, the standard goal is 50,000 words.

Once December comes around, participants can start revising their work. Anyone of all age levels can participate. For more information, go to: http://nanowrimo.org/

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