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NaNoWrimo: WHRHS Students Write 50k Words

Apsara Rangarajan, Features Writer

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This November at Watchung Hills, the Creative Writing Club is venturing into a month-long writing project known as NaNoWrimo (short for National Novel Writing Month). The members of the Creative Writing Club are looking to write 50,000 words of a novel, all within the span of a month.

NaNoWrimo is an interactive project that utilizes both online and multimedia platforms to foster a sense of community. Within the club, students participate in word sprints (small timed challenges to write a scene based on a prompt that can then be incorporated into the novel) and continuously track their word counts throughout the month.

Of course, no challenge is complete without an overarching goal. Beyond reaching 50,000 words, the club seeks to give writers the opportunity to generate a plethora of ideas and to practice their craft by writing consistently. Club president Linda Ye cites the ability to “allow students to explore their artistic visions and voices beyond the classroom” as one of the most valuable aspects of this project.

It easy to forget that exposure to new perspectives and angles is not solely limited to traditional classroom settings. Creative projects like NaNoWrimo give Watchung Hills students the chance to carve out their own writing spaces in partnership with the creative writing classes and community libraries, as students integrate their writing both during and after school.

Linda noted that “improving on any craft takes time and diligence; we love to remind our writers that even jotting down a couple of sentences or stanzas every day is an accomplishment in itself.” One of the unique aspects of this project is its de-emphasis on stress and revision. After the intense quantity of writing is produced in November, writers can further flesh out, develop, and refine their ideas in later months.

While many club activities are run in school, NaNoWrimo’s platform extends beyond the doors of Watchung Hills. Students are also encouraged to participate in “write-ins”, in which students can meet in the setting of a library or cafe to write alongside other participants, and can interact in online forums. If novel writing is not of interest, students can branch out to explore other types of writing as well.

Ultimately, NaNoWrimo is designed to fulfill two major ideals that prove essential to any field or discipline— thinking outside the box and applying oneself to something (in this case, writing) daily. Linda aptly sums up the sentiment: “Who knows what kind of story can develop from one small idea?”

Watchung Hills can’t wait to see what NaNoWrimo brings to the school community!

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NaNoWrimo: WHRHS Students Write 50k Words