NaNoWriMo All Stars

NaNoWriMo, the program that encourages all writers to complete a novel in the month of November, is over.

Back left to right: Emily M., Alexa D., Tina C., Amanda M., Gwen T., Claudia Whitsitt. Front left to right: Jason H., Mason K., Brendan T., Hayden D.

Back left to right: Emily M., Alexa D., Tina C., Amanda M., Gwen T., Claudia Whitsitt. Front left to right: Jason H., Mason K., Brendan T., Hayden D.

One hundred twenty two fifth grade students from Heritage Elementary School in Saline, Michigan participated in the Young Writers Program this year with amazing success, having vowed to write more words than they had ever committed to writing before.

As you can see, the data from the these young writers is startling:

  • 86 out of 122 students started writing their first novel
  • Before NaNoWriMo, most students wrote about 100 words a night (5-7 min. of writing) This would put students at 12,200 words for the month of November. Instead, they wrote 432,672 words.
  • 14 students wrote up 1,000 words
  • 45 students wrote up to 2,000 words
  • 41 students wrote 3,000 to 4,000 words
  • 27 students wrote more than 4,000 words (doubling what they normally write)
  • 10 students wrote more than 10,000 words

The GRAND TOTAL of words written by the 122 students was…drum roll, please…432,672 words. Phenomenal!

All but a very few said they would like to participate again next year and all agreed that they LOVED fiction writing.

That last bit of data is the most important of all. Students love writing fiction!

It was a true joy to hear the statements of young writers:

“I really like NaNoWriMo a lot because it is fun with lots of goals!”

My favorite thing about writing is, “that we are writing a sophisticated novel.”

“You can write about anything you want.”

As they shared their love of writing, their teachers and I were impressed by their enthusiasm, their creative novel titles, and their overall excitement at having participated in Nanowrimo. The experience is one they will never forget.

As the next step, students who wrote more than 10,000 words will submit a scene to their teachers. Teachers will choose two winners from the young authors and each of those winners will be published on this blog as well as spending thirty minutes with me, Saline author Claudia Whitsitt, celebrating their success, and doing what all writers love best, talking about their current work in progress.

Amanda L. wrote 20,537 words

Amanda L. wrote 20,537 words

Congratulations to all the writers and their teachers, Lori LaBoe, Dave Fiske, Natalie Polidori, Lynne Coughlin and Melissa Smith. This was a huge undertaking, far above and beyond the required curriculum.

Of all the comments I heard from young writers, this was my favorite. “I felt like a real author.”

Each and every one of these students is a real author.

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Mrs. Whitsitt attended the kick-off celebration today at Heritage Elementary SchoolIMG_3241-300x300