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ERIC Number: EJ859424
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Sep-1
Pages: 2
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0362-8930
Pen Ultimate: For Kids Who Take Part in National Novel Writing Month--the Acid Test for Would-Be Authors--It's No Guts, No Glory
Barack, Lauren
School Library Journal, v55 n9 p40-41 Sep 2009
Since launching in 1999, National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo, has grown from a band of 21 overcaffeinated friends, as founder Chris Baty calls them, to the more than 119,000 hopeful writers who joined in 2008. While most participants simply want to finish, 36 novels begun through NaNoWriMo have been published, according to its Web site, including the former "New York Times" No. 1 bestseller "Water for Elephants" (Algonquin, 2007) by Sara Gruen. The fantasy of publication notwithstanding, completing the program is a lot like running a marathon for writers, with an average daily goal of 1,700 words, a challenge for a professional scribe, much less the full-time employed, parents, and, yes, teenagers, who sign on to NaNoWriMo. "It got to where I could knock out 1,667 words in 45 minutes," says Charlie Newman, a NaNoWriMo participant. "They'd be just stream of consciousness. But then, with homework, sometimes I didn't even have 45 minutes." To encourage students, Baty launched a kid-friendly version of the contest in 2004. The Young Writers Program, in which teens and even younger students can set word-count goals lower than 50,000, had about 22,000 entrants join in 2008. Teachers told Baty that they couldn't get their participating students to put down their pens. "Kids were suddenly staying up late working on books, feeling novel writing was as fun as any video game," he says proudly. "Kids who had hated writing would not stop."
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A