This year, 13 GEMS middle school students accepted the NaNoWriMo challenge to participate in the Young Writers Program to create a novel. This is the eighth year GEMS has participated in this event.

National Novel Writing Month or NaNoWriMo is an opportunity for young creative writers to complete an entire novel in 30 days with classmates and over 300,000 writers around the world. GEMS students signed up to take both an applied course and choice class offered by Mary Bove and Dayle Payne. During the course, participants set a reasonable, yet challenging goal of completing a 30,000 word novel by November 30th.

Word Count at end of NaNoWriMo on 11/30

At the end of the course, 4 students were able to validate their novels with the required 30,000 words. These students will be able to revise and publish their novels using Create Space.  If interested, you can visit the Georgia Public Library, and check out a copy of A Coven of Witches, a novel written and published two years ago by a former GEMS NaNoWriMo author.

The Winners from the 1015 NaNoWriMo Challenge

All of the participants and winners came to together to celebrate the month of noveling with a pizza lunch. Everyone received a certificate, pin, and sticker. In addition, students were able to reflect on all that they had learned and accomplished.

NaNoWriMo Stickers and Pins Awarded to Particpants

All of the students unanimously agreed that writing a novel is hard work. They have a new-found respect for authors. They had to overcome writers block, character development, and plot development. Often writing on their own time, including vacation, students persevered using each other for inspiration and support.

Celebrating a Month of Noveling

At the end of it, the students were thankful for the challenge. Even those who did not reach 30,000, still made achievements. It was a chance for them to explore and create on their own. In addition to learning about writing, they learned and developed organization skills.

 Quoting Mr. Hadd, “You can never be too prepared”.



Target 3 – Flexible Learning Environments. FWSU will maximize flexible learning environments by redefining the school day, promoting learning experiences that extend beyond the school classroom, and fostering creativity, innovation, and differentiated learning opportunities for all.

Action Step – Make relevant and authentic problems become the focus of connected learning.

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