National Novel Writing Month ended at 12:01 a.m. on December 1, and this year twelve intrepid student writers celebrated a successful month of novelling! Indian Creek students from 7th through 12th grade attempted to write their novels in 30 days during the month of November. Some of them gathered every Monday and Wednesday afternoon to meet for NaNoWriMo writing club, while others could only write during their free time (what is free time?!). Altogether, this year’s group of Indian Creek novelists wrote an ASTOUNDING 114,970 words!
On December 6, the student novelists gathered together to celebrate the end of the month of reckless writing and share their novels with each other. Among those celebrating were THREE student novelists who reached their word-count goals and WON NaNoWriMo this year!
This year’s novels were OUTSTANDING! Students wrote novels that covered a range of genres, including mystery and thriller, romance, paranormal, fantasy, post-apocalyptic sci-fi, and super-hero adventures.
During December and throughout the rest of the year, student novelists will continue to work on their books. Editing, revising, and adding even more fantastic scenes will be their goals. For the three students who reached their word-count goals, they will have the option of using a self-publishing site to receive a copy of their own book once they are ready to print!
Well done, novelists! I’m already excited for next November!
A quick update on the All American Boys Book Club meeting: it has been postponed until further notice. We are still waiting for a reply from Jason Reynolds’ and Brendan Kiely’s representatives about their availability to Skype with us for the meeting, so until then, keep reading, Creekers!
A new Creek Reads Book Club book will be chosen within the next week or so. Hopefully, we will still be able to Skype with Jason and Brendan about their AMAZING book before the end of the school year.
If you have a book that you think would make a good Book Club selection, please let your friendly neighborhood librarian know!
Get ready, readers! Our next book club pick is the young adult novel All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely.
If you have any concerns/questions/thoughts about the book or the heavy themes that come up in it, please see your friendly neighborhood librarian with your questions and comments.
The date of our next Creek Reads Book Club meeting is still TBD, but it will take place at the end of January, so mark your calendars! Attendance will again be limited to 20 students and we will be joined by Mrs. Hanley and Ms. Gaffney for our discussion.
- Thou shalt write EVERY DAY. Even if it’s only a few words and you know that you’ll have to scramble to make up the lost words tomorrow, get words written TODAY. Is your computer broken? Use a pencil and paper! Don’t have pencil and paper? Download Dragon on your phone and speak your novel!
- Thou shall not erase ANYTHING. No erasing, no rewriting! Endeavor only to add words to your novel, not subtract. You can edit when November is over!
- Thou shalt set a reasonable word count goal. If you want that coupon code from FastPencil, make sure that you set your word count goal for something achievable! Sit down for an hour, see how many words you can write, and then multiply that number by 30. That’s your word count goal. Easy! Most young writers set their word count goals between 10,000 and 30,000 words for the month. What’s right for you?
- Thou shalt not peek over the shoulders of other writers. Don’t try to read someone else’s novel without their permission! It’s distracting and rude!
- Thou shalt take breaks at least once an hour. Sitting for too long, even when you’re on a tear, is not good for you! Get up for five minutes, grab a drink of water, jog in place, or step outside. You might even see something that inspires a chapter in your novel!
- Thou shalt update your word count. Watch your word count grow and grow! Constant progress will inspire you to new heights of writing greatness!
- Thou shalt not criticize your own writing. That’s your inner editor talking, trying to get you to doubt your obvious writing skills. Don’t listen!
- Thou shalt not criticize others’ writing. Be supportive of your fellow writers! Cheer them on, ask them questions, give lots of compliments! Then, when they ask you to edit their novel in December, go crazy with the red ink (respectfully, of course)!
- Thou shalt not shirk your responsibilities. Make sure your priorities are straight: homework, friends, novel. Or friends, homework, novel. But novel comes last.
It’s day 6 of National Novel Writing Month! How are you doing so far? Do you still like your characters? Do you know what’s going to happen next? If you need help (or emotional support), come visit the library! We have writerly books to inspire your writing, a writer’s emergency pack, and other sympathetic writers! Or visit the Young Writers Program for author pep talks, the Dare Machine for helping you get over writer’s block, and other great resources for writers. Happy noveling!
On Wednesday, 12 students met in the library to enjoy a stimulating conversation with author Holly Bodger. They discussed the ideas and themes in Holly’s novel, 5 to 1, as well as the joys and difficulties of the writing process, finding inspiration, and other great YA novels. For more about the book club meeting, click to check out this great article on the Indian Creek School website!
In less than one month, friends, the library will be hosting our first ever Creek Reads Book Club! I’m very excited for this new program and I hope that we get plenty of students participating in what will surely be a really fun hour of discussion about the book 5 to 1 by Holly Bodger. If you haven’t read the Creek Reads blog review of this book yet, check it out here.
In short, this awesome novel takes place in near future India, where boys outnumber girls by a ratio of 5 to 1. In the walled city of Koyanagar, Sudasa is now marrying age and that means that she must judge 5 boys who are selected to compete in the Test to become her husband. Sudasa does not want to be married – for her, marriage is simply another form of enslavement. Kiran, one of the boys competing for Sudasa’s hand in marriage, is also scornful of the Test and the society in Koyanagar. As the Test progresses, Sudasa and Kiran try to break as many rules as possible, usually to the detriment of the other’s plans. Told in alternating chapters of verse and prose, this novel raises questions about gender roles and stereotypes, the consequences of greed and the misuse of power, and the value of choice.
During the book club, we’ll be joined by the author, Holly Bodger, via Skype! Holly hails from Canada and 5 to 1 is her debut novel. She’ll be present on the big screen to answer questions about her book and the writing process. If you’d like to join the Creek Reads Book Club, please grab a copy of 5 to 1 at your local library, bookstore, or download it and come prepared to discuss! Any and all NaNoWriMo participants are also welcome to join to discuss writing and publishing with Holly.
The Creek Reads Book Club will meet on Wednesday, October 28 during Advisory. Please sign up in the library to secure your spot – there are 20 seats available! Be sure to ask your advisor for permission to attend the meeting beforehand.