NaNoWriMo is an international initiative providing a forum for teen writers to be able to share their work, work collectively towards writing goals, and ultimately, to write a novel during the month of November.
WCL has participated for many years as a “Come Write In” space during the main event in November, and have run author talks and self-publishing workshops as part of it as well.
Stephen Clothier at WCL has set up a ‘virtual classroom’ for teens who are in isolation. He says “This time in lockdown is particularly worrying and isolating for teenagers and I thought this would be a nice way of keeping them connected with each other and the library”.
Stephen and his colleague Catherine Haines are keen to extend the invitation to teens not just from Wellington, but around New Zealand. Up to 100 teens can participate at a time and a second classroom can be set up if there is enough interest. Stephen says, "We have about 30 teens who have joined so far, and we’ve got a couple of NZ YA authors lined up to do some cool events with us as well".
- The writing group takes the form of a ‘virtual classroom’ within the NaNoWriMo Young Writers’ Programme<https://ywp.nanowrimo.org/> website.
- To join the WCL Teen Writers classroom, participants just need to create an account and, when prompted, enter CWRNJDZH as their classroom code. This will give them access to the WCL classroom and all the juicy resources therein!
- The classroom provides a forum for group and individual conversation, the setting and completion of writing challenges, ‘sprints,’ and prompts, as well as allowing for people to provide feedback on works in progress.
- The classroom exists within an ecosystem of fora where teens can converse with like-minded writers from around the world in special closed ‘groups’ and ‘clubs’ (e.g. LGBTQIA+ teens, teens of faith, teens who like anime, etc.).
- NaNoWriMo YWP is currently running “Camp NaNo,” which is a novel-writing challenge that takes place in April and July each year to help prepare younger and newer writers for the main, 50,000 word challenge that takes place internationally in November. During Camp NaNo, participants are challenged to write a novella in a month – they can choose their word count goal, and then the website tracks how much they need to write each day, and allows them to check in with each other and their ‘teachers’ in the classroom along the way
You can find additional information on the WCL Teen Blog and on the NaNoWriMo YWP website.
If you have any questions about promoting the WCL virtual classroom to your youth community or if you wish to set up your own virtual classroom contact Stephen at e:Stephen.Clothier@wcc.govt.nz