Ready, Set, Go! It’s Time for NaNoWriMo

October 30, 2020
By Educator Innovator

Jumping into NaNoWriMo in classrooms or online

Ever since that fateful day in 1999 when a set of aspiring authors in the Bay Area challenged each other to write 50,000 words of a novel in thirty days, November has been National Novel Writing Month. For over 20 years, people of all types, ages, backgrounds, and locations have taken up the word-count challenge, knowing that the first step is simply to get started. The NaNoWriMo website keeps count and provides entry into a community of similarly-focused writers. And, of the roughly 400,000 novel writers who participate, 100,000 are students.

If this is the year you are considering doing NaNoWriMo with your students, Program Director Marya Brennan and Albany High School teacher Sean Krazit want to help you get started, In this CoLab, they provide an orientation to NaNoWriMo’s Young Writers Program, point to resources for curriculum and assessment, and provide their own lessons learned using NaNoWriMo in their middle school and high school classrooms.


NaNoWriMo Young Writers Program provides an online space for writing and tracking the work of young writers with dashboard tools for teachers, supports for writers and educators, and access to a network of colleagues.

Sheri Edwards makes the case for using NaNoWriMo in her enthusiastic blog, Let Them Write.

Laura Bradley, California Middle School teacher and Bay Area Writing Project teacher-leader, has created a rich website full of the tools she uses in her classroom at NaNoWriMo Classroom. Laura also has a four-part series at Edutopia, starting with this post: NaNoWriMo: An #EduAwesome Project for Your #BestYearEver

Jessica Brookes, blogging at Tech-Based Teacher, has Tips and Tech for Tacking NaNoWriMo in the Classroom, and Matthew Winner, an elementary school librarian in Howard County, Maryland, has ideas for customizing NaNoWriMo to work for different students.