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SEC: TIS Students Wrote 800,000 Words in One Month

SEC: TIS Students Wrote 800,000 Words in One Month

About 70 TIS students participated in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) during November this year online with the Young Writers Program website. They were challenged to set a writing goal, plan a novel or short story and write every single day to reach their goal in just 30 days. Mr. Sellers, Ms. Titus and Ms. Lisa participated in the challenge with their writing students who amassed nearly 800,000 words in total for the month! 

The majority of students each wrote 8,000 words or more, with dozens reaching goals of 10,000-15,000 words. Students wrote daily in class, at home in the evenings and on weekends and even in cafes on 1-hour writing field trips. Excerpts of their novels were posted on the 4th and 5th floors. Goal charts kept track of their efforts.

A Secondary III student wrote 56,851 words in their the novel "Picking Up the Pieces." A Secondary IV student was close behind, writing about 53,000 words in their novel "Intertwined." A secondary II student wrote 30,320 words in their novel "Crown of Beginning." About 30 middle school students and even a few elementary students participated this November.

The novels were written in a variety of genres from adventure thrillers, science-fi, and fantasy to post-apocalyptic, historical romance, detective and realistic young adult. 

The challenge started at the end of October with novel-writing lessons, such as learning about characters in monomyths and different hero archetypes. Then the pre-writing began with students mapping their novel ideas into the Hero's Journey arc. By November 1st, students wrote a one-sentence premise and had a pretty good idea of the conflict, characters, settings and obstacles they would write into their novels. The first day started with a classroom kick-off breakfast. The month ended with a celebratory pizza lunch or other goodies. Students were awarded certificates for reaching their goals and prizes for achievements, like most words written in one day, most words written overall, longest daily writing streak and best daily average. Students are encouraged to polish and revise the chapters of their novel and continue to add to their story in the coming months. NaNoWriMo issues several small challenges throughout the year and in the summer to motivate student writers to keep their novels going and even offers advice about publishing them.

This is the second year TIS has participated in NaNoWriMo and teachers look forward to increasing participation even more next year, possibly reaching a goal of one million words. Each year, more than 100,000 students from around the world take the November challenge to write novels through NaNoWriMo. If you'd like to know more about the Young Writers Program of National Novel Writing Month, please visit

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