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Students Participate In National Novel Writing Month


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For the past two years students and faculty at SJHHS have participated in National Novel Writing Month, more commonly known as NaNoWriMo. NaNoWriMo is a nonprofit organization that helps writers find structure, creativity, and a community of other writers to support and assist them.

Every November 1, the participants begin writing and have until November 30 to complete a 50,000 word novel. It’s challenging and stressful, but overall very rewarding for all who take part in the program. Kaitlyn Naccarato, an English teacher at SJHHS, has been participating in NaNoWriMo and met the goal for the past seven years.

“I think it’s good to have some sort of challenge to challenge and better yourself in that way. I personally really like that goal and I think it’s a good way to have some sort of focus in your life that’s not just work or hobbies or school. I also really enjoy writing,” said Naccarato.

NaNoWriMo has a significant presence on campus, despite the fact this is only the program’s second year at SJHHS.

“Last year we had some students involved but not as many as I would have liked and so we started recruiting more people this year…there’s definitely a big presence of NaNoWriMo on campus, though it could be bigger for sure,” said Naccarato.

Kate Phillips, a freshman at SJHHS who participated in NaNoWriMo this year, also loved the challenge that NaNoWriMo created in her life.

“I think the yearly one month really stressful sleepless push is nice…I already really like writing and I needed something to push me to write so I use this program to help me,” said Phillips.

But it’s not just about creating a novel. NaNoWriMo facilitates the Young Writers Program, which is a nonprofit that works to bring more creative writing into schools all over the US.

“It’s really beneficial because NaNoWriMo is a nonprofit organization, so the more people that are in it the more awareness there is for the Young Writers Program… just using the hashtag NaNoWriMo and showing other people that you’re participating in it is helping spread the word for this program to get writing in school that isn’t just essay writing or report writing. It’s the point that everyone can be a writer. Anybody can complete a novel,” Naccarato said.

NaNoWriMo and the Young Writers Program also creates a community of writers to help support each other through the process of writing a novel and just writing in general. It creates a platform for writers to share their works with others and get feedback.

“I liked the camaraderie of finding other writers and when you needed help with something or when you wanted to talk to someone you had people. Even if some of my friends only got to two thousand words, we all still wrote something and we were all proud of each other for trying to do something that month. I also rarely ever get to show off my writing and this gave me a chance to show off that I’m creative. I like the fact that I can show people my work and people actually see it and read it,” Phillips said.

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