This is the story of Nanowrimo for me.

One day, in London, a friend told me about a writing competition where you write your novel against the clock. I signed up and then in the first week, a bunch of shit happened and I was too busy and blah blah blah.

Then I moved country and I had no friends and nothing to do so I wrote my first 50 000 word manuscript. Chuffed with my success, I came back from a holiday inspired by a concert and wrote my first 100 000 word manuscript over the course of 6 months or so. It was wild.

The next year, I decided to share the nanowrimo love with my students. My book nerd kids showed up after school and we had 5 minute dance parties, raisins and hot chocolate. I made a printed book of their best bits. I still have it. The next year: some new kids, some kids who had left school showed up. Same raisins, same hot chocolate, added popcorn into the mix. And I just kept doing it.

A librarian got in contact and we tried to run a library project together in my geography lessons. It wasn’t a rousing success but it wasn’t a bust. I mentioned Nanowrimo and he let us have our wrap party in the library. It was super sweet.

The next year, I was pretty sure I would be leaving the school (if not the town, if not the country) but I wanted to make sure my nanos had somewhere to go. So, I tried to make Nanowrimo more of a town thing. It didn’t really work for a lot of reasons but my students had somewhere to go. So, we would write in the town library and it was all good times.

I left that school and felt awful about it but I had to go. The next year, the library was hosting Nanowrimo again and so I got involved again but this time without having to organise a thing.

My twitter from when I was trying to get all the town interested was still up and so I had the twitter handles of my old students. And they were getting excited about Nanowrimo! Whether they were in our town or not. They were going to write-ins in their new city. Or thinking about their plots.

And I felt so warm and fuzzy, I cannot even describe. Like, it was just a way to share a love of books with my book-nerd kids. That is all it was. Just a bit of fun. And it turned out to be life changing. It turned out to be something good in their lives. And I went to our write-ins and they are growing and changing and I just feel so proud of them.

I haven’t won since that first time but, in a way, I have won every single year since I started the club.

4 thoughts on “Nanowrimo

  1. That’s just lovely, Well done you, You’re probably going to be many of those kids’ inspirational teachers, those teachers that we all remember forever,
    You inspire me every time you say something; so proud of you X


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