NaNoWriMo Update

Well… NaNoWriMo is over for another year. This was my fifth year participating, and my fourth win! Very excited about that. Thanks to all my friends and family who support me. Your encouragement and kind words are appreciated. And thanks to everyone who donated to The Office of Letters and Light on my behalf. My friend, colleague, and fellow writer, Michael Drum, and I had a great time at The Night of Writing Dangerously.

And this year, I have to give a great big shout-out to my students. A huge percentage of students in my class wrote this year. Sixteen (16!) students in my class validated their word counts on the Young Writers Program website and won! Two other students also met their word count goals but were unable to validate on the website. They’re winners too! And… joining us this year were two other students. One is a former student of mine, now in the sixth grade, and the other is a younger sibling of one of my current students. I am so proud of them all. Their enthusiasm, hard work, and creativity has been awesome to behold. I’m a very happy teacher these days.

I also have to congratulate the students who did not “win” on the Young Writers Program website or who did not yet meet their word count goals. The important word in that sentence is “yet”. I am proud of them for just trying to write a longer story, to push themselves, to try something new. And not a single one of them gave in to the temptation to lower their word count goal, even though they could. They stuck it out. I hope many of them go on to finish their stories. Even some of the students who “won” are still writing, because they may have met their word count goal, but their stories aren’t done yet.

Here are our final numbers. I validated on the NaNoWriMo website and have a final total of 51,311 words. On the Young Writers Program, I have a final total of 51,309 words. (I guess they have slightly different methods for counting words on the two websites.) Our classroom total is a staggering 226,476 words!!!

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