NaNoWriMo YWP – How Teens Can Write an Entire Novel in a Month

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Every November, National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) challenges thousands to write a book in a single month. And now, with their Young Writers Program (YWP), teens and children can get involved too.

To celebrate the release of our new free eBook ‘From Procrastination to Inspiration’, here at The Writers’ Academy we’re spotlighting the NaNoWriMo YWP as an excellent way for young writers to get words on the page!

Read on for everything you need to know about this exciting, nationwide writing event, how it works and how you can get involved!


NaNoWriMo YWP sees the wildly popular novel writing event, in which participants are tasked with penning an entire novel in the month of November, catered to under 17s.

The only difference with the YWP is that it lowers the 50,000 word-count goal from the adult NaNoWriMo program, and instead allows entrants to set their own “reasonable, yet challenging, individual word-count goals”.

Teachers can also sign up to run YWP events for their students (and access free resources such as curriculums and workbooks), making the event an even more useful means of encouraging young people to start writing!


How It Works
The Young Writers Program site contains step-by-step instructions on how to register

You can sign up over at the NaNoWriMo YWP website by creating an account and registering as a “Young Writer”.

You’ll then be able to create a profile, which will enable you to connect with other writers participating in the event. This in itself is a great networking tool for those looking to make contacts in writing.

Then it’s time to write a brief summary and, crucially, to set your word-count goal for the month.

Once you’re all set-up, it’s simply a case of waiting for the 1st November to roll around to get started on your novel!


Image licensed under Creative Commons 2.0

Be aware that you won’t be writing your novel within the NaNoWriMo YWP website. Instead, you’ll write your text in Microsoft Word or whatever other platform you prefer, and update your word count on the website.

If you struggle to get words on paper during November, you will find a host of resources for inspiration on the NaNoWriMo site – including pep talks, apps and planning materials – and will find our series on writer’s block helpful.

The real moment of truth arrives after weeks of writing – between the 20th and 30th November (until midnight), you can validate your word count by pasting your novel into the site. If it meets your originally stated goal, you’ve won and can collect your winner certificate!


What Next?
Image of the Figment website
Figment is just one of the online publishing options that NaNoWriMo recommends for young writers

Once the first draft of your novel is complete, there are lots of supporting resources from NaNoWriMo to help you with the editing and publishing processes.

You’ll also find a very active and helpful community on the forums, as well as continued access to all of the handy practical resources.

Particularly useful are the links to publications that accept youth writing, and the various online platforms for young people looking to get their writing out there.

With over 80,000 participants in 2015, the Young Writers Program is a huge writing event in its own right, and a fantastic opportunity for young aspiring novelists everywhere.

Head over to the site to register and get involved in the NaNoWriMo YWP 2016, it might just provide the impetus for you to write your first ever novel, and set you on the path to a career as a writer…

For more practical help for getting words on the page, download our brand new free eBook, From Procrastination to Inspiration:



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