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Contraction Keeps Expanding—NaNoWriMo Grows in Turkey

By Ciara Johnson

04/01/2011

Tarsus American College’s “Team NaNoWriMo” checks in for a word count (photo: C. Johnson).
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Nearly 20 Tarsus American College (TAC), Turkey students participated in the NaNoWriMo writing challenge coordinated by Ms. Carole Nickle last November. Of these students, 16 were successful in meeting their word count goal and became “Nano-Novelists,” winning a proof copy of the novel they wrote during the month.

NaNoWriMo stands for “National Novel Writing Month,” and seeks to encourage writing at all levels for all people. As the NaNoWriMo.org page states, “Valuing enthusiasm and perseverance over painstaking craft, NaNoWriMo is a novel-writing program for everyone who has thought fleetingly about writing a novel but has been scared away by the time and effort involved.”

This is the twelfth year of the challenge, and the event has grown from 21 participants with six winners in 1999 to a worldwide event that boasted 167,150 participants and 32,178 winners in 2009 (NaNoWriMo.org). In 2009, the event logged nearly 2.5 billion words worldwide. This year the number is 2.87 billion words!
Adult participants, including TAC English teachers Carole Nickle and Ciara Johnson, have a goal of 50,000 words, about 175 pages; student participants set goals with the help of Ms. Nickle and age level recommendations given by the organization. Over all, TAC student NaNoWriMo winners wrote 134,873 words in the month of November.

Nearly all students wrote their novels in English, rather than in their native Turkish, for the challenge. Participants received encouraging e-mail messages from famous authors like John Green, Lemony Snicket, and D. J. MacHale, who shared stories of their own struggles with meeting deadlines and coming up with plot details connecting student writers with professional writers.

Student winners are now working with Ms. Nickle on formatting the completed manuscript, designing a front and rear cover, and writing an author’s biography to include in their proof copy.




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