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Young wordsmiths participate in NaNoWriMo

Seventh-graders get to explore their creativity at the art of novel-writing


December 8, 2021

Benny Westcott

NaNoWriMo scholars, from left, Miu Simmons, Aria Gardner and Ryker Burr, hold up the number of words they wrote in November. McKenzie Olheiser, not pictured, finished second with 7,339 words.

For the last five years, students in Lana Holden's seventh-grade language arts classes at Sweet Home Junior High School have participated in a different warm-up activity than usual when November rolls around. They'd sit down at computers and write.

The topic? Whatever they wanted.

One student told the story of a make-believe rabbit her grandpa had invented for tales she heard as a youth. Others wrote of flesh-eating zombies or alien invasions. Whatever the subject, visitors to Holden's classroom could be sure to hear keyboards clattering away during the first 10 minutes.

The students, of co...

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