NaNoWriMo in Full Swing at City

City High students and teachers discuss participating in NaNoWriMo.

Zoë Hopewell and Madeline Deninger

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Blue signs plaster the outside of the English office and the surrounding classrooms, advertising “write-ins” on Mondays and Wednesdays during the month of November. While some students may think of them as nothing more than another one of the many flyers around the school, they represent an exciting time of year for writers.

The first day of November marked the start of National Novel Writing Month. National Novel Writing Month, otherwise known as NaNoWriMo, is a nonprofit organization that challenges participants to write 50,000 of a novel by November 30th. City High English teacher Alina Borger-Germann has participated in NaNoWriMo for 3 years and has involved students in the program for 2 years.

“Every other kind of writing in the world we practice. We practice essays before you ever write anything that’s high-stakes, like your college essay. We even practice poems before we try and submit them to the City High Review. There’s all these things we practice, but nobody ever gets to practice writing a novel. So often times when someone comes to their first novel, it’s super overwhelming,” Borger-Germann said. “I love the idea that [NaNoWriMo] gives everybody a chance to consider practicing something that’s novel-length.”

Theo Prineas ’18 is participating in NaNoWriMo for his second consecutive year.

“This time of year makes me get really excited,” Prineas said. “Everything I see is like a potential idea.”

Prineas believes that the event helps writers improve their skills.

“It’s like running a race. You can’t stop to take a break, and as a result there are better results,” Prineas said.

After noticing that students were interested in participating, Borger-Germann decided to organize write-ins for students to be able to write near each other.

“Working with high school students, we need something that’s not during the school day and also not at midnight. So we started having write-ins in the after school time, and it was great. So we just did it again,” Borger-Germann said.

Anyone interested in participating can attend the write-ins on Wednesdays and Fridays in Lab A after school.