My daughter signed up for the Young Writers’ Program this year (her first).  Then sat down and wrote like 500 words.  Okay, November hasn’t started yet, but who am I to tell her she has to wait?  I’m not that foolish.

You’re a kid.  You’re a writer (or you just like making things up but you’re not sure you’re a writer; you might be a game designer or a director or a singer, you haven’t decided yet).

There’s an awesome writing challenge coming up in November called the Young Writers’ Program.  It’s part of the National Novel Writing Month.

The challenge:  Write a lot of words during November 1 to November 30.  (You get to decide how many words.) If you meet your writing goal by November 30, you win!  Unfortunately, you’re probably going to have to talk your parents or teacher into giving you prizes; the Young Writers’ Program website won’t send you any money or anything.

A LOT of kids will be participating, all over the world.

How to sign up:

Click on the Young Writers’ Program signup link here.  You will have to provide an email address.  After you’re signed up, you can add a picture, give a summary of your book, make buddies, and use the word counter to count your words.

How to pick your word count challenge:

  • A short story is usually 1000 – 5000 words.
  • A chapter in a Goosebumps-type book is usually about 1500 words.
  • A Goosebumps-type book is usually about 25,000 to 30,000 words.
  • If you want to write a book that’s the same length as a different book (like Eragon, yikes!), take the number of pages with the story on them (don’t count the title page and other non-story stuff) times 250, which will give you a good guess.

Whatever amount you pick is okay.  I suggest that if you don’t write a lot, go for a short story.  (If you get done early, you can always write another short story.)  If you do write a lot, go for a whole book. Try to write a little more than you usually do–or, if you’re feeling particularly brave, a LOT more than you usually do.

How to know how many words you need to write every day:

You can do this two ways:

  • Figure out how much you need to write every single day (30 days).
  • Figure out how much you need to write every day, minus weekends and Thanksgiving and the day after Thanksgiving (20 days).

Personally, I always figure out how much to write for 20 days, then take two days off every week to rest, play games, and read.

If you’re writing all 30 days, you will need to write about 33 words for every 1000 words you want to write, total:

  • 1000 words: Write 33 words a day.
  • 5000 words: Write about 167 words a day.
  • 10,000 words:  Write 333 words a day.
  • 25,000 words:  Write 833 words a day.
  • 30,000 words: Write 1000 words a day.
  • 50,000 words:  Write 1667 words a day.

If you’re writing for only 20 days, you will need to write 50 words for every 1000 words you want to write, total: