Young Writer’s Program


I am thrilled to say that my 6 year old son is joining in the Young Writer’s Program this year. (

We signed him up on the site, and checked out the Word-Count Goal Calculator, a brilliant device to help Young Writer’s set a word goal for themselves. He typed away for 10 minutes, with lots of distractions, and ended up with 30 words. Focus is not really one of his strong points at the moment – his world is far too full of excitement to concentrate on any one thing for too long, so we’ve set him a daily goal of 50 words, 1500 words for the month. Personally, I think he’ll get that easily, but I wanted something small for him to aim for, in his first year.

Then we downloaded the Young Writer’s Program workbook for Elementary Students. It is brilliant! It asks him to think about novels that he likes and doesn’t like, and what it is he likes or not about them. Then he begins the planning for his own novel. So far we have a character, whose name he picked out from a baby name website after searching for a name that means warrior or fighter (it’s going to be an adventure story), and the character has now been fleshed out with likes/dislikes, where he lives, what he looks like, and what he does best.

Best of all is that my son is so keen to work on it. He is so excited about his story, he’s been bragging to all who will listen about how next month he’ll be doing the Young Writer’s Program.

And we’ve already discussed his prize should he succeed, a YWP “Nanowrimo Brain” t-shirt.

Looking forward to next month, novelling away with my boy!! ūüėÄ

Camp Nano! 4 days in

I love Camping. The fire, the fresh air, the lack of stuff separating me from the natural world. There’s a freedom to it, I think. Though I don’t think I could live that way permanently – through storms and rains and wind. No electricity – no laptop – no internet.

Camp Nano is the next best thing. It’s imagining that I’m away at camp – breathing the fresh air, smelling the bush smells, enjoying the freedom. While being safely¬†ensconced¬†in my home – by the warmth of the fire, with the convenience of the internet, and Word. I type fast – I’ve been gradually increasing my speed over the years of doing Nano, and I can churn out 2500 words in half an hour – if I’m on a roll. I haven’t so far this Camp Nano, but I’m sure I’ll get there in the end. If I had to write on paper I dread to think how long it would take me, though I’m thinking of challenging myself to the task next Camp Nano (next year). For now I want to focus on typing my story.

I’ve done well so far. I have a personal goal for August Nano of 60,000 words, 2000 per day, and I’ve reached it so far. Yay! What’s better is I exceeded it this morning: 4340 words. And more in me – I want to reach 5000 today, it’s only 660 words to go, I’m sure I could do it. But the housework is piling up – dishes from yesterday need to be washed, and wet clothes are waiting to be hung out to dry… the guilt is crippling!

Ha! No – no crippling housework guilt here. Bugger it – I’ll do it later. After I reach my 5000 words!

(I’ll post a comment below later to let you know how I go!)

My Inspiration…

Several years ago I entered a competition by Australian Book Publishers Allen and Unwin, in which they asked “what inspires you to write?” The answer had to fit in 25 words, and while I can’t remember my answer word for word, it was something along the lines of: ‘I am inspired to write when I hear stories of other people¬†achieving¬†their goals’. The answer won me the competition – the prize: a ¬†signed book of Jodi Picoult’s – Vanishing Acts I think, though i could be wrong.

But what inspired me to want to write in the first place? To be completely honest I don’t remember. I guess it was all the books I read as a child; I’m told I was reading novels in grade 1, and I’ve been writing stories for as long as I can remember. I vaguely remember meeting children’s author Sally Farrell Odgers in primary school. I don’t remember any specifics, I guess I was in grade 2 or 3, but I was excited to meet a real live author. Several years later, in grade 6, I was lucky enough to attend a writing workshop (again through my school) by Isobel Carmody. She was a great inspiration, talking of her journey to publication, and her stories and where she came up with names. Sadly I’ve forgotten what she said about names though – I’m sure I’ve mentioned before that names are something I really struggle with.

Since then I’ve been inspired, motivated, encouraged etc by many different people but looking back I would say meeting those two authors set the foundation for my goal of being an author myself one day.