What is NaNoWriMo?!? 
NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month which started yesterday!

Writers across America are having fun trying to write a 50,000 word Novel by November 30th.  You can participate.  The Young Writers Program allows YOU to pick how many words to write by November 30th. 

The idea is to get your creative writing flowing and to write without thinking.  Are you up to the challenge? 

Last year 200,000 adults and 41,000 young writers participated in the program.

Check out: for more information!

Writing Contest!

Celebrate books with Bibliophoria!  Bibliophoria is hosting a teen writing contest.  The topic of the contest is:

"Books are…."

Submit your own, 650 to 850 word, short story, essay or other work of prose beginning with the two words "Books are".  

Deadline is Tuesday, May 24th!

Submit your essay to:  Teen Writing Contest, Bibliophoria, Sebastopol Center for the Arts, 6780 Depot Street, Sebastopol, CA  95472. 

What do you win?

-The winning pieces will be read on KRCB Radio 91! 
-Talk about your piece on the radio (optional).
- A CD recording of your winning entry for your personal use.
- Your piece posted on the SCA/Bibliophoria website.
- Your piece published in the SCA Quarterly.
- A gift certificate from Copperfields Books.

If you live in Santa Rosa, Casa Grande, Petaluma and all schools west of them you can participate!  You must be between the ages of 13 and 19.

For more information please see the Bibliophoria website!


Happy Women’s History Month!

Did you know that the origins of Women's History Month actually began in Sonoma County? 

In the 1970s, although groups like the National Organization of Women (NOW)and ERAmerica were fighting to have the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) ratified as the 27th Amendment to the Constitution, the topic of women's history was completely unknown in both the public consciousness and in school curricula. 

To address this perceived lack, in 1978, the Education Task Force of the Sonoma County Commission on the Status of Women initiated the first-ever "Women's History Week" celebration.  The program was a huge success, with special programs in the schools, speakers around the county, an essay contest, and finally a celebratory parade held in downtown Santa Rosa as the finale of the week.

Upon hearing of the success of the Sonoma County program, several prominent women's groups began lobbying for a national celebration — and in 1980, President Carter issued a Presidential Proclamation declaring the first-ever "Women's History Week," which was in early March of that year.  And in 1987, Congress declared March as National Women's History Month in perpetuity.  

All thanks to the local community support in Sonoma County!  Yeah!

Check out this website and add your own stories to the ongoing fabric of women’s history:

You can include photos, narratives, and memories of your mothers, grandmothers, and heroines, alongside famous women from history. This website allows for a collective celebration of women's history and creates a place where current and future generations can be inspired by the role of women in history.  The idea is to create a single place where the women important in each of our lives are remembered side-by-side.

 What better way is there to celebrate Women's History Month, than to tell the stories of women who are important to you?



Attention: Teen Artists, Writers, and Performers!

The 25th Session of the California State Summer School for the Arts (CSSSA) Seeks Teen Artists, Writers, and Performers

Summer 2011 Applications Must Be Postmarked on or before February 28, 2011

For 25 years, the California State Summer School for the Arts has sought the most talented high school-aged visual, literary, media and performing artists in California.  The teenagers who are selected are designated California Arts Scholars and attend one of the country's premier summer arts institues on the campus of the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, this year from July 9 – August 5, 2011.

Over its history, CSSSA has provided its world-renowned four-week summer arts program to more than 12,000 talented high school students.  Instruction is offered in the fields of: Animation, Film/Video, Creative Writing, Dance, Music, Theater, and the Visual Arts.  For the 520 high school students accepted each year, CSSSA represents a unique opportunity to spend four weeks studying and working with professional artists, writers, and performers of national stature.  The talented teenagers who successfully complete the program receive three units of California State University course credit.

CSSSA provides the highest quality professional artistic training to the most deserving teenagers regardless of their economic situations.  Nearly 40 percent of our students receive financial aid.  CSSSA expects to equal or surpass that record in 2011.  No student who has the drive and talent to succeed in the application process will be denied admission, solely on the basis of inability to pay.

Alumni of the program include actors Zac Efron and James Franco;  animator Craig McCracken, writer Dakila Davina, dancer Sharon Grimsley Teague, and singer Katharine McPhee.

For more information or to obtain an application form, visit, or call the Sacramento headquarters at (916) 229-5160.

YA Fiction Factory? Wow….

I just read this article from New York Books about author James Frey (known for getting busted for falsely claiming his bestselling book was a true story).  It appears that he is recruiting struggling young writers to participate in a sweatshop-style writing project to try to churn out the next Twilight-style commercial success in teen literature.  I must admit that I am a little shocked.  I actually read the "I Am Number Four" book — it was ok, not great, but clearly written with the goal of becoming a movie. 

I wonder what will happen with this company and the stuff they will turn out?  Will any of them actually become popular?  What do you think?

Read the article here:

It’s that time again — NaNoWriMo!!

November is National Novel Writing Month! 
NaNoWriMo officially begins at midnight—whatever your local time—on Monday, November 1.  People around the country will be hunkering down to crank out a full novel in just 30 days.  

NaNoWriMo doesn't care about quality writing, they care about quantity.  To get the words and ideas down on paper.  It's all about output.  This allows you to write without worry, to write with no risks, to just write.

Teens who want to participate have a choice of doing the regular (adult) NaNoWriMo program or the Young Writers' Program.  The regular program is for ages 13 or older, and on November 1, you will begin writing a 50,000 word novel.  The Young Writer's Program is for 17 years and younger;  you still have to complete a novel in one month, but you can set your own word-count goal instead of being limited to the 50,000 words.

Which one will you go for? 

While you're writing, you get to talk to other writers on the website forums, get ideas from the "Dare Machine," and if you finish, you not only get the pleasure of having completed an entire novel, you get a snazzy certificate! 

To reach the 50,000 word challenge visit
To reach the Young Writer's challenge visit

And get ready to become a novelist!


Do you remember what NaNoWriMo is?  Last November, teenspace, wrote an article about NaNoWriMo challenging teens to write a novel in 30 days.  Annika from Rincon Valley took this challenge head on and met her goal!

NaNoWriMo by Annika, Rincon Valley, 7th grade
Do you love books?  Well, write one!  When most people think of writing a novel, it’s like a giant monster looms over their head.  They’re scared to start, scared of what people would think, and scared of the very concept of putting together their very own book.  November is a time to push away those fears; a time to try new thins and reach new dreams.  November is National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo for short.  The goal of 50,000 words haunting their dreams, they band together to fight the evil demon known as their own novel.

What people don’t understand about NaNoWriMo is that writing isn’t for ‘smart people.’  It’s not for people who have 4.0s or aren’t failing classes.  Writing is for anyone.  Yes, it takes motivation, it takes patience.  NaNoWriMo is a time to get rid of these fears and try your hand at writing a novel.

Anyone can read a book.  Anyone can write a book.  This gloomy November, why don’t you give it a shot?

Book Spotlight: Seize the Story

seize.jpg Seize the Story by Victoria Hanley
Do you like to write?  Do you want to write your own book?  You might want to check out this handy guide geared towards teens who enjoy writing.  This book gives you 14 chapters of tips, facts and information to get you started.

Chapter One:  Freeing Your Imagination
Chapter Two:  Creating Characters
Chapter Three:  Beginnings
Chapter Four:  Setting
Chapter Five:  The Heart of a Writer
Chapter Six:  Writing Dialogue
Chapter Seven:  Showing and Telling
Chapter Eight:  Plotting and Scheming
Chapter Nine:  Conflicts, Middles and Ends
Chapter Ten:  Polishing Your Writing
Chapter Eleven:  Point of View
Chapter Twelve:  Into the Future
Chapter Thirteen:  Interviews with Authors
Chapter Fourteen:  Questions and Answers