Back in November, when we had our assemblies under a tent (and we thought that was weird), I made my annual announcement about the NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) challenge, a global writing event where writers try to complete a novel by the end of the month. Last November marked the fourth NaNoWriMo challenge at Nobles, and, in my announcement, I reminded everyone under the tent that day that we were, in fact,  a “community of writers.”  

There is so much writing happening at Nobles all the time. There’s our incredible student-run newspaper and magazines like Cogito, Nobelium, and Calliope,  there’s all the original research and literary analysis that students write in their classes, and we’ve recently added a Creative Writing Club and an independent novel writing class which includes six aspiring novelists this year– and that’s just the students! Our teachers are writing op-eds for local and national newspapers, they’re publishing articles online, they’re working on their own novels and memoirs, writing poetry and short stories, and, four times a year, they’re writing all those comments about their students. 

At Nobles, we write!

And the wonderful thing is that despite the recent changes to the way we are living and doing school—including our new virtual assemblies—all of this writing (and more) is still happening in our community. 

Nobles is writing on…online, that is. 

We are all still writing, still finding ways to encourage students to write and publish their writing, and creating opportunities to write with them. 

In addition to all the writing that students are doing in their virtual classes–personal narratives in English II, creative short stories in English III, responses to document-based questions in AP Euro–there’s a lot of other writing happening too. The Creative Writing Club is planning to share weekly writing prompts with students via email, at the beginning of April we began participating in another writing challenge called Camp NaNoWriMo and I’ve been having weekly Zoom meetings with the twelve students (one from almost every grade) taking part in that, and the novelists in the independent novel writing class have continued to push their stories forward, often clocking up to a 1000 words per week on their drafts. (Read a novel summary and excerpt from Class IV student Madeleine Li…)

Teachers and students have started keeping journals to document their time in quarantine—some are doing this because they find it therapeutic or meditative while others want to keep a record for the future, their own primary source document about the pandemic. 

And, this week, I’ll be making another announcement about another writing competition, this time via a video that will be played during one of our amazing virtual assemblies. The NYC Midnight 100-word Microfiction Challenge gives participants 24 hours to write a 100-word story based on an assigned genre, action, and word(s). I’m looking forward to working on this one as it seems a little more manageable than writing a whole novel in 30 days, and I can’t wait to see who else from Nobles signs up to do it. I’m confident there will be others because I know we are still and always will be a community of writers.

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