National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo, is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. Every November, countless writers turn to NaNoWriMo for encouragement, camaraderie, and accountability as they attempt to complete a 50,000-word manuscript. And NaNoWriMo has no age requirement: Many of its participants are teen or middle-grade writers.
Brave the Page: A Young Writer’s Guide to Telling Epic Stories, written by NaNoWriMo staff members Grant Faulkner and Rebecca Stern, is written with these younger participants in mind. Billed as the official NaNoWriMo handbook for middle-grade authors, it’s designed to be both “a how-to guide on the nitty-gritty world of writing” and “a collection of inspiration to set (and meet) ambitious goals.”
The book even opens with a warning label: “Warning: Following the advice in this book will lead you toward achieving big things. You’ll write more – and faster – than you’ve ever written before. Your imagination will get bigger and stronger. You’ll be more confident and take more risks. By the end of your writing adventure, you will be a different person. Don’t believe it? We dare you to prove us wrong.”
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The book’s fun, engaging chapters include tips for prewriting, setting (and meeting) goals, revision, and other writing topics. It’s also littered with “pep talks” from best-selling YA and MG authors, including Marissa Meyer, Jennifer Niven, and Jason Reynolds (who writes the introduction).
“Though specifically targeting young writers, this upbeat handbook is a wonderful instruction guide for writers of any age as well as a perfect text for any creative-writing classroom,” praises Kirkus in a starred review.