This year, eight young writers participated in the NaNoWriMo Young Writers Program — a challenge to complete a novel in just 30 days! Participants of the Young Writers Program set their own word count goals and learn how to split that word count into 30 days of creative and productive writing. For this year’s program, some of the young writers also elected to create “vision boards” for their novels and shared them during our last session at the end of the month. It was a month full of creativity!

Two young writers gave us permission to share their vision boards and an excerpt from the novels they wrote during National Novel Writing Month. Check it out!

Butterfly House by Dahlia S. 

Dahlia’s novel Butterfly House is about two sisters who live on a peaceful remote island until they get invaded… by butterflies! Her novel brings in elements of fantasy, adventure, and a little humor, too. Dahlia cleverly time stamps events, inviting readers to follow along a timeline of events that lead to the novel’s climax.

Here is an excerpt of Dahlia’s novel, which takes place just before the butterfly invasion. This excerpt shows Dahlia’s skill in giving her characters personality and using dialogue to create impact:


“Giselle! Get up, it’s time for breakfast!” Ezmerelda shouted into the closed door of Giselle’s room.

“Alright, I’m coming!” Giselle shouted back. Running to the kitchen, Ezmerelda trips down the stairs.




Yet, she still yells through the whole house, “I’m OK!!!”

Calmly walking down the stairs, Giselle asks, “Are you sure about that?”

“Of course I am, I’m sure about everything,” Ezmerelda replies. “I just don’t think you’re sure about everything.”

“Well…” There was a pause. “You’re just saying that because you know that I’m not sure about everything.”


Fowl Deed by Clare B.

Clare’s novel Fowl Deed is a hilarious, pun-filled murder mystery starring — you guessed it — birds. Clare’s main character is named Ducktective Quakington, a spunky duck that is reminiscent of Hercule Poirot. Take a look at this excerpt that shows how well Clare weaves both suspense and humor into her writing:

Dear Ducktective Quakington,

We heard about you from a passing traveler in Hootville, and when the tragedy happened, Doctor Down advised us to write to you immediately. Sadly, Professor Gilly, a goose that lived in our town, has been murdered and we wish to figure out who did the awful deed and to punish them for their terrible crime!


The Council of Hootville

“What an unusual note!” thought Ms. Quakington. It gave no explanation to how the professor was killed, nor a mention of any clues, or where it happened!


Be sure to check out the teen blog to see one more excerpt from this year’s NaNoWriMo Young Writer’s Program!