Set your writer’s side free with National Novel Writing Month!

Join the US team in participating in National Novel Writing Month throughout November and write to your heart’s content!

There’s a million stories inside us, all just waiting to be told. But it’s up to each of us to let them out! You’re not alone in wanting to share your story: this month, something HUGE is taking place in the world of writing — it’s National Novel Writing Month!

Every year, writers and storytellers in the US spend the month of November writing their own stories with the aim of completing a first draft by the end of the month. But writing isn’t the only way to tell a story, so we want to challenge your Code Club members to unleash their storytelling skills and harness their coding skills to create an original story in Scratch!

This challenge presents a brilliant opportunity for young people to explore not only their creative writing skills, but also to develop their critical thinking and problem-solving skills by using Scratch to build interactive stories and animations. It will empower young people to share their thoughts and ideas, and to express what truly excites them.

Get started: Pick a genre and plot

It’s easy to get intimidated by the blank page, especially when you’re trying to come up with an original story on your own, but there are a number of ways to make it easier for your club members to begin this challenge. To start, it might be helpful to have your coders think about what genre they want to explore. Genres can loosely be described as:

  • Fiction – a story where most, if not all of the details, are created from your imagination
  • Nonfiction – a story where all of the details are true, meaning everything actually happened
  • Poetry – a story written in “lines” and “stanzas”, rather than paragraphs, and that can sometimes rhyme
  • Drama – a story that is usually acted out in a play, musical, ballet, etc.

Next, get your students to think about their favorite story; this can help them find inspiration for what type of story they want to tell. And once they feel good about their idea, they can start putting their story together for their coding project!

Write your heart out

Once your club members are happy with their story idea, the next step is to create a Scratch project where they can bring their story to life and share it with others. Check out this project card we’ve made with writing-themed projects to help your coders explore different ways they can code their story. As always with coding, the possibilities are endless! Maybe they’ll want to format their story as a comic or have it acted out on a theater stage with different sprites playing each character.

However they choose to tell their story, we want to see it!

Three projects to help your coders

Check you’ve got the write stuff

This challenge is designed to take place over the course of the entire month of November, so it’s important for your coders to keep track of their progress. We’ve created a checklist to help them make sure their project has all the necessary elements, and when they’re ready to share their tale, your authors can upload their projects to our dedicated storytelling Scratch studio. 

  1. Pick a genre for your story
  2. Brainstorm an original story idea
  3. Come up with an exciting title
  4. Start writing your story
  5. Complete a first draft of your story
  6. Create a Scratch project where you can share your story
  7. Proofread your story and check your code 
  8. Upload your story to our Scratch studio
  9. Share your project on social media using the hashtag #MyCodeClub
  10. You’re done! 

Let your writer’s side shine! 

We have an inkling that this challenge is going to be full of page-turners! We’d love to see how your students get on with this, so make sure to use the hashtag #MyCodeClub to share what your Code Club is working on!