7 OPS NaNoWriMo students host book signing at DCPL

March 23, 2019 | 3:11 am

Updated March 22, 2019 | 11:38 pm

Seven OPS NaNoWriMo students participated in a book signing at the Daviess County Public library on Friday. | Photo by Daniel Benedict

It takes some authors years to complete their novels. For eleven Owensboro Middle and High School students it took the month of November. These students participated in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWiMo), an annual creative writing project that takes place during the month of November where writers attempt to write a 50,000-word manuscript in 30 days. The students achieved success much to the credit of OPS District Literacy Coach Amy Bellamy, whose passion for writing ultimately led to eleven young people publishing books this school year. Seven of those students participated in a book signing at the Daviess County Public library on Friday.

“I love this program,” Bellamy said. “It is seriously one of my favorite things I get to do as an
educator. I had always wanted to be a writer, so I would have loved an opportunity like
this when I was in school.”

Bellamy explained that beginning in November, the students set word count goals of how many words they would write between Nov. 1 and Nov. 30. At the end of November, the students who met their 30-day word count goals were able to work with her one-on-one to publish their finished books through Amazon’s self-publishing program, where they were even able to design the size and cover.

According to Bellamy, only about 25 percent of the students who started with the OPS NaNoWriMo program actually managed to finish and publish their books.

“It’s a huge accomplishment for these kids, and I’m so proud of them,” she said.

Owensboro Times had an opportunity to conduct a question and answer session with each young author prior to the coffee shop event.


Photo by Daniel Benedict

Randi Smith
It Came from the Sky

The first book I ever read and absolutely loved was the first Percy Jackson book. I was in middle school, and the creativity of the story absolutely blew me away. When I wrote my novel, I hoped I would write something as inspiring and interesting as the Percy Jackson series.

My novel in 10 words or less: A mysterious Bird visits a remote village, threatening their survival.

People who love fantasy, science fiction-type books would love my novel.

If I could go back in time and have a young Mila Kunis play my main character, the vision in my head would be complete.

I need to have zero distractions when I write. Every day after school, I would lock myself in my room until I had reached my daily word count goal, which was about 800 words. I wouldn’t come out of my room or even check my phone until I had met my daily goal.

I have plans to write another novel — hopefully next year with NaNoWriMo — but I have no clue what it will be about!


Photo by Daniel Benedict

Natalee Long
Harlow’s Battle Cry: The Journal of Harlow Cunning

The first book that I read and loved was “Abe Lincoln at Last,” this book is a part of the Magic Treehouse series.

My novel in 10 words or less: Romantic, sad, encouraging, heart touching, love, family.

I think that anyone who might be struggling would enjoy my book, even though this isn’t a true story, they could get some encouragement to see that you can make good out of everything.

I would choose Kylie Rogers because she is a beautiful teenage actor and she has experience with being in movies about hard times.

During the time that I was writing, I tried my very best to manage my time and get a good amount of writing done. I didn’t procrastinate and I focused. What helped me focus better was listening to calm and slow music, this helped the thoughts flow through my mind better.

I am still thinking about writing another novel, but it will be in a few years after I have a little bit more experience with the writing process and get more ideas and knowledge.


Photo by Daniel Benedict

Natalie McCoy

When I was younger, every night my dad read a chapter of a Nancy Drew book to me.

My novel in 10 words or less: A man with unanswered questions learns the truth, but at what cost?

Anyone who enjoys a psychological murder mystery should read my book.

Cillian Murphy would play the antagonist and Michael Cordero would play the protagonist.

I tend to write a lot at a time, then take a few days break until I feel inspired again. I always listen to music, mainly instrumental.

Yes, I plan to write another novel. Probably not in the near future, but definitely again within my lifetime.


Photo by Daniel Benedict

Ava Wiggins

When I was little, my dad used to read Junie B Jones with me all the time. We still quote it to this day.

My novel in 10 words or less: Students are going missing and the protagonist must find them.

Anyone who enjoys a mystery will enjoy my book.

Maybe Sadie Sink would be a good choice as the main character if my book were made into a movie.

The last week was definitely crazy getting my word count up to where it was supposed to be after all of my procrastination.

The end of my current novel does have a little cliffhanger, so I do plan to write a sequel at some point.


Photo by Daniel Benedict

Ashton Baxter
Marks of Past Lives

I can’t remember what the first book I’ve read was — I always remember reading. I remember reading the Eragon and Harry Potter series.

My novel in 10 words or less: Don’t let fear stop your destined journey, but embrace it.

Anyone who likes fantasy action books or even those who think that their will stop them from what they want to do.

For Juno, my main character, India Eisley would be a good choice for the movie adaptation.

Usually, I listen to music because I can’t have just silence. Sometimes I’ll get ideas from when I’m just listening to music or sitting there. There are times where I do procrastinate, but usually, the need to do something or get something out of my head always gets me back writing.

Yes, I’m working on the sequel and another book at the moment.


Photo by Daniel Benedict

Miles Baur
Shards of Light

When I was first learning how to read, there were books called “Bob Books.” They were the reason I learned to read early. My mom would help me with them, and eventually, I could read them all without any problems.

My novel in 10 words or less: A story about a robot fighting evil in outer space.

People my age, like middle schoolers, would enjoy the book the most, I think.

Even though this sounds funny, I think “The Rock” (Dwayne Johnson) would suit my character best. He can pull off some of the sarcastic parts of my character but also handle the battles and serious parts in my book well, too. His voice would be ideal for the role.

My writing process was somewhat varied over the month we had to write our entire book, November 2018. My days consisted of going to school, coming back home and finishing any homework, and then I would start writing. There was no good luck ritual or anything, I just wrote every day. It was very, very hard for a seventh grader, and some days were extremely excruciating. But, in the end, I am very proud of my writing.

If I wrote another novel, I am not even sure if it would be a sequel or a new storyline. But, if I do, I think I might write it over a MUCH longer period. Writing a book in a month is something incredibly challenging. If I took my time and worked towards something a tad bit slower, with fresh inspiration each day, the end product would most definitely improve.

Photo by Daniel Benedict

Drew Crandall 


*Biography unavailable at this time

March 23, 2019 | 3:11 am

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