Getting Started (Educators)

Welcome, Bold and Creative Educator, to your NaNo-Noveling adventure! 

Get started here with the basics, and if you need more help at any time, check out our Help & FAQ

We have a detailed "Getting Started" page for young writers as well, with clear instructions and screenshots for starting their first project. You can access it here!

1. Create your virtual classroom(s) and add students.

Our on-site classroom space allows you to hold class discussions, monitor students’ novel progress, read and edit students' novels, and control students' access to private chat, class discussions, and the forums.

Click “Create my classroom” on your dashboard to get started. You can create as many classrooms as you need (for instance, if you teach multiple sections or grade levels). Manage all classrooms from your Dashboard, or from the View All Classrooms page.

Create your classroom

There are two ways for students to join your classroom, but both involve using your classroom's unique access code, found at the bottom right corner of the Overview box in the Admin section of each classroom's page:

  • Students can join your classroom as they're signing up for Young Writer accounts by inputting your classroom code. If they sign up this way, they don't need to input personal or parent email addresses! 
  • Students can also join your classroom after they've signed up by clicking the "Join a classroom" link on their dashboard and inputting your classroom's access code.

Classroom access code

IMPORTANT DETAILS: Please review the Terms & Conditions and Parent Proxy Agreement before you allow students to establish accounts. 

2. Help students create their novels.

There are a few ways to write novels with NaNoWriMo. If there's an official NaNo challenge (like NaNoWriMo in November or Camp NaNoWriMo in April and July) students can participate by clicking "Yes!" when the "Take the Challenge" box appears on their dashboard the month before. 

Educators can create classroom-wide writing challenges for their students by going to the Challenge section of their virtual classroom. 

Students can also work on a personal writing challenge any time of year by clicking "Yes!" in the "Challenge Yourself" box on their dashboards (though educators aren't able to track or read these personal challenge projects).

Have students fill in as much information as they can about their projects when they create them—including their own personal word-count goals. They can update these novel settings at any time by clicking the wrench next to novel's title, so no pressure!

More detailed instructions for students starting projects can be found on the Getting Started (for Young Writers) page!

Start your novel now

IMPORTANT DETAIL: Students can work on their projects in the on-site writing space to see charts and badges update automatically, or work on them somewhere else and update their word count manually from the Dashboard. They can switch between these options in their novel settings.

 3. Explore the rest of the YWP site. 

  • Check out Teaching Resources and the NaNo Writing Hub for Common Core-aligned lesson plans, student-friendly workbooks, free classroom kits, pep talks, blog posts, videos, social media swag, and more. 

  • Learn our pro tips for managing your Virtual Classroom.

  • Visit the forums to chat with other educators about strategies for keeping students motivated, creative writing tips and tricks, or racing against each other as Buddy Classrooms. 

  • Start a novel of your own to get familiar with the on-site writing space. Add Novel Notes to brainstorm ideas, add Chapters to write and update your word-count goal, and stay motivated with the charts and stats, Dare Machine, and Word Sprint tool. Students CANNOT read your novels, even your official NaNo one, but they will be able to see your title, word-count progress, and synopsis. 

  • Follow our NaNo shenanigans (she-NaNo-gans?) year-round on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, and Tumblr

  • Stuck? Read more on our Help & FAQ page.