The Canberra-based school has been encouraging its students to participate in the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) and has already had spectacular results.

It has opened up the competition to students between Year 7 and 10, with one of its students already having had a manuscript accepted by a publishing house in London.

Yet writing a novel in a single month is no small feat, and its faculty has worked hard to ensure students receive the best guidance.

“We hold a 10-minute focus session at the start of every lesson focussing on different aspects of novel writing,” Debbie Dwyer, head of English at Campbell High tells Australian Teacher Magazine.

“These could be descriptions, ways to get started, ways to hook your audience in, dialogue, character development, climax creation, the denouements.

We also do little focus exercises at the start of every lesson, before the kids go off and write,” she says.

“We also have a writer’s camp every year in August that goes for three days and two nights. We have guests like Jack Heath who has successfully published novels for young adults. He has had some fantastic workshops.

“We’ve also had a number of teachers come out and conduct hour-long lessons on how to write.”

But NaNoWriMo has accomplished more than just nurturing students’ love for writing, it has brought them together as well.

“The students read each others’ work and it’s a window into each other, deepening the friendships and relationships they have at those young ages”, the school’s librarian, Keith Mullumby, says.

“They all had a little writing community, and they would egg each other on. It really helped those really supportive relationships develop further with the writing being a great outcome as well,” Dwyer adds.