NaNoWriMo Inspiration for Teens

With November halfway over, many aspiring writers are trying their best to complete NaNoWriMo (also known as National Novel Writing Month) where they are challenged to write a book by the end of the month.  Life is especially hectic for teens as they juggle school assignments, clubs, sports, etc. So if any teens are attempting to do NaNoWriMo, they need lots of inspiration as they forge ahead on their writing journey. Here’s a round up of some resources to motivate potential teen writers:


The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

The Poet X features Xiomara, a teen poet who leans who uses her talent to get through her difficult times. Xiomara’s ability use her words to let her emotions shine through will inspire any writer to try their hand at poetry or watch poetry slams on YouTube.

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

An ode to online fandom and fanfiction, Fangirl provides us with Cath who is in her first year of college. She has her courses to worry about but all she can think about is completing her popular online fanfic story. Cath has her moments of self-doubt and triumph which all writers can relate to as she races to complete her story on a self-imposed deadline.

Final Draft by Riley Redgate

In Final Draft, Laila Piedra pours all of herself into her writing. So much so that her characters live more than she does! Her carefully crafted world gets a plot twist when her favorite writing teacher is replaced with Nadiya Nazarenko, an award winning author author. Nadiya’s increasingly difficult assignments push Laila out of her comfort zone and makes her second guess how good she actually is at writing. Writers of all levels can relate to Laila’s frustration of wanting to impress her mentor while also wondering whether or not her writing is actually good enough.


I Will Always Write Back: How One Letter Changed Two Lives by Caitlin Alifirenka & Martin Ganda

A true and inspiring story about two pen pals on opposite sides of the world who form a friendship through letters. I Will Always Write Back isn’t strictly about novel writing but it demonstrates how writing can transform our lives.

Monster, She Wrote: The Women Who Pioneered Horror & Speculative Fiction by Lisa Kröger & Melanie R. Anderson

Another title that isn’t directly about writing but it can serve as an inspirational read for any writers who a) identify as female and b) are interested in writing stories that fall under scifi/fantasy and horror. Authors Kröger and Anderson’s writing style is very easy to get through, and they highlight a lot of—unrecognized—contributions female writers have made towards speculative fiction.

Popular: Vintage Wisdom For A Modern Geek by Maya Van Wagenen

At fifteen, author Maya Van Wagenen wrote an autobiography about her attempts at becoming popular using a 1950s popularity guide. Popular showcases the fact that age is just a number: if you want to become a writer, you just need an idea and the determination to see it through!



88 Cups Of Tea by Yin Chang

Yin’s love of storytelling and her bubbly personality come together to form a wonderfully supportive podcast for writers of all ages. Yin’s cheerful, mama bear energy is perfect for carrying any writers through their moments of doubt!

First Draft Podcast by Sarah Enni

First Draft has 5 years worth of episodes that feature numerous YA authors as well as other professionals in the storytelling world. YA author Sarah’s soothing voice and insightful interviews provide glimpses on how the publishing world works for curious writers.

Write or Die by Claribel Ortega & Kat Cho

Write or Die is co-hosted by YA authors Claribel Ortega and Kat Cho. Claribel and Kat interview various authors and other industry professionals who provide tons of information for the behind-the-scenes of publishing. Claribel and Kat are relatively new authors but their honesty and fun personalities make the podcast a must-listen for aspiring writers.

Phew! It was difficult to narrow the list down when there’s so many options out there. Did I miss any must-haves for this list? Let me know what you think down in the comments.

—Sandy León, currently reading Geekerella by Ashley Poston