Galva Junior-Senior High School Principal Jerry Becker commended teacher Jillian Hefner at Monday night’s school board meeting for "leading her eighth grade classes and participating in the Young Writer's version of National Novel Writing Month last semester.”

Galva Junior-Senior High School Principal Jerry Becker commended teacher Jillian Hefner at Monday night’s school board meeting for "leading her eighth grade classes and participating in the Young Writer's version of National Novel Writing Month last semester.”

National Novel Writing Month is a free, fun event in which student authors write an entire novel in 30 days. Students began the last week of October by completing their "Preptober" work — identifying what they each liked in a novel; fine-tuning their skills of dialogue and clear, interesting description; plotting their adventures; and setting individual goals.  

In November, her students focused on writing every day and reaching daily word goals. Students could just write or they could choose to "beat the clock" by besting their own personal records.  

At midnight of Dec. 1, the total word count for her classes was 182,728, which was just short of their 190,950 word goal. The students then designed their covers, printed their novels and began sharing their work with classmates and family members.

“I appreciate her dedication and professionalism when designing her junior high classes and in particular, writing across the curriculum,” Becker said of Hefner. “I had the opportunity to see the young writers at work in November and they were confident and determined to make the word count and create a quality novel. Hefner's love of literature and writing will serve our students well when they enter their high school years."