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Posted at 6:30 AM ET, 12/17/2009

High School Report: From Bishop McNamara, a Facebook lesson and novel writing

By Valerie Strauss

Until I read a story in “The Stampede,” the student newspaper at Bishop McNamara High School in Forestville, Md., I had no idea that Facebook just changed its default settings and what it means for your privacy and mine.

News Editor Brandi Bottalico tells us everything in an article saying that Facebook changed its privacy settings supposedly to make it easier for people to connect to one another.

As a result, more people can see more of your stuff than in the past.
You can adjust the settings to better suit your preferences, but it’s probably a good idea to see who can see what.

As The Stampede articles says, “Now, Aunty Cindy doesn’t have to read that status about how mad you are at your parents. And those embarrassing family photos from last Christmas can stay in the family.”


Another Stampede article informed me about a contest I have never heard of but wish I had: the NaNoWriMo competition.

That’s short for National Novel Writing Month, which was in November, and the time when adult and young novelists around the world have 30 days to write a novel and then submit it.

Bishop McNamara junior Carmela Rourke write a 50,000-word novel in 30 days and submitted it. For competing, her novel will be bound and printed for free and she was given a list of publishers.

If you missed out on NaNoWriMo, don’t fret too much: You can get in on Script Frenzy in April.

To prepare you can learn how to stage your own script writing boot camp to write a play, V script, comic book script, or screenplay so you will be ready to take part in the competition starting April 1 Here you can find instructions on how elementary, middle and high school students can get involved.

Both events are brought to you by a nonprofit organization called “The Office of Letters and Light.

I will be doing other reports from student media in the coming weeks. If there is something you want me to look at it, email me at

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By Valerie Strauss  | December 17, 2009; 6:30 AM ET
Categories:  High School, Writing  | Tags:  National Novel Writing Month, writing  
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