National Day on Writing
annually on October 20th (since 2009)
Pick up a pen or open up your laptop, it's National Day on Writing! The National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) established National Day on Writing to honor and celebrate the importance of writing. It acknowledges the significance of writing in our national life, helps writers recognize the importance of writing in their personal lives, and draws attention to the wide variety of writing there is. It emphasizes that learning to write for different audiences, purposes, and occasions is a lifelong process, "points to the importance of writing instruction and practice at every grade level, for every student, and in every subject area from preschool through university," and "encourages Americans to write and enjoy and learn from the writing of others." On multiple occasions, National Day on Writing has been supported with resolutions from the Senate. For its first year, it was supported by Senate Resolution 310, sponsored by Senator Bob Casey, Jr., [D-PA].
The National Gallery of Writing, created by the NCTE at the day's outset, played a significant role with the day for the holiday's first two years, before being discontinued. Writers showcased their varying forms of work in the gallery, such as short stories, recipes, poems, text messages, scholarly research, and blogs. The gallery allowed viewers to browse and see the ways Americans incorporated writing into their daily lives. Today, observers of National Day on Writing do some writing, share with others why they write, join in conversations about writing, and organize events related to writing.
How to Observe National Day on Writing
The following are some ways to take part in the day:
- Do some writing and read the writing of others!
- Gather together with family and friends to write. Perhaps you could write individually on the same topic, or collaborate on one piece of writing.
- Host a gallery walk of writing in a public space.
- Write in your diary or start one if you don't have one.
- Utilize the National Day on Writing Toolkit.
- Visit the American Writers Museum. They sometimes have offered free admission on the day.
- Write a short story, poem, article, or another type of composition and share it on social media along with what compels you to write on a daily basis and the hashtag #WhyIWrite. You could also post an older piece of writing instead of a new one.
- Take part in a #NCTEchat on Twitter. This usually does not take place exactly on National Day on Writing, but on a Sunday near it.
- If you are a teacher, talk about the importance of writing and give your students the opportunity to write creatively today. You could also explore the National Writing Project.
- If you are a student, organize a writing event at your school, like a poetry slam or a writing marathon.