National Day on Writing

By Ann M. Blakeslee | Published September 19, 2018

October 20 is fast approaching! And why is that day so special to all of us who value writing? It’s
the National Day on Writing. And it’s time to start thinking about how you will celebrate!

For those of you who are new to the National Day on Writing, here’s some background: NDoW
was originally created by the National Council of Teachers of English and supported by the US
Senate. It’s designed to bring together people all over the country to celebrate and promote writers
and writing.

Want to join us in the celebration? In the weeks leading up to October 20, try out any of the ideas
listed below, or devise your own plan. Then share how you celebrated with our writing community
by following the instructions below.

It’s easy to do:

  1. Take a picture of what you’ve created or showing writers at work.
  2. Add a caption that lets others know what you did and how you did it.
    “For the National Day on Writing, we at [enter your school’s or organization’s name here]
    celebrated by [enter your activity here].”
  3. Email your picture and caption to Mona Beydoun, [email protected], so we can add it to our
  4. Post your pictures on social media using #EMUNDoW18

NDoW Celebration Ideas for K-12 Schools

Ideas that help students think about their identities as writers:

  • Write 6-word literacy memoirs about who they are as writers: why they write, what they write, how they write.
  • Create a literacy life map that visually shows examples of their writing throughout their lives -- in and out of
  • Compose an author blurb about themselves as writers: look at an assortment of published blurbs and have them
    write their own (with examples of writing they’ve done throughout their years in and out of school).
  • Keep a diary of everything they write over a 24 hour period.

Ideas that help students recognize and learn about other writers:

  • Interview someone (parent, other family member, teacher, staff member, community friend) about their writing
    practices. (What do they write? How do they write? Why do they write?)
  • Take a field trip through the school and jot down all the examples of writing they see.
  • Interview teachers of multiple subject areas to see what counts as writing in their field of study.

Ideas that help promote your school as a center of writing:

  • Publish student writing on the walls of the school.
  • Publish student writing by chalking poems on the sidewalk.
  • Create a Writers of xxx School on your school web page, profiling a different writer each week (student, staff,
    faculty, administrator).
  • Offer weekly tips for how parents can support student writers and writing on home communications.
  • Organize a school or family writing event.

Ideas that promote writing in your community:

  • Share student writing in the community: ask store owners to display student writing in their windows.
  • Place student published literary magazines in public places: libraries, doctors’ offices, gyms.
  • Organize a writing night at a local library.
  • Organize a poetry slam at a local coffee shop or library, inviting parents, students, and community members.