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Ideas for Your National Day on Writing Celebration


2014 News & Blogs

National Writing Project:  "Write My Community: The 2014 National Day on Writing"

The New York Times Learning Network Blog:  "10 Ways to Explore and Express What Makes Your Community Unique"

Erin Wilkey Oh:  "Celebrate the National Day on Writing" (includes ideas for celebrations by students and teachers) 

Josie's Poems:  "I’m putting a new anapestic poem on my website with voice recording for children:  'Molly the Meerkat.'  I am teaching children what anapestic metre is and helping them to write some anapestic sentences themselves."  Teachers will find it on the Potentially Poetical page and on the Poetry Listening page.  "There are also hundreds of my own poems which I’ve made freely available, and which go into classrooms worldwide (and last year into 188 countries) on my main website."  --  Josie Whitehead 

A Writer's Vanity:  "National Day on Writing"

Connected Educators:  "Celebrate NCTE’s Sixth Annual National Day on Writing — Monday, October 20, 2014"  

Anne Frank Center USA "Conversations with Anne":  The center in New York City, a partner to the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam, created “Conversations With Anne” in 2012 for its new space in Lower Manhattan. Drawing on the unexpurgated journal — “The Diary of a Young Girl: The Definitive Edition” — the organization developed several scripts to use during the program. “Growing Up in Hiding,” the one to be performed on Saturday, October 18, includes entries about Anne’s tentative romance with Peter van Pels and her frustrations with the adults around her. “They still see her as a child, when she really doesn’t feel that way,” said Ms. Vaughn, who compiled the script. Ultimately, “it also touches on her hopes and dreams.”  Intended to celebrate the National Day on Writing (Monday), the program incorporates a tour of the center’s gallery and a writing exercise: Children will choose one of a series of quotations from the diary and connect it to their lives.

Margaret Simon:  "My students decided to Tweet a choka challenge, a form of haiku with a 5,7,5,5,7,5 syllable pattern.  We are also visiting other blogs and leaving comments.  We call this a Comment Invasion.  Happy National Day of Writing!" See also "A Jackpudding of Unjustly Forgotten Words for This National Day on Writing." 

Kerri K. Morris:  "National Day on Writing: Writing is power, words matter

Gayle Morris Sweetland Digital Rhetoric Collaborative:  #WriteMyCommunity: NDoW Showcase and Interview with Kathleen Yancey  

Bill Ivey, Stoneleigh-Burnham Middle School (Greenfield, MA) Dean:  #WriteMyCommunity (National Day on Writing 2014)

Michael Rifenburg:  "#WriteMyCommunity and Running"


2014 Events


  • Coinciding with the National Day On Writing (2014), Athens State University will host a one-day writing conference on "Building Success through Writing Faculty" and students from a wide variety of backgrounds are invited to attend and participate.

    This conference will focus on how the qualities of successful writing help people make lasting connections in their lives and careers. We invite faculty and students from various backgrounds and disciplines to attend the conference and participate in sessions that take a deeper look at the role of writing--as a measure of success, as a practice, or as learning tool--in K-12 and higher education.


  • From the University of Arizona Writing Program Facebook page: Remember to come help us commemorate the National Day on Writing, Friday, October 10! Come to the UA Writing Program's event tent on the Admin Plaza (next to the Student Union) to play games, get swag, and enter for a chance to win a bookstore gift card! #WriteMyCommunity








  • California State University Fullerton invites students and staff to (1) Stop by the Writing Center (Pollak Library North, first floor) on October 20 anytime between 12 and 6pm to share your voice on a poster and sticky note campaign about writing on our campus. and (2) Celebrate this "unevent" from social media by posting about the writing that matters to you using the hashtags #WriteCSUF and #WriteMyCommunity over the day!  For more information - including signing up for a short shift to encourage others to write for this "unevent" - please contact Martha Webber, the Teaching Writing Club, or the Creative Writing Club.



  • POLYTECH Adult Education students are writing their own personal essays about how they have overcome barriers and obstacles to learn and achieve success in their lives. Their stories describe their individual journeys and highlight how the educational community, other support agencies, and their families all contribute toward helping them reach their career goals.  The writing will be on display the day of the event for a "POLYTECH Wall of Writing." 

    Schedule:  8:30 to 8:45:  Write-In! Get Out and Write!  We will begin the day as a community of writers where all participants are writing simultaneously. Students will move through three different rotations from 8:50 to 10:30:  Station 1 - Write your resume in the computer lab.  Station 2 - Chalk Talk - Write your solutions to community issues.  Write letters and cards to our veterans to thank them for their service.  Station 3 - Writer's Workshop with Delaware Author, Ms. Ramona Long, "How to Think Like a Writer."  The culminating activity will be a special assembly at 11 a.m. for all participants in the auditorium where local author, Mr. James Alexander, will share his poetry and motivational message.  (This event is not open to the public and is solely for the students who are enrolled in our various programs.)

    See a video and pictures from the POLYTECH event.




  • Georgia State University will be celebrating the National Day on Writing by gathering 11 different literacy organizations on campus in the campus Courtyard. Among these organizations are GSU's literacy journals, Writing Studio, Library, ESL tutoring services, Graduate English Association, the school newspaper, and the Digital Literacy Archive. All organizations are tasked with promoting their work and engaging students with a literacy related activity.




  • In honor of National Writing Day, Cary District 26 will have its traditional writing exercises. But this year, they will do so in honor of Patricia Sylvester, who died in the spring after a battle with skin cancer. Sylvester, an NCTE member who was a teacher in the district for more than 30 years, taught fifth, sixth and eighth grade. She taught English at the junior high and worked as the gifted program coordinator. She also taught at the now closed Oak Knoll and Prairie Hill schools. “Pat was instrumental in getting all the schools to participate in National Writing Day,” Cary Junior High eighth-grade teacher Kathy Englund said.  See also "National Day on Writing Has Special Meaning This Year."


"We are pretty excited. We did this for five days last year and had so much fun we decided to expand," says NCTE member Deanna Mascle, a coordinator of the event.




New York: 

  • "At Stella and Charles Guttman Community College at the City University of New York, every class will start the day with a short writing determined by the professor to encourage writing across the curriculum. Additionally, we will have a live Tweet Station in our Information Commons where students can sit and tweet ideas related to #writemycommunity. After tweeting, they will receive our third annual National Writing Day bracelet which reads, 'I’ll Show You Mine If You Show Me Yours NWD 2014' which we are sure the students will love," NCTE member Lori Ungemah says.
  • Excelsior College will celebrate 'National Day on Writing' (October 20) with a webinar featuring renowned writer, NCTE member Doug Downs from Montana State University. His presentation, entitled “What We Tell Ourselves about Writing: Cultural Stories of Writing and Their Effects," will focus on the stories we tell about writing and the lessons we can learn from them.  In addition to the webinar, Excelsior College will celebrate the day with an essay contest for Excelsior College students and alumni. Visit the OWL for complete contest rules and more information about the prize!


North Dakota: 

  • NCTE member Karen Peirce of North Dakota State University (NDSU) tells us that NDSU will participate in the National Day on Writing. The celebration at NDSU is supported by the Undergraduate Center for Writers, the Department of English, and the NDSU Libraries, and includes the following events:

9:00am-5:00pm, “Found Poetry,” NDSU Department of English Facebook Page:  The NDSU Department of English will feature found poetry by students and faculty on its Facebook page. In found poetry, writers take "found" text from any source, like books, newspapers, and advertising, and remix it into a poem or image using erasure, centos, nets, and other techniques and forms. "Like" the department's Facebook page to receive the poems in your news feed throughout the day. 


10:00am-1:00pm, “Resources for Writers,” Lobby, Memorial Union:  The Undergraduate Center for Writers will staff a table in the lobby of the Memorial Union. The campus community will be able to learn about the services offered by the Center and to have fun with word games and writing activities.


10:00am-4:00pm, “EndNote Online/Cite While You Write Help Station,” First Floor, Main Library:  The NDSU Libraries will provide walk-up help for EndNote Online and Cite While You Write. You can use EndNote Online to organize your references and create lists. Cite While You Write is a plug-in for Microsoft Word that allows you to build your reference list as you write your paper.

3:00pm-4:00pm, “The Walk Across North Dakota and the Journey of Writing,” Mandan Room, Memorial Union:  The Undergraduate Center for Writers will host Gwen Hoberg, co-author of the travel memoir The Walk Across North Dakota, as she discusses hiking across North Dakota, the types of writing completed during the hikes, and the process involved in both self-publishing and traditional publishing. She will also read selections from her book. Space is limited and reservations are required. 




  • Writing Center Seeks Student Essays for "Berks B Believes" anthology:  In honor of the National Day on Writing, the Penn State Berks Writing Center, in collaboration with First-Year Seminar and the Learning Center, is soliciting student submissions for an in-house publication of "Berks Believes," an anthology of student-written essays that follow in the tradition of the "This I Believe" essay made famous by the 1950s radio show by the same name.
  • York College students will celebrate the National Day on Writing on Oct. 20 at the YCP Write Out. The College’s Writing Center is sponsoring a series of events in Spart’s Den (lower level of Iosue Student Union) from noon – 4 p.m.

    Noon -1 p.m. Writing on Campus:  Students will meet representatives from the Writing Center, Professional Writing Major and Minor, Creative Writing Minor, The York Review (YCP literary publication), Story (YCP magazine), the Bob Hoffman Writing Contest, and The Spartan (school paper). They are invited to join a magnet poetry competition, play literary telephone, and create blackout poetry.

    1 -2 p.m. “Write Out” Open Mic:  Students will share poetry or prose. (Limit six minutes per reading.)

    2 -3 p.m. Peer Review for The York Review and the Bob Hoffman Writing Contest:  Students will bring work they are interested in submitting to the literary publication The York Review or the Bob Hoffman Writing Contest.

     3 - 4 p.m. Story Chain with Sigma Tau Delta:

    Students will join members of the English honor society to create a digital, campus-wide story chain. @Sigma_YCP #YCPWriteOut14

    For more information: Megan Schoettler, York College Writing Center Assistant,



  • In honor of the National Day on Writing, the Department of English, Speech, and Foreign Languages at Texas Woman's University will host a letter writing and mail art station in our Student Union from 11-1 on Monday, 10/20. Visitors will be provided with materials to write and mail members of their community, and have the chance to explore a digital installation of resources and videos exploring the intersections of literature, history, and letter writing.


2013 National Events

Read about the online and other events that took place to celebrate the 2013 National Day on Writing!

2013 News & Blogs

eSchool News:  "National Writing Event Trending on Twitter: Educators Celebrate National Writing Day Online and with Social Media"

Susan Naomi Bernstein:  "Every Day a Writing Day

Britton Gildersleeve:   "waiting (impatiently!) for the National Day on Writing" and "Nimrod Saturday!"  

Judy Kozak:  "Celebrating National Day on Writing with Students

Angela Shetler:  "Writing Connections"  

Katherine Sokolowski:  "Celebrating the National Day on Writing," "National Day on Writing -- Write to Connect," and "Celebrating Writing -- Slice of Life

National Writing Project:  "Write to Connect: 2013 National Day on Writing" The National Writing Project and its Educator Innovator Network — along with the National Council of Teachers of English, the New York Times Learning Network, and a host of other collaborators — are encouraging us to take to Twitter to speak out about how writing helps us connect.

Herndon High School, Herndon, VA:  "Write Here, Write Now"   


2013 Events

Arizona:  Arizona College, Mesa   

Colorado:  Twin Peaks Charter Academy (TPCA), Longmont (just to the north of Denver), will be holding our first ever community writing night in accordance with the National Day on Writing on Thursday, October 17th, from 6 to 8 PM. We are in the early planning stages of this event, but teachers are on board, the PTO is on board, now it's time to get the community on board. 

Illinois:  NCTE member Amy Orvis's 7/8 grade humanities classes will spend the entire morning having writing circles, writing workshop, implementing writing activities from Kelly Gallagher and Ralph Fletcher, and celebrating and enjoying writing!

Kentucky:  Morehead Writing Project and Morehead State University & throughout Eastern Kentucky      

Maryland:  In Howard County, Maryland, The Little Patuxent Review through a partnership with the Howard County Public School System Gifted and Talented Education Program will be holding our first Middle School Writers Festival.  Through a grant from the Maryland Humanities Council, professional writers will be leading workshops with middle school writers on interest-based topics and will be facilliating school-based groups as they work together as a writers' community learning strategies for revision.  The day will culminate in a reading and Open Mic session. 

Maryland:  The Washington College Writing Center, the SGA, and representatives from student publications and writing groups will be hosting this year’s celebration of National Day on Writing in Hodson Hall.  We'll invite students to participate in activities and games that highlight the vibrant culture of writing here at Washington College.  (Read about our 2012 event.)

Maryland:  Montgomery College, a community college in Maryland, is hosting several events at the Germantown Writing Center to celebrate the occasion. First, poetry and “status story” contests will be held on our Facebook page. These contests are open to all students and will be judged by members of our faculty. Second, I have gathered some books and artifacts for a small exhibit on the history of writing instruments. Some additional resources I have gathered are available on our blog. Last, and perhaps most exciting, a Korean calligrapher, Myoung Won Kwon, demonstrated his talents on Monday, October 21 at 2 PM. WID is also hosting several events across all three campuses where students will be responding extemporaneously to writing prompts. Desserts will be served!

Michigan:  Eastern Michigan University Writing Project 

Michigan:   "Write-a-thon hosted on Diag for the National Day on Writing" at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

New York:  Literacy Matters (Hartford)  Students will have a display at a local community center; see "Class Is for Students Who Like Putting Thoughts on Paper"; a video of Lucia Davis, 13, of Rome, reading why she loves writing; and a video of Christina Moretz, 15, of New Hartford, telling why she writes.

New York:  Stella and Charles Guttman Community College (New York)  Students and faculty received the following invitation from the Office of Academic Affairs to talk part in this year's National Day on Writing:



This years' theme for the National Day of Writing activities is  “Write to Connect.” The official date of National Writing Day is Sunday, October 20. On Monday, October 21, we will make stickers available to you that you may hand out in your classes.

Please spend a few minutes on Friday, Saturday (for Saturday classes), or Monday in both your second year and first year courses talking about the ways writing helps us to connect/communicate. Feel free to write your own prompt. Our goal is to show students that we are a community of writers!

Paul Naish has written the following prompts for this year's celebration. The activity is a five minute writing activity with an additional five minutes for students to text the message, email or snail mail!

Prompt:  In honor of National Writing Day, take five minutes to write a message to someone you know—or someone you don’t know.

  • Write to a family member you take for granted and express how much that person helps you.
  • Write to a relative or friend who doesn’t live in New York and tell that person you miss him or her.
  • Write to someone who encouraged or inspired you and say thank you.
  • Write to a public official with a suggestion or a concern.
  • Take five more minutes and send the message by text, email, or snail mail.

Thanks for helping us to make National Writing Day a tradition at Guttman!!


North Carolina:  "Students Reveal Deep Secrets to Each Other" at North Carolina State University

North Carolina:  "Faculty Celebrate National Day on Writing with Retreat" at Duke University

North Dakota:  The North Dakota State University Center for Writers has a full day of events planned, including a Workplace Writing workshop.

Pennsylvania:  The Indiana University of Pennsylvania WAC program and Writing Center are hosting a live streaming of the tweets 12-2 pm on October 21 in the library (@IUP_WAC).  Update:   "We had more than 50 responses during our live tweet-a-thon on and gave out 4 awesome prizes!" 

Pennsylvania:   At the Pennsylvania Writing and Literature Project at West Chester University, grad students revised piece by switching to new genre/same topic, new exp for many, some will try with own students #pawlpnews #nwp

Pennsylvania:  On Monday, Oct. 21, the Penn State Brandywine Writing Studio, in coordination with the English Department and student literary magazine, Penn In Hand, will host activities about writing in the Main Building and Vairo Library.

Texas:  At Lee College in Baytown, in observation of the National Day on Writing we are asking students and faculties to write thank you notes to accompany care packages being sent to soldiers overseas. This will let the soldiers know that we appreciate their services and sacrifices to our country. The faculties will pass out the thank you cards to students during class time. We are hoping to have the packages arrive on Veterans Day.  This is our way of thanking our troops for their service.


2012 News & Blogs

The New York Times: The Learning Network blog post "Encourage Authentic Writing with #WhatIWrite and #NaNoWriMo" (October 4, 2012) introduces the October 19-20 Tweet-out #WhatIWrite and encourages participation in this year's National Day on Writing.

National Writing Project "Why I Write": The NWP has joined NCTE, The New York Times Learning Network, and others to collect the thoughts of people from all walks of life—scientists, reporters, poets, teachers, and students—to discover what they write.

School Library Journal: Tweet What You Write!

Education Week: "Celebrating Writing, Digital and Otherwise" and "Writing: Practice What You Teach"


2012 College, University, & Writing Project Celebrations

Alaska:  University of Alaska Fairbanks

California:  Redwood Writing Project (at Humboldt Public Library) 

Colorado:  Community College of Aurora; Fort Lewis College, Durango; Front Range Community College, Boulder County 

Illinois:  National Louis University, Chicago; University of Illiinois at Urbana-Champaign 

Iowa:  University of Iowa 

Maryland:  Montgomery College, Montgomery County

New York:   The New Community College at The City University of New York; The College of Saint Rose, Albany & Graduate Admissions Blog

North Carolina:  East Carolina University, Greenville

North Dakota:  North Dakota State University, Fargo

Pennsylvania:  Indiana University of PA
Lafayette College, Easton
Cairn University, Langhorne

Tennessee:  University of Tennessee, Knoxville & Picture Gallery 

Texas:  Texas Lutheran University, Seguin & TLU YouTube video; University of Texas, Arlington 

Wisconson:  University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire


Additional Events:

Scholastic, Inc., Facebook Chat with Ruth Culham, Oct. 17
Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting
Kids Invited to Write about Environment for Contest: Hyde Park, NY, October 6, 2012 


2011 College, University, & Writing Project Celebrations

Photos from 2011 Celebration
College of Humanities and Social Sciences, North Carolina State University, Raleigh

Alumna Author Janine De Tillio Cammarata Discusses Writing
The College of Saint Rose, October 25, 2011  (video)

Write About It
Marietta College, October 21, 2011

Front Range Community College Celebrates National Day on Writing
Front Range Community College, October 20, 2011

Writing Center Celebrates National Day on Writing
University of Nebraska at Omaha, October 20, 2011

Happy National Day on Writing!
Wesleyan University, October 20, 2011

GCU Hosts National Day on Writing Events
Georgia Court University, October 19, 2011

Writing Center Gets New Resources, Plans National Day on Writing Events
Francis Marion University, October 19, 2011

Activities Planned for National Day on Writing
North Dakota State University, October 13, 2011

Viewpoint: Celebrating Writing Day Requires Just a Pen or Keyboard
Baylor University, October 19, 2011

Writing Center to Hold First Adult Spelling Bee Wednesday
Central Michigan University Writing Center, October 18, 2011

Spartanburg Writing Project Conference, Oct. 20
University of South Carolina Upstate, October 18, 2011

Celebrating the National Day on Writing October 20 at ECU
East Carolina State University, October 13, 2011

National Day on Writing at Columbia College
YouTube, October 17, 2011  (video)

Day of Writing set at UW-Rock County
University of Wisconsin-Rock County, October 13, 2011

University to Celebrate National Letter Writing Day
University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, October 14, 2011

National Day on Writing
Ball State University, October 12, 2011

Boulder County Campus Celebrates the National Day on Writing
Front Range Community College, October 13, 2011

MSU Writing Center Celebrates and Supports the National Day on Writing
Montana State University, October 12, 2011

Activities Planned for National Day on Writing
North Dakota State University, October 13, 2011

UC to Participate in the National Day on Writing
Utica College, October 5, 2011

National Day on Writing III
University of Vermont, October 15, 2011

October 20: National Day on Writing
Lehua Writing Project, University of Hawaii at Hilo, September 29, 2011

Maryland Voices Announces Writing Challenge on 10/20/11
Maryland Writing Project, September 30, 2011

2011 School & Community Celebrations

National Writing Day Sparks Creativity at Rahway HS
Rahway High School, New Jersey, October 24, 2011

Frederick Students Use Writing Day Assignment to Encourage Soldiers
Whittier Elementary School, Frederick, Maryland, October 21, 2011

Wisconsin Council of Teachers of English 2011 Writing Initiative
"Celebrate the Power of Teaching," October 20, 2011

Drury High School Participates in National Day on Writing
Drury High School, North Adams, Massachusetts, October 20, 2011

Writing on the Wall
Centennial High School, Franklin, Tennessee, October 2011

Novel, Poem, or Even a Text, October Is All about Writing
Reading Eagle, October 18, 2011

CHS English Classes Celebrate the National Day on Writing
Carrollton High School, Carrollton, Georgia, October 13, 2011

2011 News & Blogs

Blogging the National Day on Writing
The Learning Netwok blog, The New York Times, October 20, 2011

How Are You Celebrating National Day on Writing?
Education Week Teacher, October 20, 2011

Observe It Today: The National Day on Writing
PopCandy, USA Today, October 20, 2011

Why I Write: A Celebration of the National Day on Writing
National Writing Project, October 17, 2011

National Day on Writing 2011
The Brown Bookshelf United in Story blog, October 12, 2011

National Day on Writing, a Family Reunion, and a Thankyu
Teaching Authors blog, October 14, 2011

Thinking on Writing
Nancy Devine blog, October 7, 2011

Why I Write: A Celebration of the National Day on Writing
Creating a Path for Learning in the 21st Century blog, October 3, 2011

2010 & 2009 Invitations & Online Sites

Multilingual Poetry Reading to Celebrate the National Day on Writing (DePaul University)

National Day on Writing Celebration (Washington College)

When Writing Teachers Write IX (Missouri Western State University)

Writers Wanted: St. Clair College and University of Windsor Students and/or Alumni (St. Clair College and University of Windsor)

Lowcountry Writing Project (Charleston, SC)

National Day on Writing Is Oct 20 and WTWP Has Registered for a Gallery (West Tennessee Writing Project)

Kevin’s Meandering Mind: Go Ahead: Write (National Day on Writing), October 20, 2010 and Making Webcomics on the National Day on Writing, October 21, 2010

Americans Are Writing Like Never Before: Celebrate!

The English Roost (Centennial High School, Maryland)

Encourage Writing

Ursuline National Gallery Of Writing Is Still Open! (Ursuline College)

The Southwest Minnesota Writing Gallery is NOW Accepting Submissions (Southwest Minnesota State University)

Celebrate the National Day of Writing With At Home Writing (Literacy News)

2010 & 2009 Publicity & Plans

NWP Radio: Writing at the Center: The National Day on Writing

Writing Program Celebrates National Day on Writing (University of Denver)

Activities Planned for National Day on Writing (North Dakota State University)

Students Distribute Works throughout City to Celebrate National Day on Writing (Chelsea, MI)

Region 8 Students Celebrate Writing! (Jonesboro, AR)

5th Graders Learn from Write Stuff (Youngstown, OH)

NHS- Celebrates National Day on Writing (New Hope, PA)

Eastern Michigan University Writing Project (Ypsilanti, MI)

Indiana Partnership for Young Writers Flier

Carnegie Center Flyer and Photos

Document and Site Resources

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