The National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) has begun accepting submissions to the National Gallery of Writing from citizens across the country and from around the world. On October 20, 2009, the National Day on Writing, NCTE and its partners will open the collection to the public and writing will be front and center.
The Gallery, which is hosted by NCTE, will be a digital archive celebrating composition in all its forms. NCTE invites submissions from people in all walks of life—babysitters, kindergarten artists, lawyers, bloggers, hospitality workers, truckers, nurses, fire fighters, and more, and encourages people to begin submitting writing to the Gallery now.
NCTE member Doug Hesse, former chair of the Conference on College Composition and Communication, director of Denver University’s Writing Program, suggests, “Let’s imagine America writing . . . essayists and auditors, poets and nurses, tweeters and technicians . . . church bulletin scribes, advocates and analysts . . . all linked by writing.”
So far, writers have submitted a wide variety of writings, from emails, letters, and reports to poems, stories, opinion pieces, and recipes. They’ve written for many audiences such as colleagues, family members, the general public, friends, and themselves.
In addition, NCTE is also making it possible for groups to establish Local Partner Galleries to showcase writing. Requests for local partner galleries have come from families, clubs, countries, church groups, classes, cities, schools and districts, and more.
On the National Day on Writing on October 20, 2009, these groups will see their work collected together inside the Gallery. Each local partner gallery needs at least one key person, a Curator, who applies for the local partner status and agrees to review all work submitted before it is published. Those who have started local galleries have cited reasons such as to share ideas or information important to them, to evoke pride in their group, or to broaden their awareness of the perceptions and talents of others.
Already more than 40 submissions have been received for the Gallery of NCTE, and over 150 Local Partner Galleries have been requested.
To showcase the remarkable variety of writing that will be collected in the Gallery, NCTE is currently working with legislators on Congressional resolutions to officially declare October 20 the National Day on Writing.
“By capturing a portrait of how writing happens today—who writes and for what purposes,” NCTE Executive Director Kent Williamson notes, “teachers can better prepare the next generation for success across the full range of 21st century literacies. Our hope is that everyone who participates in this initiative will better understand writing as a valuable lifelong practice rather than as something that is done only in school or only by a select group of people.”
The National Council of Teachers of English, with 50,000 individual members, looks forward to welcoming thousands of writers into the National Gallery on Writing. To keep up with information on the Gallery and the National Day on Writing, join the discussion on the NCTE Ning, follow the National Day on Writing on Twitter, and sign up for the RSS feed.