National Day on Writing

Every year, October 20 is celebrated by teachers as the National Day on Writing. But because October 20 this year falls on a Saturday, the big day for celebration is today. This link provides information on teaching writing at all levels, elementary school through college.

Writing ToolsBut the National Day on Writing isn’t just for students. On The Learning Network, a blog run by the New York Times, Katherine Schulten explains how anyone—“students, teachers, novelists, poets, historians, journalists, comedians and ordinary citizens of all kinds”—can get in on the activity by posting to Twitter with the hashtag #WhyIWrite. This article also discusses how much students benefit when their classes participate in another writing exercise, National Novel Writing Month, also known as NaNoWriMo, which occurs every November. Both the student and the teacher perspective given here are inspiring.

And in A Passionate, Unapologetic Plea for Creative Writing in Schools, Rebecca Wallace-Segall makes an impassioned case for why writing both personal narrative and fiction in school is good for students on both the pedagogical and the human level:

Creative writing also provides something that no number of expository assignments can. The insights and challenges that arise when we face when teaching uncensored fiction are surpassed only when we teach uncensored memoir writing. When I first started teaching creative writing in schools, Rami, one of my light-hearted 7th grade boys, had been working on a memoir with me for a month and finally decided to share it with a small workshop of his peers. It was about not feeling masculine. We were all stunned. I caught sight of one girl holding his hand for support.

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