The third annual National Day on Writing takes place tomorrow (Thursday) and I would encourage you to consider ways that you can shine a spotlight on the ways that writing matters with your students. The day is sponsored by the NCTE (National Council of Teachers of English), but my National Writing Project is a key partner in the event. This year, the NWP has a theme of “Why I Write” and it has been publishing all sorts of interesting essays from famous people about the writing they do in their lives and why it is so important.
Here is some information from NWP about different ways you can participate or celebrate “Why I Write”:
Submit student essays to Figment.com: Figment will be accepting submissions from September 28 through October 29. Since “Why I Write” is a celebration of writing, there are no prizes, but a curated anthology of selected submissions will be available as an e-book later this winter. Submit to Figment.
New York Times Learning Network: The New York Times Learning Network will present a series of interviews with reporters who cover a range of beats and explore their writing process. These interviews will serve as the basis for lesson plans, prompts for students, discussions, and inspiration. More ›
NWP Radio: On October 20 at 7 p.m. EST, the National Writing Project will air a live radio show to celebrate the National Day on Writing with interviews with New York Times education reporter Fernanda Santos, New York Times Learning Network editor Katherine Schulten, Figment founder and New Yorker staff writer Dana Goodyear, Figment teen writers, and NWP teacher and author Ashley Hope Perez, among others. More ›
Post on Facebook: We’d like everyone to post why they write on their Facebook pages on October 20 and encourage others to do so. Let’s create a national dialogue about writing! More ›
Also, the NCTE hosts a National Gallery of Writing that is open for you and your students to contribute to. The gallery can be found here.
A poem I write for the ‘Why I Write’ theme:
is the echo in the silence
so I write
to find the patterns of reverberations
where the only voice I hear
is my own,
and the clattering chaos of the days
I am forever etched in ink
on paper and this digital canvas
and so I write,
as if everything hangs in the balance
And I am going to be helping my students write about this idea today, with the aim of using our school’s iPod Touch devices tomorrow to podcast their “Why I Write” responses over at our Cinch account, with the #whyiwrite hashtag. I am hoping their voices become part of the conversation around writing.
Peace (in the celebration),