Educators celebrate National Writing Day online and with social media

writing-twitterToday, students, educators, administrators, and writers will take to Twitter to celebrate the National Day on Writing by sharing ways they use writing to connect with family, within communities, between teachers and students, with colleagues, and across the disciplines.

This marks an important day, as schools increasingly require a focus on writing skills as part of the recently adopted Common Core State Standards (CCSS).

Founded by the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) in 2009, the National Day on Writing “recognizes the importance of writing in our everyday lives, gives us a time and a place to celebrate our skills, highlights the remarkable variety of writing we do, and encourages us to share our work with others,” according to NCTE. “We recognize that people of all ages make lists and write lunchbox notes, send emails and write poems, draw, make videos and take snapshots, draw graphs and write reports; and that this means of communication is how we record our feelings, send messages, help ourselves remember, and how we learn.  

(Next page: How to participate)

Educators, administrators, students, and writers interested in taking part in the social media event should mark their tweets with the hashtag #write2connect. Everyone, whether part of a school or not, is invited to participate and add to the Twitter conversation. In addition to this virtual celebration, many communities will host local celebrations.

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

Montgomery College, a community college in Maryland, is also hosting several events at the Germantown Writing Center to celebrate the occasion. First, poetry and “status story” contests will be held on their Facebook page. These contests are open to all students and will be judged by members of faculty. Second, participants have gathered books and artifacts for a small exhibit on the history of writing instruments. Some additional resources are available on the Center’s blog. A Korean calligrapher, Myoung Won Kwon, will also demonstrate his talents. WID is also hosting several events across all three campuses where students will be responding extemporaneously to prompts.

As part of the celebration, NCTE has provided a list of resources, including tips for writers, which include determining what to write about, finding the process that works for you, beginning a piece of writing, connecting with your audience, organizing your work, getting unstuck and overcoming writer’s block, polishing your writing, selecting what to share with others, tips for parents: helping your teenager to write better, and tips for students: so you want to be a better writer?

Other resources include author podcasts, including Pat Mora, James Holden, and James Paterson to name a few, as well as reports and statements on writing and assessments, resources for students and families, and books from NCTE. See all resources here.

The following collaborators join NCTE for the 2013 celebration of the National Day on Writing: New York Times Learning Network, the National Writing Project and NWP’s Educator Innovator, Mozilla Hive, Graphite by Common Sense Media, Edutopia, Mozilla Webmaker, and National Novel Writing Month.