Thursday, May 7, 2009

A Celebration of Writing: National Writing Day 2009

“People in every walk of life, in every kind of work, and at every age write more than ever before for personal, professional, and civic purposes.”

Everyone writes. That may seem like an obvious statement, but in a country where over 99% of the population is literate, writing is inevitable. Most people think of writing as a major event that involves hunkering down in front of the glow of a computer screen for endless hours to create something academically relevant. But what most people don’t realize is that writing takes many forms besides the five-page paper.

How many text messages do you send every day? And how often do you fire off an email to a coworker or friend? Comment on an interesting blog post? Tweet about what you had for lunch, or update your Facebook status to let others know you’re heading to the gym? Writing is pretty much unavoidable in our culture, but many people don’t connect academic writing with the grocery list of micro-writing samples we all create on a daily basis.

As a celebration of the remarkable variety of writing Americans engage in every single day, NCTE is implementing a National Day of Writing on October 20, 2009. They invite “diverse participants — students, teachers, parents, grandparents, service and industrial workers, managers, business owners, legislators, retirees, and many more — to submit a piece of writing to the National Gallery of Writing.”

With all the technology available today, it only makes sense that NCTE brings their celebration of writing into the digital age via an online web gallery. The National Gallery of Writing will serve as a digital archive of writing samples and draw attention to the scope and range that writing can encompass — all the while striving to “encourage Americans to write and enjoy and learn from the writing of others.”

There are three types of galleries within the Gallery of National Writing:

►The Gallery of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), a general gallery that anyone can submit to

►The galleries of national partners curated by groups such as Google, the Newseum, Sesame Street’s Electric Company, the National Science Teachers Association, and the American Bar Association, which will display submissions from those associated with that group

►The galleries of local partners curated by small, diverse groups like a book club, a Boy Scout Troop, a town, or, perhaps even, an educational publishing company?

In support of the NCTE’s effort, Prestwick House, Inc. will be curating a gallery within the National Gallery of Writing encompassing writing samples from employees and our customers. For more information on how to submit, please contact Get your classes involved! Get together a group of coworkers! Round up strangers on the street!

Just get out there and celebrate writing the best way you know how…no five-page paper required.

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