#WriteMyCommunity: NDoW Showcase and Interview with Kathleen Yancey

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This year’s National Day on Writing is themed “Write My Community,” a celebration of the ways in which writing helps us form, maintain, and support a variety of communities. As the Digital Rhetoric Collaborative fellows discussed how we might best celebrate the NDoW on our blog, we decided we wanted to explore the effects that digital rhetoric and composition have had on the NDoW. We also wanted to support the computers and writing community in sharing and circulating NDoW celebrations around the world.

To accomplish the first task, I sat down to chat NDoW with Dr. Kathleen Blake Yancey, past president of the NCTE and a collaborator in the original National Day on Writing Senate resolution, which was officially recognized in 2009.

During our conversation, which included a great discussion of extraordinary yet mundane writing acts and quite a few laughs, Dr. Yancey gave me a brief history of the development of the NDoW and the National Day on Writing (0:00-3:46), chatted with me about the National Gallery of Writing and the value of everyday writing (3:46-5:22), discussed the benefits of organizing digital NDoW events (5:23-7:18) and her plans for celebrating NDoW (7:18-10:30).

According to Dr. Yancey, digital composing and technologies were a part of the NDoWfrom the first celebration, with sites coordinating and promoting using a variety of networking systems, webinars, and other digital participation. In fact, digital composing is included in the resolution as part of the impetus for the National Day on Writing:

“Whereas newly developing digital technologies expand the possibilities for composing in multiple media at a faster pace than ever before;

Whereas young people using forms of digital media are leading the way in new forms of composing;”

To accomplish our second task, to help showcase a variety of NDoW celebrations, we put out calls on listservs and social media networks to find out how people were celebrating NDoW and #WriteMyCommunity around the world, including:

“What We Tell Ourselves About Writing”: This webinar hosted by Excelsior College is free and open to the public. The event, hosted by Doug Downs, challenges dominant narratives about writing and starts at 6:30 p.m. EDT.

Facebook Events:  The University of Arizona Writing Program kicked off NDoW early, celebrating on October 10 with video interviews, white board writing prompts and photos, and a variety of other written responses. Posts featuring these activities are available on the U of A Facebook page and include an interview with Creative Writing Program Director Chris Cokinos. Continuing the festivities on Facebook, the North Dakota State University Department of English will be sharing via Facebook their program activities focused on found poetry. To follow along, like the program on Facebook. The Sweetland Center for Writing is also hosting a social media event, “The Iron Writing Challenge,” that invites writers to enter four writing challenges throughout the Day. Participants will be entered into a raffle for a $20 Literati giftcard, and all challenge winners will receive a $45 gift card. To participate, check out the event on Facebook or follow @umichSweetland on Twitter.

Twitter Tags: Florida State Univeristy’s Reading-Writing Center and Digital Studio will be compiling posts from its NDoW Challenge, which features six different writing stations for FSU students to engage with a variety of writing tasks, including haiku, Vine literacy narratives, and redacted poems. The Texas A&M University at Qatar Academic Success Center is taking the NDoW celebration transnational and sharing via Twitter. Because of the time difference, these writers will likely kick start the celebration before the writers states-side are up and drafting. The Purdue Writing Lab will also be celebrating NDoW on the mico-blogging platform with #sixwords stories. In addition to hosting an on-campus write-in and haiku event, wherein students will decorate a Live Oak tree with haikus written on leaves, the University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Coast will celebrate #WriteMyCommunity on Twitter as well. Look for teaching events and updates from the Live Oak haiku event at #LiveOakCompose.

Don’t forget to follow the national hashtag, #WriteMyCommunity, to get a broader view of NDoW activities.


Let us know how you’re celebrating! Feel free to share information about your NDoW celebration in the comments section, or tweet us at @SweetlandDRC. We’d love to celebrate with you!

For more information on the NDoW, visit www.ncte.org/dayonwriting

About Author(s)

Heather Lang is a PhD student at Florida State University and a first year DRC fellow.

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