National Author’s Day
Everyone has a book that sits at the top of their list as their favorite book, a book that you pass in a bookstore, library, or at home, that reminds you of a special time in your life. Whether it’s a nostalgic children’s book, a great work of fiction you read in school, or a novel that impacted you in your adult life, we all have books that are special to us. Ernest Hemingway once said, “There is no friend as loyal as a book.”
National Author’s Day is November 1st, effectively kicking off NaNoWriMo or National Novel Writing Month. NaNoWriMo started in 1999 as a small challenge to get people - regular people - to write a complete novel in the month of November. It’s been a challenge to people who often would not consider themselves “writers.” According to their website, “They enter the month as elementary school teachers, mechanics, or stay-at-home parents. They leave novelists.”
So what is an author? Can anyone be an author? This question has been studied, theorized, and pondered for centuries. Was Homer an author even though he never wrote The Iliad down on paper? Literary theorists like Foucault, Derrida, and cinematic focus on the auteur show just how much of a question creation, ideation, and authorship matters to us as humans.
Regardless of your definition for what an author is or what criteria make an author, they, along with their works that inspire, are worth celebrating. Here are some ideas for how to celebrate and share National Author’s Day this year.
- Reach out to your favorite author on Twitter. Unless it’s William Shakespeare or Jane Austen, there’s a good chance if you have a (living) favorite author, they’re on Twitter. Send them a tweet and let them know how their work has impacted your life.
- Share your favorite book with a friend. Trade books with a good friend or share ideas in a book club.
- Pick that favorite book back up and re-read it. Or, choose another book in the same genre or from the same author. You might discover a new favorite.
- Celebrate NaNoWriMo by writing a novel. To date, there are nearly 800,000 active novelists with more than 350,000 novels completed. With 30 days in the month, all you need is 1667 words per day to complete your book.
What other ways can you think of to celebrate National Authors Day? Share your ideas with us on social media and some of your favorite authors - we might even have them in our collections.