Why I Write

Presented By:

To celebrate the National Day on Writing (October 20, 2011), The New York Times Learning Network, the National Writing Project, Edutopia, and Figment, have teamed up to bring you a festival of words and ideas and to ask the question Why Do You Write?

It's a straightforward question with a million complicated answers, and we want to hear them all, in whatever form best communicates why YOU write. Your piece can be a personal essay, a poem, a short story, a play—it's up to you.

We'll be accepting submissions in this festival from September 28 through October 29. Since this is a celebration, there are no prizes, but a curated anthology of selected submissions will be available to order as a snazzy e-book later this winter. Check back for more info.

How To Enter:

  1. Sign up for an account on Figment
  2. Create something new
  3. Tag it "whyiwrite" on the "Details" tab
  4. Press "Publish Now"
  5. Wait the 2 or so hours it sometimes takes for your story to appear in the "View Entries" tab above

A few idea generators to get you going:

  1. Describe the first time you felt like a writer.
  2. Imagine a world where you couldn't write. What would that feel like? How would that limit you?
  3. When has a piece of your writing made you feel really proud? Frustrated? Surprised you?
  4. What's your writing space? What surrounds you? What tools and supplies do you need?

For more resources:

  1. Click here and check out National Writing Project
  2. Click here and check out The Learning Project

What are you waiting for?

Other National Day on Writing Events:

To celebrate the National Day on Writing, The New York Times Learning Network, the NWP, Edutopia, and Figment are also sponsoring a host of other events and programs.

  1. October 13 - 20Throughout the week leading up to the National Day on Writing, the participating organizations will post Q&As about the writing process with New York Times reporters; novelists, including Anna Quindlen, Barry Lyga, and Ashley Hope Perez; writing teachers; and Figment writers.
  2. October 20Writing is trending. On October 20, Tweet why you write and include the hashtag #whyiwrite so that everyone can see the many reasons people write.

  3. October 20On October 20 at 7 PM EST, the National Writing Project will air a live radio show to celebrate the National Day on Writing, including interviews with Learning Network editor Katherine Schulten; New York Times reporter Fernanda Santos; novelist and NWP teacher Ashley Hope Perez; Figment co-founder and New Yorker staff writer Dana Goodyear; and Figment teen writers.

For more resources:

  1. Click here and check out National Writing Project
  2. Click here and check out The Learning Project

What are you waiting for?

Contest Entries

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