The first of November is Author’s Day. This is actually an American tradition, but hey, if we can have Halloween? – we can have this one too. Author’s Day began In 1928, when Nellie McPherson, president of the Illinois Women’s Club had an idea to set aside a day to celebrate authors. McPherson was a teacher and throughout her life, an avid reader. While she was recuperating in the hospital during World War I, she wrote a fan letter to fiction writer Irving Bacheller, telling him how much she enjoyed reading one of his stories. Upon receiving her letter, Bacheller sent her an autographed copy of another story. McPherson decided to show her appreciation by submitting a proposal for a National Author’s Day. A resolution was passed in 1949 declaring November 1 as a day to honor writers.
Australians also need a day (or better yet, a week) set aside to celebrate our favourite books and authors. And if it coincides with the first week of NaNoWriMo (Australia’s National Novel Writing Month), so much the better. Here are some suggestions on how to celebrate authors in style.
1. Buy a book! What better way to support an author you love, then by buying one of their books and supporting them as writers. Buy a book written by your favorite author that you haven’t read yet or buy a book you know you love and give it as a gift.
2. Say thank you! Contact your favorite author to let them know how much you like their book. Like everyone else, authors like to know their work has meaning and that people enjoy their books.
3. Do a book review! Make a blog post or youtube video reviewing your favorite book. Create some hubbub around your favorite author and get their name out there for other people who might not have heard of them yet.
4. Join NaNoWriMo and write a book! Become an author yourself. Start the National Novel Writing Month challenge. They have a motivational website to help inspire you to write that novel you’ve been putting off. See details at NaNoWriMo.
To me, Authors Day also means a time to thank YOU for being the best readers in the world! You’re the ones who make our work possible — so thank you!