Celebrate Author’s Day!

author's day

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.

NaNoWriMo 2Australians 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.
author's day 23. 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!BB14

National Novel Writing Month

November is National Novel Writing Month (also known as NaNoWriMo) … thirty days and thirty nights of literary abandon. The idea is to finish a 50,000 word manuscript in a month, or to at least write the first 50,000 words of a longer novel. I have signed up this year, as coincidentally I’m beginning my new novel in November, but I do feel like a bit of a fraud. My expectation isn’t to finish the manuscript by December, but I do intend to give it a big kick start. It’s all about fun and motivation.


Writers wishing to participate first register on the project’s website, where they can post profiles and information about their novels, including synopses and excerpts. This annual novel writing project brings together professional and amateur writers from all over the world. Participants begin writing on November 1. The goal is to write 50,000 words (approximately 175-page) by 11:59:59 PM on November 30th. Because of the limited writing window, the main thing that matters in NaNoWriMo is output. It’s all about quantity, not quality. This approach forces you to lower your expectations, take risks, and write on the fly.

As you spend November writing, you can draw comfort from the fact that, all around the world others are agonising over their novels and pounding away on their computers too. In 2011, there were 256,618 participants and 36,843 of them crossed the 50K finish line by the midnight deadline. Due to family commitments, I won’t actually be starting until November 6th, which puts me a bit behind the eight ball right from the start. Still, I’ll be interested to see if the peer group pressure aspect of the project, spurs me on.

Anybody else signed up for NaNoWriMo? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Now, off to make a profile …