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National Day of Writing Takes to the Air

Today is the eighth National Day on Writing, a celebration of the written word from the National Council of Teachers of English. The focus this year is on informal writing—the words we tweet, email, or jot down. 

"We want to show that in today's society, everyone is a writer, whether you're texting or making a grocery list," said Emily Kirkpatrick, NCTE's executive director.

But in classrooms and online, teachers, students, and other writers are using the day as an opportunity to explore the deeper reasons they write. 

The hashtag #WhyIWrite has drawn pictures and comments in more than 12,000 tweets so far, many focusing on expression and creation: 

The NCTE is also launching a yearlong podcast called "Why I Write," featuring interviews with writers talking about their roadblocks, inspirations, and strategies. First up: Brad Meltzer, a bestselling author.

Kirkpatrick said the podcast won't focus on writers' experiences in school. "But what I predict is that the majority of writers do have memorable teachers they can name who gave a particular inspiration or built their confidence," she said.

For more on the current state of writing instruction and how it's being shaped by technology, the Common Core State Standards, and other trends, check out Education Week's spotlight on literacy instruction, and look for our forthcoming report on "The Changing Face of Literacy." 

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