National Writing Project

People Across the Nation Tweet #whyiwrite on the National Day on Writing

Date: November 1, 2011

Summary: To celebrate the National Day on Writing on October 20, the NWP joined The New York Times Learning Network, Figment, and Edutopia to collect essays from people of all walks of life about why writing is important to them. People also tweeted #whyiwrite—and 23,000 #whyiwrite tweets made it a trending topic nationally.


On October 20, 2011, people filled the Twittershpere with words—as always—but since the day was the National Day on Writing, many of those words were reflections about why writing is important. In fact, more than 23,000 tweets were typed with the hashtage #whyiwrite, and the subject became a trending topic nationally.

Authors such as Neil Gaiman and his 1.7 million followers joined in, as well as Terry McMillan, Susan Orlean, Daniel Pink, Andrew Sean Greer, and many other authors. While Oprah didn't participate despite many #whyiwrite groupies prodding her with tweets, comedians Andy Richter and Andy Borowitz added a jocular touch to the proceedings.

Perhaps most importantly, teachers and students from across the nation joined in the festivities tweeting creative takes on the importance of writing.

For more, read the highlights below—and read the selection of tweets.

Why I Write Essays

Student Writing

NWP Radio

  • NWP hosted a radio show with Katherine Schulten, editor of the New York Times Learning Network and a New York City Writing Project fellow; New York Times education reporter Fernanda Santos; Dana Goodyear, Figment co-founder and staff writer for the New Yorker; and novelist and Writing Project teacher Ashley Hope Perez.

A Selection of #whyiwrite Tweets

Related Resource Topics

© 2023 National Writing Project