E-Voice October 2011
NWP E-Voice - The National Writing Project Newsletter October 2011

Celebrate the National Day on Writing

Why I Write

To celebrate the National Day on Writing, on October 20, the NWP has joined The New York Times Learning Network, Figment, and Edutopia to collect the thoughts of people from all walks of life—scientists, reporters, poets, teachers, and students—to discover why they write.

Join us in celebrating writing from October 17-20.


How to Participate


Tweet #whyiwrite: Tweet why you write—and have your students tweet. Include the hashtag #whyiwrite so that everyone can see the many reasons people write. More ›


Post on Facebook: We'd like everyone to post why they write on their Facebook pages or the National Writing Project's Facebook page on October 20 and encourage others to do so. Let's create a national dialogue about writing! More ›


NWP Radio: On October 20 at 7 p.m. EST, NWP Radio will feature interviews with New York Times education reporter Fernanda Santos, New York Times Learning Network editor Katherine Schulten, Figment founder and New Yorker staff writer Dana Goodyear, Figment teen writers, and NWP teacher and author Ashley Hope Perez. More ›


Submit student essays to Figment.com: Figment will be accepting submissions through October 29. A curated anthology of selected submissions will be available as an e-book later this winter. Submit to Figment ›


New York Times Learning Network: The New York Times Learning Network will present a series of interviews with reporters who cover a range of beats and explore their writing process. These interviews will serve as the basis for lesson plans, prompts for students, discussions, and inspiration. More ›


Edutopia: Edutopia will be celebrating "Why I Write" with a series of blogs by NWP writers. Each blog will then invite readers to share why they write with others in the Edutopia community. These conversations will take place on the Edutopia.org website and within Edutopia communities on Twitter and Facebook. More ›


Week of October 17–20: Throughout the week leading up to the National Day on Writing, each partner 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.

Why I Write Essays

Why I Write: Arvind Gupta Plays with the Words of Science

Arvind Gupta, an Indian toy inventor and popularizer of science for kids, is known for turning trash into entertaining, well-designed toys that kids can build themselves—while learning basic principles of science and design. He brings a similar spirit of playfulness to writing about science. More ›

Why Science Teachers Should Write

Marsha Ratzel, a middle school teacher of math and science, explains why it's so important that students write as a way to learn science—and why science teachers should write as well. "Science needs people who can explain what they're thinking so that the rest of us can understand the world," she writes. More ›

Timothy Ferris on Writing to Learn

Timothy Ferris, who has been called "the best science writer of his generation," discusses why he writes—and the importance of writing about science. He says that writing a book or essay is like locking yourself in a room with only two exit doors—one door marked "Learn!" and the other "Fail!" More ›

Why I Write: To Awaken the Spirit in the Downtrodden

Twin brothers Al Mills and Nnamdi Chukwuocha use poetry and social action "to awaken the spirit of awareness buried deep within the souls of the downtrodden." Their poem, "Why I Write," aims to teach children about the importance of self-expression. More ›

Why I Write: Ashley Hope Perez Writes with Her Students in Mind

NWP teacher-consultant Ashley Hope Perez started writing with her students, and they challenged her to write a novel. She published that novel, and now has a second one on the way. She writes while thinking of what would make her students—especially her reluctant readers—turn the page. More ›

Why I Write: Jane Hirshfield Writes about Life's Profound Mystery

Prize-winning international poet, translator, and essayist Jane Hirshfield's poetry speaks to the central issues of human existence: desire and loss, impermanence and beauty, and the many dimensions of our connection with others. More ›

Why I Write: Gary Giddins Riffs on Jazz

Gary Giddins, long-time columnist for the Village Voice and unarguably the world's preeminent jazz critic, writes about jazz to let the world know about America's "fecund and flowing" musical tradition, which is sometimes treated as though it doesn't exist—or exists only for those "in the know." More ›

Why I Write Videos

Watch NWP's Why I Write Videos

Have you seen the Why I Write videos on NWP's YouTube playlist? Videos include "I Write Video Collage" and "Ian McEwan: Why I Write About Science."

Watch some of the recent videos:


I Write Video Collage

NWP E-Voice

Events & Opportunities

NWP Radio: Why I Write: Oct. 20

National Day on Writing: Oct. 20

2011 Annual Meeting: Nov. 17

In the News

Philadelphia Teacher Profiled by Times for Popular Twitter Chat: #engchat

Young Writers Share "Life Link" Prose for Purchase Area Writing Project's Anthology

NWP Federal Funding

NWP Works

Learn about important issues for NWP funding ›

NWP on the Web


NWP's YouTube Channel ›


NWP on Facebook ›


NWP on Twitter ›


NWP Site Leaders Twitter ›


NWP on iTunes ›


NWP on Flickr ›

More ›

Resource Topics

NWP Bookstore

Visit the NWP Bookstore to find books and publications about classroom practice and research. More ›

We welcome your feedback on this newsletter. Send us an email at evoice@nwp.org.

E-Voice is the email newsletter of the National Writing Project, sent to members of NWP's online community (NWPi) and to NWP site leaders. To join NWPi, please visit the NWP website: www.nwp.org.

The National Writing Project is a nonprofit educational network devoted to improving the teaching of writing and improving learning in the nation's schools.

Support for the National Writing Project is provided by the U.S. Department of Education, foundations, corporations, universities, and K–12 schools.

If the links in E-Voice are not activated, you may need to configure your email software settings to support direct links to your Web browser. You may also copy and paste the links into the address line of your browser.

National Writing Project | University of California | 2105 Bancroft Way #1042 | Berkeley, CA 94720-1042