Celebrating the National Day on Writing

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By Kim Howard, CAE

Every October 20, the social media hashtag #WhyIWrite reaches millions of people. In 2016, more than 60,000 tweets were generated, and celebrities posted many of them. Officially recognized by U.S. Senate resolutions, the National Day on Writing is the eight-year-old brainchild of the National Council of Teachers of English. NCTE started this campaign based on the premise that writing is critical to literacy but needs greater attention and celebration. Who among us doesn’t enjoy reading?

To honor the writers we know, Prince William Living asked them to tell our readers why they like to write and which letter of the alphabet is their favorite. Here are the answers from our teammates who responded.

Details, including how to get involved and podcast offerings, can be found at whyiwrite.us.

I have struggled with shyness my whole life. I started writing as a way to reach people—to communicate. Through writing, I discovered my voice. My favorite letter is C probably because it begins both my first and last names, and I’m a fan of alliteration. I like the quirkiness of Q too. Not many letters need the constant support of another.”
— Carla Christano

“L: It started with a library—all that undiscovered knowledge— and a voracious need to read. My love of learning transformed into a love of disseminating.”
— Jennifer Lazzo
“I enjoy writing because it’s a great way to learn about places and people. I’ve met some amazing, driven, positive people who are making a difference in their communities. My favorite letter is J. It’s the first letter of my husband’s name, and I say it all the time.”
— Delia Engstrom

“Writing gives me the opportunity to delve into a subject and learn something new and then tell a story about it. My favorite letter of the alphabet is S because it seems like a sophisticated letter.”
— Amy Falkofske
“As a writer, I can create any kind of world and story I want to, and others can be a part of that. I like the letter Q because it’s unique, rare and decorative.”
—Dan Verner


“Staring at a blank screen trying to communicate a message can be a daunting task. But words are powerful, and telling a story well is a skillset worth developing. All of us communicate through the written
word even if we don’t write for a living. How well we write helps us improve our message to others in our personal and work lives. We should all be grateful for any parent, sibling, teacher or friend who taught us our letters and how to string words together to form a coherent message. My favorite letter of the alphabet is Z because it’s a letter not often found in words and has the honor of being the last letter of the alphabet. In the NATO spelling alphabet, Z is for Zulu. How can you not like how that word rolls off of your tongue?”
— Kim Howard, CAE
“Having read the Harry Potter series, it is clear how words can create magic. Writing for PWL lets me create my own form of magic, telling real people’s stories! My favorite letter of the alphabet is S because I like the ease with which you can write it as well as the sound it makes.”
—Olivia Overman


Writing is akin to the human fingerprint. Both word choice and specific, deliberate combination of those words is a unique marker for everyone who writes. My favorite letter of the alphabet is M. I have
an appreciation for symmetry, and this letter shares the middle of the spectrum with the letter N. The difference is that M represents a seemingly softer sound. It is the letter that starts a number of wonderful compliments, too!”
—Ashley Claire Simpson
“I was always drawn to writing, even as a little kid, as a way to communicate with people, tell stories, share and gain knowledge, and evoke emotions. The letter A is my favorite because it’s a word by itself, and as the first letter of the alphabet, it reminds me about wonderful beginnings with so much to look forward to afterwards.”
—Helena Tavares Kennedy


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