What is National Authors Day, and how to celebrate it?

Every year on 1st November, we celebrate National Authors Day. It is a day to show appreciation for the authors who touch our lives, inspire our imaginations and impart knowledge.
Authors’ efforts and dedication to crafting and publishing books are immeasurable. Above all, this day reminds us to pause and express our gratitude to those literary magicians.

Favourite books are like magic portals that take us to different worlds. Moreover, they are special because they let us escape from everyday life, even if it is just for a little while. To appreciate the authors behind your favourite books, you can start by:

  • reading their works
  • sharing your favourite author’s book with a friend
  • spreading the joy of storytelling and recognising its profound impact on our lives.

In celebration of National Authors Day, this post will discuss the importance of book writers in our lives, the origins of National Authors Day and some unique ways you can celebrate this day. Read on to learn everything about National Authors Day celebrations.

What is National Authors Day?

National Authors Day is an annual event that reminds us to acknowledge and honour the remarkable contributions made by authors to the realms of literature and culture. This particular day is dedicated to expressing our heartfelt gratitude to these gifted individuals for their unwavering creativity and their enduring commitment to the art of storytelling.

An open book, with a figure watering plants growing out of the pages of the book in celebration of National Authors Day.

When is National Authors Day 2023?

National Authors Day is a yearly celebration marked on November 1st. In 2023, this noteworthy occasion falls on a Wednesday. Consequently, this mid-week timing offers a perfect opportunity to immerse ourselves in literary pursuits and extend our warm appreciation to the authors who have touched our lives.

How did National Authors Day start?

The history of National Authors Day dates back to 1928 when Nellie Verne Burt McPherson, the president of the Illinois Women’s Club, conceived the notion of establishing a day dedicated to recognising American authors.

McPherson, an educator and a passionate reader, found inspiration for this holiday while she was recovering in a hospital during the First World War. During this time, she immersed herself in the pages of Irving Bacheller’s Eben Holden’s Last Day A-Fishing.

Impressed by the book’s impact, McPherson wanted to express her admiration and gratitude to the author, Irving Bacheller. In a heartfelt letter to him, she conveyed her deep affection for his work. In response, Bacheller sent her a signed copy of one of his other stories. Overwhelmed by his generosity and touched by the power of literature, McPherson resolved to find a way to reciprocate this kindness and honour authors.

Her original idea was to establish a national day dedicated to celebrating authors. This day would serve as a tribute to their remarkable contributions to the world of literature. McPherson, therefore, presented her idea to the General Federation of Womens Clubs, an organisation that resonated with her vision. The club, recognising the significance of such a day, approved and endorsed the celebration of American Authors on what would later become known as National Author’s Day.

However, it took over two decades for McPherson’s dream to manifest fully. Finally, in 1949, the US Department of Commerce officially recognised and acknowledged National Author’s Day. From that moment, the holiday gained recognition and has been celebrated across the US and globally year after year.

Authors — Who are they?

Without a second thought, you will describe an author as the writer of literary works such as novels, poems or plays. However, authors are much more than that — they are creators and storytellers.

For instance, Homer, the Ancient Greek author who composed the epic poems Iliad and Odyssey. Homer was blind and told his stories without putting pen to paper. Despite this, his narratives gained immense popularity. Today, they are some of the most celebrated literary works of all time. From Homer’s role in our culture, we can extrapolate that authors are more than just ‘writers’ — they are creators and storytellers who help us expand our thinking and thus understand life’s realities.

Books that authors create are more than friends ro companions. As the famous author J. D. Salinger put it, ‘What really knocks me out is a book that, when you’re all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours, and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it.’ If you have a favourite author, it is likely because their words forged a connection with you. Whether or not you interpreted their work exactly as they intended, it could inspire, challenge and, most importantly, leave you yearning for more. Therefore, authors are the silent friends who speak to our hearts and minds through the written word. They make National Authors Day worth a celebration.

Modern writing landscape

But who are modern authors? Before diving into how you can celebrate National Authors Day, it is essential to understand that the modern writing landscape is multifaceted and influenced by various factors, including demographics, technology and societal changes. The statistics below offer valuable insights into the composition of the writing community and the trends that shape the industry.

  • Employment for writers and authors is projected to grow by 4% by 2032, indicating a relatively steady demand for writing skills in various industries, as per the Occupational Outlook Handbook by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • McKinsey’s research asserts that generative AI could contribute to labour productivity growth of up to 0.6% annually through 2040, indicating technology integration in writing and content creation.
  • The International Monetary Fund suggests that globalisation has transformed the writing landscape, enabling writers to reach a worldwide audience quickly. Moreover, it has created opportunities for diverse cultural influences in writing and content creation.
  • Population growth statistics reveal that the world’s population continuously expands, creating a larger audience for writers, according to Our World in Data.

How can you celebrate National Authors Day?

National Authors Day is a special occasion for book lovers and wordsmiths to honour the art of writing and those who bring stories to life. This year, let’s explore unique and heartwarming ways to celebrate and pay homage to the authors who captivate our hearts and minds. If you wonder how you can make this day special, here are some ideas:

Tweet at your favourite author on National Authors Day

Connecting with your beloved authors is easier than ever in this digital age. Therefore, take a moment to send a heartfelt tweet expressing your gratitude and admiration. Furthermore, many authors are active on social media, and your message could brighten their day. You never know — they might even respond. Remember to use relevant hashtags; here are some suggestions:

  • #NationalAuthorsDay
  • #BookLovers
  • #AmReading
  • #WritersCommunity
  • #AuthorSpotlight
  • #LiteraryWorld
  • #BookRecommendations
  • #ReadingList
  • #CelebrateAuthors
  • #WritingJourney

Buy a book for yourself or a friend on National Authors Day

What better way to celebrate National Authors Day than indulging in a good book? On this occasion, visit your local bookstore or explore online retailers for a new literary gem. Consider buying a book for a friend, sharing the joy of reading and promoting the written word.

Give some time to the author inside you

Have you ever dreamed of writing your book? National Authors Day is the perfect time to start or revisit that dream. Dedicate some time to nurturing your inner author. Whether jotting down ideas, writing a short story, or embarking on a novel, honouring your creative side is a meaningful way to celebrate.

One crucial step in the writing process is editing. Editing is essential to ensure that your work is polished, professional and ready for publication. There are various types of editing services available, and it is essential to understand the differences between them to choose the right service for your needs.

For instance, proofreading is the final step before publication, where a professional editor checks your manuscript for errors in spelling, grammar and punctuation. Next, copyediting is more in-depth and includes checking for consistency in style, tone and formatting. Furthermore, line editing focuses on the sentence level, ensuring that each sentence is clear, concise and flows well. Finally, developmental editing is the most comprehensive type of editing, focusing on the overall structure, plot, argument and character development of your manuscript. In sum, investing in editing services can help ensure that your work is of the highest quality, and you can proudly share it with the world.

Final thoughts

National Authors Day celebrates the literary world’s unsung heroes — authors. It allows readers, writers and book lovers to express appreciation for the stories that enrich our lives.

Whether it is a simple tweet to your favourite author, sharing the gift of a good book with a friend or nurturing your inner wordsmith, this day reminds us of the profound impact of literature. So, let’s embrace National Authors Day not just on 1st November but every day, for it is a day that acknowledges the timeless magic of books and the authors who craft them.

If you are an author looking to improve your text or prepare it for publication, contact me for a free sample edit (and remember to use my early bird discount). I am an experienced editor, working with non-fiction, academic and business books.

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I am an editor, indexer and a lifelong lover of literature with a PhD in literary history. I am an Intermediate Member of the Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading (CIEP), a student member of the Society of Indexers and a vetted partner of the Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi).