Cal U celebrates National Day of Writing

Cal U celebrates National Day of Writing

Brad Britvich, Staff Writer

Students at California University of Pennsylvania came together Oct. 19, to celebrate the process that some despise and others love but one that all college students have to do.

The Manderino Library hosted the National Day on Writing, which was sponsored by the English Department.

Christina Fisanick, English Department professor, organized the event for Cal U students to learn and discuss the importance of writing.

“The National Day on Writing is an initiative created by the National Council of Teaching of English to promote awareness of the importance of writing,” Christina Fisanick, event organizer and English department professor, said. “In planning it we got together as a department and decided what we could do to make it an exciting event for people around campus.”

According to the NCTE website, the day is meant to celebrate the “importance, joy, and evolution of writing” through social media, using the hashtag #WhyIWrite and by having educators host events around the country.

Last year there were more than 60,000 tweets using the #WhyIWrite hashtag with writers from around the world sharing their reasons for writing. Even people who are not famous for writing, such as Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Vince Williams, used the hashtag.

Activities at Cal U’s National Day on Writing included poetry-on-demand with Brent House, an English department professor. Students could simply give House a topic and he would help them write a poem about it. Students were also encouraged to write six-word memoirs and two-sentence horror stories.

There was a collection of typewriters from the Manderino Library that students could use to write lines to a longer story.

This process is known as creating an “exquisite corpse.”

“Students from across campus also helped compose exquisite corpses, which are collaboratively created stories in which each writer contributes a line or two,” Fisanick said.

The event, which lasted an hour, saw around 35 students visit and take part in the festivities.

“I thought it was a great way to help our department and encourage people to write more for pleasure than just for school work,” Dan Brock, a senior English major, said.

There was also a costume contest for students who came dressed up as their favorite author, which Brock won.

Based on the reception of the event, Fisanick hopes that it will become an annual celebration of writing and writers.

“This was the first year that Cal U participated in the event,” Fisanick said. “It very much met my expectations. We had a great turn out and I hope we will be able to do it next year. We’re grateful for our friends in the library for helping us host the event.”