As we emerge from lockdown, the power of words to give voice and agency to our stories couldn’t be more pertinent.
This National Writing Day we’re launching the simple writing call to action: the #247challenge. The challenge is intended as a moment of unity, of freedom and – most importantly – of fun where students, teachers – and anyone who wants to be involved – can enjoy writing together and take a moment to express themselves.
How to do the #247 challenge:
Need more inspiration or guidance, to put pen to paper? No problem—we’ve put together this series of awesome video tutorials, led by talented First Story Writers-in-Residence. We’ll upload a new feature-length tutorial every week in the run up to National Writing Day, each led by a different writer, focused on a specific theme. With access to at least nine hours of free, one-to-one creative writing tuition by professional practitioners, what’s stopping you?
My teacher advised me to watch this video and it’s helping me writing my story!! Thank you First Story! I will advise my friends to come along and watch these videos as they are useful!– Kerry, student, via YouTube
Teaching and Learning Resources
The National Writing Day partners have collated a bank of top-quality creative writing resources. Everything is free to download and share — use the drop-down arrows, below, to explore resources suitable for primary or secondary curriculum.
I absolutely love the work we do with First Story. We have already been sharing the National Writing Day resources and workshops with our students and will be celebrating it still in whatever ways we can, to keep supporting and encouraging our students to express themselves in writing.– teacher @ Priory Witham Academy, Lincoln
The list of literary stars promoting National Writing Day this year includes current and former Children’s Laureates, Cressida Cowell and Malorie Blackman; the National Poet for Scotland, Jackie Kay; Carnegie medal-winning screenwriter Frank Cottrell-Boyce; best-selling author Mark Haddon; two former First Story Writers-in-Residence, author and illustrator Laura Dockrill and poet Caroline Bird; playwright Vinay Patel; and children’s author SF Said. Building-up to the big day on 24 June, ambassadors will be helping us highlight what’s happening online, and encouraging everyone to get writing.
Register for updates
Join our NWD mailing list, and we’ll let you know whenever new resources are published, give you a heads-up when activities are happening online, and share any related news. We’ll only mail you about National Writing Day.
NWD 2019 highlights
The third annual National Writing Day took place on 26 June 2019. Thousands took part in our national call to action activity — a seven-minute free writing exercise, inspired by the prompt, ‘In this place…’. Teaching and learning resources were downloaded 4,427 times, reaching an estimated 156,000 students. Through partnerships with the BBC and local media, press and PR reached an estimated 4 million people, while combined social media reach was 1.23 million.
National Writing Day is a First Story initiative organised and delivered in partnership with arts and literacy organisations across the UK.
In the week leading up to this year’s National Writing Day on 24 June, we invited two former First Story students from West Yorkshire, Henna Ravjibhai (17) and Sophie Crabtree (19), to take over our Instagram account — as a platform to share their experiences as young writers, and hopefully inspire other young people to practice writing creatively too.
National Writing Day 2020 takes place on 24 June. With most young people at home due to the pandemic, this year’s programme is being delivered digitally. Our NWD 2020 resource bank includes nine, feature-length creative writing video tutorials led by talented First Story Writers-in-Residence. We’ve been encouraging users on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to give the tutorials a try and post new writing online. Here we highlight a small selection of the pieces shared during May via the hashtag #WriteFromHome.
The impressive line-up of literary talent helping us celebrate National Writing Day 2020 includes: current and former Children’s Laureates, Cressida Cowell and Malorie Blackman; Scotland’s National Poet, Jackie Kay; Carnegie medal-winning screenwriter Frank Cottrell-Boyce; best-selling author Mark Haddon; writer and illustrator Laura Dockrill; poet Caroline Bird; playwright Vinay Patel; and children’s author SF Said.