National Day on Writing includes local celebrations

  • Sharon Short
  • Contributing Writer
12:00 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 15, 2016 Entertainment
The 2016 cover of ‘Flights.’

Oct. 20 marks the National Day on Writing — a celebration launched by the National Council of Teachers of English in 2009. You can learn more at

Events occur at institutes of higher learning around the country, but also include a “tweetup,” or people on Twitter sharing why they write, with the hashtag #WhyIWrite.

Locally, Sinclair Community College will join in the celebration for the fourth year in a row. Several events are focused on students, faculty and staff of the college, but two are open to the public:

• 1-2 p.m.: Reading from Flights

• 2-3 p.m.: Readings from Dayton Literary Peace Prize fiction and non-fiction finalists

The readings will take place in the college’s Library Loggia.

“Flights” is the literary journal of Sinclair Community College (learn more at Several of the contributors will be on hand to read their own work, while designated readers will read from works by the 2016 Dayton Literary Peace Prize finalists (learn more at

Winners of the 2016 Dayton Literary Peace Prize were just announced: in fiction, Viet Thanh Nguyen for “The Sympathizer;” in nonfiction, Susan Southard for “Nagasaki.”

Sinclair’s National Day on Writing activities are coordinated by English Department Assistant Professor Dair Arnold. She’s coordinated the activities since 2014; English Department Chair Lisa Mahle-Grisez organized the college’s initial involvement in the program in 2013.

“For Lisa, getting involved was an attempt to get not just English faculty and English students thinking about writing, but to get everybody on campus to think about the ways in which they’re using writing every day,” Arnold explains. “We want students to realize that they’re writing all the time — whether it’s posting to social media or texting a friend. Then we want them to value that writing as practice and to see how everyday writing can help prepare them for writing longer essays. We really want people to be excited by writing and to value it.”

As for Arnold, “I like celebrating the National Day on Writing for those reasons but also because every year we add something new. Last year, we had students thinking about how we compose with not just pen and ink but also with images and pictures. We brought in resources to help them learn how to develop infographics, for example.”

“This year we’re having a Twitter horror writing contest!” says Arnold, an Oakwood resident. She is a 1987 graduate of Fairborn High School, and holds a B.A. and an M.A. in English from Miami University. She’s taught at Sinclair for eight years, first as an adjunct, becoming tenure track faculty four years ago.

The contest is open to Sinclair students and challenges them to tweet a scary story Oct. 20 to Tim Waggoner (@timwaggoner), Sinclair Professor of English and himself a published horror novelist. (Learn more at Tim will judge the entries; author of the best tweet wins a $50 gift card to the college’s bookstore.

Arnold encourages everyone in the community to participate in the National Day on Writing tweetup on Oct. 20.

“I encourage everyone in our community who is on Twitter to tweet that day about why they write in Dayton, Ohio,” Arnold says. “They’ll be joining people from all across the country in this fun discussion of ‘why write.’ The hashtag for our community is #WhyIWriteDayton.”

Arnold also hopes community members will enjoy the free, open-to-the-public readings from “Flights” by contributors, and by designated readers from works by Dayton Literary Peace Prize Finalists.

“’Flights’ is filled with exquisite writing, and it’s an opportunity to hear authors read their own works,” Arnold says. “The Dayton Literary Peace Prize readings are a great way to gain an introduction to the finalists and to the prize.”

Upcoming Literary Events:

• Sunday, Oct. 16, 2-3:30 p.m., Books & Co. at The Greene — Antioch Writers’ Workshop and the Dayton Region NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) present a free mini-seminar about how NaNoWriMo (which takes place in November) and how to prepare for success. Municipal Liaison leaders for NaNoWriMo’s Dayton Region, Sarah and Gina, will offer insights in just what NaNoWriMo is (and what it can do for your writing) and how to prepare for participating. Learn more about NaNoWriMo at, about the Dayton Region’s group at, and about Antioch Writers’ Workshop at

• Thursday, Oct. 20, 3:30-5 p.m., Dayton Metro Library, Brookville Branch (120 Blue Pride Drive) — As part of the Dayton Metro Library series, “Programs for Writers Presented by Authors,” Carol Cartaino will present “Learn to Edit Your Own Writing.” The program is free. For more information, visit the Events Calendar at or call (937) 463-BOOK.

• Friday, Oct. 21, 7-8:30 p.m., Wright Memorial Public Library (1776 Far Hills Ave., Oakwood) — Writers’ Café is a casual gathering of writers the first and third Fridays of the month. Learn more on the events calendar at