National Author’s Day Date in the current year: November 1, 2024

National Author’s Day National Author’s Day is observed annually on November 1. It was created to celebrate American writers, both past and present, and highlight their contribution to American culture.

The history of National Author’s Day is almost a century old. It was conceived in 1928 by Nellie Verne Burt McPherson, a teacher and avid reader from Bement, Illinois. McPherson was inspired by her experience interacting with her favorite author. While staying in the hospital during WWI, she read Eben Holden’s Last Day A-Fishing by Irving Bacheller. McPherson was so impressed by the novel that she sent a letter to the author to express her love for the book. To her surprise, Bacheller replied and sent her a signed copy of another book he had written.

McPherson was very touched by the interaction and Bacheller’s generosity; eventually she decided that the best way to repay the kind gesture would be to set aside a day to celebrate all American authors and their great works. She presented the idea of National Author’s Day to members of the Bement Women’s Club, of which McPherson was the president, and received their enthusiastic support. In May 1929, the club issued an endorsement to recognize American authors on National Author’s Day.

Twenty years later, the holiday was officially recognized by the United States Department of Commerce. It has been celebrated across the country every November 1 since. There are two main ways to observe National Author’s Day: you can either pick up a book by your favorite American author or discover a new author – there are so many of them you surely won’t have a problem picking a book to enjoy!

You can also watch a film or television adaptation of a famous American novel, give a shout out to your favorite authors on social media with the hashtag #NationalAuthorsDay, support them by buying some of their works and leaving positive reviews on Goodreads and Amazon, join a book club or organize a book club of your own, volunteer at a local library or independent bookshop, or give your favorite book to a friend as a gift.

If you’ve been thinking about becoming a writer, this is the day for you to begin working on your writing project! November 1 is the perfect day to finally start writing that novel you’ve been putting off because it is not only National Author’s Day, but also the first day of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), an annual creative writing event in which participants attempt to finish a draft containing at least 50,000 words during the month of November.

The draft can either be a complete novel or the first 50,000 words of an unfinished novel. Of course, your draft will still need work, but at least you will have something to work with. Several hundred novels written during NaNoWriMo have been published; bestselling NaNoWriMo novels include Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen, The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, and Cinder by Marissa Meyer. It should be noted that NaNoWriMo isn’t officially affiliated with National Author’s Day, but the coincidence is too good to pass up.

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Professional Days, Cultural Observances



National Author’s Day, professional days, cultural observances, holidays in the US, Nellie Verne Burt McPherson