National Author’s Day

Written by Laura Cacace.
Children’s Librarian – Will Library.
Current Read: Dark Shores by Danielle L. Jensen

National Author’s Day is celebrated every year on November 1st, a tradition that began in 1949 when the U.S. Department of Commerce officially recognized the day. But their recognition came twenty years after the celebration’s true inception in 1929 thanks to one Nellie Verne Burt McPherson. 

In 1928, McPherson was President of the Illinois’ Women’s Club, an educator, and a lover of books. It was her love for Irving Bacheller’s “Eben Holding’s Last Day A-Fishing” that led her to write him a letter expressing her enjoyment of the book. His response included a signed copy of another one of his stories. McPherson was so appreciative, her idea for National Author’s Day was born as a way to repay his kindness. She put forth the idea to the Generation Federation of Women’s Clubs, and received approval and an endorsement to celebrate American authors in May of 1929. Twenty years later, National Author’s Day finally and truly reached the national stage. 

Overall, National Author’s Day is about showing your support and appreciation for the hard work that goes into writing books, and the imaginative people who have taken on the challenge and succeeded. Taking part in the celebration is simple. Pick up a favorite book for a reread, and/or reach out to the author on social media to tell them how much you’ve enjoyed their work. Recommending your favorite author to a family member or friend is another wonderful way to celebrate. Better yet, buy them a copy of your favorite book. Not only is it a nice gesture, but it’s also a concrete way to show your support for the author. 

Another way to celebrate National Author’s Day is to explore your own creativity. Let your imagination and your own experiences inspire you to write a poem, short story, or even the start of your own novel. There’s no better way to understand how challenging and isolating the work of writing can be, which might help you appreciate your favorite author even more. Then let them know they’ve inspired you! It is both humbling and a source of great joy for an author to know that others have felt touched by their books in a way that has sparked their imagination. 

But supporting your favorite author(s) doesn’t have to be limited to one day a year. Show authors your appreciation all the time, however you can! You can use the suggestions listed above, but you can also be sure to preorder new books, which lets publishers know that people are excited about an author. Similarly, you can buy books as they come out (or any time, really), and leave reviews on websites such as Amazon or Barnes and Noble. The reviews don’t have to be extensive—a couple sentences will do. Not only does your feedback help authors and publishers, but it also helps fellow readers decide whether they’d like to try the book as well. 

In the spirit of celebration, I’ve put together a booklist of some of my favorite books and authors, old and new. These books can be placed on hold and picked up at any of YPL’s three branches. All you have to do is click on the title below.

As you can see, there are many ways to support the authors of your favorite books. What better way to do so than on National Author’s Day?