National Author's Day – November 1, 2019

Fri Nov 1

When is National Author’s Day?

This November 1, celebrate National Author’s Day by curling up with your favorite book, a hot beverage, and spending time drifting into another world. In order to appreciate the writers who help inspire us, it’s important to get a sense of the time, blood, sweat and tears that go into getting words on the page. On Nov. 1, National Author’s Day, take a moment to appreciate the author(s) that spent countless hours writing your favorite books.

History of National Author's Day

The renowned French philosopher, Michel Foucault, once asked, “What is an author?” He argued that the idea of authorship – of accrediting the work to a single individual – has deep affects on its interpretation by the reader. Further, heady, philosophical arguments ensued but the bottom line remains – authors are creators, through and through.

They are, more or less, the ones who have written novels, poems, graphic novels, text books, and so much more. From William Shakespeare being the most famous of authors (and, debatably, a number of authors operating under one pen name), back in the 1500s, enthralling and satirizing royalty and common people in ways that still resonate today; all the way to J.K. Rowling and Stephen King, who can create both fantastical and horrifying worlds and landscapes that allow us to reflect and provide insight on our own more mundane realities.

Regardless of what time period or where they’re from, authors have always had the ability to teach, entertain, and move us – even back to old, blind Homer, telling his Odyssey without even writing it down.

That brings us back to Foucault’s question. Homer never actually wrote a word. He recited his poems aloud to whomever would listen and, as he gained followers, they committed his words to paper. Yet history has forgotten the writers and gifted us Homer as the author of the Iliad and the Odyssey.

So what is an author? Well, historically and permanently, it’s someone who uses their words to move their followers.

National Author's Day timeline

July 5, 1994

For Better or Bezos

Amazon is created on in Washington, forever changing the way authors and consumers interact. Books that used to be out of print, are suddenly back in stock. Authors who couldn't sell to publishing companies can now self-publish. How we spread and find published information will never be the same.

1592

Billy Shakespeare Writes a Whole Bunch of Sonnets

While scholars are unsure as to the exact date and time when Shakespeare started writing, they can agree that by 1592 many of his plays were up on and on their feet. 

1440

Pressure's On

The printing press is invented in 1440, forever changing the speed at which publishers can turn out manuscripts, dramatically increasing the availability and velocity of information. Ideas could freely transcend borders and formerly unknown authors could develop audiences across the world.

Eighth Century BC

Homer Gets Put on Paper

The Odyssey is, most likely, published for the first time around this time, cementing itself into human history as finally being transcribed onto paper. 

National Author's Day FAQs

When is National Author's Day?

National Author’s Day is on November 1, just in time for NaNoWriMo. 
 

Can I win National Author's Day?

Although it’s not an official contest, we believe that everyone who writes is a winner on National Author’s Day. 
 

When is National Novel Writing Month?

National Novel Writing Month is every November. 
 

National Author's Day Activities

  1. Tweet at your favorite author today

    Thanks to social media, authors and readers can have much more interaction. Send your favorite author(s) a quick tweet letting them know they made a difference for you! (And don't forget to hashtag with #NationalAuthorsDay.)

  2. Buy a book and give it to a friend

    Share the gift of your favorite author with a friend. Make sure to leave a positive review on Amazon at the same time!

  3. Give some time to the author inside of you

    Why not take an hour to write a story, a recent experience, or a poem? Possibly the greatest respect you can show an author is letting them inspire you to write.

Why We Love National Author's Day

  1. Writing is an art

    A turn of phrase. An observation of everyday life and human condition. Authors are able to entertain us, move us—and every now and then—change us.

  2. Writing can be difficult...and lonely

    There may be a reason why many authors suffered from depression and alcoholism—it's lonely and often, thankless, work. Getting a little appreciation for the sacrifices that go into writing can probably go a long way.

  3. Don't we all want to write a book (one day)?

    Most probably think there is a book inside us, somewhere. A memoir? A science fiction world? A children's book? Authors have actually taken the steps to write, publish and get their book into the world. That's got our respect!

National Author's Day dates
YearDateDay
2019November 1Friday
2020November 1Sunday
2021November 1Monday
2022November 1Tuesday
2023November 1Wednesday