Children’s Laureate Lauren Child addressed MPs at the All-Party Writers Group at the House of Commons on the benefits of creative writing on National Writing Day 2018. Photo credit: Richard Lewis
National Writing Day is an annual celebration of writing designed to inspire people across the UK to get writing. Our message is simple: everyone has a story to tell and sharing it can be a source of pleasure and power.
Health & wellbeing
The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Arts, Health and Wellbeing Inquiry Report presents evidence that participation in the Arts has wide-ranging benefits to our mental health, physical health and overall wellbeing, such as reducing stress and aiding in working through and healing from trauma. Creative writing has been effective in improving the ability to communicate, and strengthen a sense of selfhood in those suffering from dementia.
Train your brain
Participating in creative writing will improve your communication skills, your ability to express yourself and your imagination. Creativity is like a muscle – the more you exercise it, the better it will perform. Write regularly and you’ll find that fantastic ideas come to you more readily.
Freewriting – writing whatever occurs to you without pausing – can put you in a similar mindset to meditation, and can help you manage distractions and worries, helping you to be more present.
Imagine spending a month without stories. No reading, television, radio – no swapping stories with friends over a cup of tea. Storytelling is a vital part of our culture and the human experience, necessary to our enjoyment and understanding of life. By sharing a story, you’re adding your voice to the wealth of culture that enriches our daily lives.
National Writing Day can help!
Here’s how you got involved
On National Writing Day 2018, we had a record number of people getting involved – over 84,000 young people took part on the day and 120 million people engaged via social media. The day was marked by fantastic events happening across the UK, with a programme of literary events, workshops and online activities taking place. More than 55 Official Partners, such as the BBC, Wordsworth Trust, the RSL and the Arvon Foundation hosted events, with many featuring award-winning guests such as Jed Mercurio, Frances Hardinge and Sabrina Mahfouz which resulted in hundreds of stories, inspirational advice and discussion topics being shared.
This year’s freewriting activity Write Away! was embraced by thousands of participants, as schools, workplaces and communities shared their pieces online. In Bath, an entire street used their pavements as a place to write responses to this year’s theme, ‘I feel most free when…‘. The largest recorded mass writing activity took place at a school in Lincolnshire, as part of the Priory Federation MAT. 1,000 students participated in the writing activity which was ably led by a science teacher – perfectly embodying that writing is for everyone and critical across the curriculum.
As well as participating in events, many got involved in our programme of online activities. #NationalWritingDay was used in 39,532 tweets and by lunchtime was the top-trending subject worldwide on Twitter, with writers such as Jojo Moyes, Ian Rankin and Brian Bilston being amongst those sharing original work and advice online.
Take a look at our Twitter moment for National Writing Day 2018 for more highlights from the day!