Memoir Writing Prompt: National Author Day

What a great idea to set aside a national day to thank the authors in the world who have brought us the laughter, suspense, and tears through the written word. In 1928, while recuperating in the hospital, Nellie Verne Burt McPherson, president of the Illinois Women’s Club in Bement, wrote a letter of appreciation to the author of Eben Holden’s Last Day A’ Fishin. Irving Bacheller, impressed with Nellie’s fan letter, sent her an autographed copy of his next story. To honor this author and the many others in her literary-filled life, Nellie encouraged setting aside a day to celebrate American authors. In 1949, the United States Department of Commerce recognized November 1 as National Author’s Day.

Being a retired English teacher, I can’t tell you my favorite book. Even though I have written three memoirs, I can’t even tell you that memoir is my favorite genre. I love Shakespeare, Dickens, and Thurber. Most recently my reading delights have been Brandilyn Collins, Heather Lende, and rereads of Spin and Marty and the Hardy Boys. As far as genre goes, I’m all over the place, from mystery to memoir to comedy and back again.

If suspense/mystery is your preference, Stephen James might fit your taste. The action in the first few sentences made my skin crawl, and I barely made it through the first chapter before I gave up. On the other hand, my husband has read every book James has ever written – more than a dozen. One writing buddy of mine is going back to read all the Agatha Christie mysteries he missed. Another friend has discovered Willa Cather books – My Antonio, O Pioneer – books set at turn of the 18th century.

Regardless of your reading pleasure, the fact remains—reading takes us to a place where we have never been to discover new things about ourselves and the world around us. Reading improves brain function, increases vocabulary, and encourages better communication. We learn about history, science, people, and ourselves.

Consider how you will celebrate National Author’s Day this year. Some ideas include:
1. Write to your favorite author and thank him/her for the words they penned.
2. Put out an American flag in honor of American literature.
3. Buy a book and give it to a friend.
4. Tweet out your favorite author and recommend one of his/her books.
5. Give time to your inner author and do some writing.

Memoir Writing Prompt: Who is your favorite author? What is your favorite genre? Do you remember a favorite book you read as a child? What did you learn from reading this book?

Have fun writing about your favorites for your generations to come.

Categories Legacy, Legacy Writing Prompts | Tags: | Posted on November 1, 2018

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