Monday, November 1, 2010

National Authors’ Day and Other Important Announcements

The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated. – William James

Whenever I begin to wonder why I blog, something will come along to remind me. I received one such reminder in September when I read an email from Chris Price regarding a post I’d written in 2009 about National Authors’ Day.

It seems that Nellie Verne Burt McPherson, the woman credited with the idea of setting aside a day to celebrate American authors, was her great grandmother. Though she was only five when Mrs. McPherson passed away, Chris described some of her memories. She recalled her great grandmother reading to all the children who would listen. Once, when she read so much she lost her voice, she asked the kids to tell her about the books she’d read to them over recent weeks. According to Chris, “To hear my Mother and Aunt tell the story, it was quite the interesting interpretation of stories read.”

The note went on to read, “Anyway, I just wanted to say Thank You for what you do and be assured that this year, November 1, 2010, I will be reading one of YOUR books.”

I can't think of anything that tops that kind of note.

I found additional information about Nellie McPherson on

“The idea of setting aside a day to celebrate American authors came from Nellie Verne Burt McPherson, president of the Bement (Illinois) Women's Club in 1928. McPherson was a teacher and an avid reader throughout her life. During World War I, when she was recuperating in a hospital, she wrote a fan letter to fiction writer Irving Bacheller, telling him how much she had enjoyed his story, "Eben Holden's Last Day A'Fishin." Bacheller sent her an autographed copy of another story, and McPherson realized that she could never adequately thank him for his gift. Instead, she showed her appreciation by submitting an idea for a National Author's Day to the General Federation of Women's Clubs, which passed a resolution setting aside November 1 as a day to honor American writers. In 1949 the day was recognized by the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Sue Cole, McPherson's granddaughter, was largely responsible for promoting the observation of National Author's Day after her grandmother's death in 1968. She has urged people to write a note to their favorite author on this day to "brighten up the sometimes lonely business of being a writer." Flying the American flag on November 1, according to Mrs. Cole, is another way of showing appreciation for the men and women who have created American literature.”

I’d like to say thank you, Nellie McPherson! My gratitude also goes to Sue Cole and Chris Price for following in Mrs. McPherson’s footsteps.

I checked local events and still found no mention of what I think should be a major holiday. Hallmark may have missed coming out with cards for this occasion, but that shouldn’t stop us from writing our favorite author or a newly emerging writer in hopes of brightening their day as much as the note from Chris brightened mine.

Are there any celebrations in your area? If you wrote to an author, who would it be?

Though I usually post only on Mondays, I’m making an exception this week. On Saturday (11/6), I’ll be hosting Stephen Tremp, author of Breakthough. I hope you’ll make plans to visit. In the meantime find out more about Stephen and his book by visiting his blog.

One more announcement before I go. Author Darcia Helle of A Word Please is organizing a huge giveaway event that will run through the month of December. It will be hosted on her website and blog. Participating authors will be cross promoting on their own blogs, as well as through various social networks. All indie authors (self-published and small press) are welcome to participate. You can offer as many (or as few) titles and copies as you'd like. Both print and e-books are welcome. She’ll be sending out press releases and doing tons of promotion. She already has about 300 books to give away! I’m looking forward to taking part in this big event. If you’d like to participate, be sure to send Darcia an email at before Nov. 15.

Thanks for stopping by today.


Carol Kilgore said...

Very cool! And what a great incentive to keep writing.

Mason Canyon said...

I hate to admit it, but I didn't realize their was a National Author's Day. I'll definitely mark my calendar for next year so I'll be ready to celebrate properly. Thanks.

Thoughts in Progress

Jenny said...

Thanks for the Monday morning inspiration!

Joanne said...

I was unaware of National Author's Day too, but love the idea of it. Books are such an important and valuable part of all our lives, and wouldn't exist without those authors toiling over the words. Thanks for reminding us :)

Darcia Helle said...

I had no idea there was a National Author's Day. Shame on me! I will have to send a few of my favorite authors a note of thanks and this is the perfect place to start. Thank you, Jane, for keeping me wonderfully entertained from start to finish with your novel The Ride. I can't wait for your next book!

Also, thank you for mentioning the Indie Books Holiday Giveaway Event. I'm quite excited about it!

Jane Kennedy Sutton said...

Carol, it was a great incentive.

Mason, it’s something that isn't publicized. I only learned about it last year when I discovered it in Chase’s Calendar of Events.

Jenny, I’m glad you were inspired. Thanks for stopping by.

Joanne, I love the idea of it, too.

Darcia, it’s obvious that when even authors are unaware of a day set aside for them, this special day needs more promotion. And, thank you for your kind words about The Ride. I’m glad you enjoyed it.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

That's wondeful Chris contacted you directly!!!

Helen Ginger said...

We should celebrate authors. And today is a wonderful day to do it!

DazyDayWriter said...

"I checked local events and still found no mention of what I think should be a major holiday." -- Agree!

National Authors' Day is most important; thanks for sharing the information, Jane!

Although, I have to admit I was unaware ... no longer though, now on my calendar! Best, Daisy @

Jane Kennedy Sutton said...

Diane, I thought it was very special, too.

Helen, I think we should celebrate authors at every opportunity, but then I am prejudiced.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That is really cool! I'd heard about National Authors' Day, just didn't realize it was today.

Hart Johnson said...

I love that the woman's great granddaughter contacted you and gave you more history! What a fabulous connection to make! I agree that these seemingly arbitrary effects are one of the huge surprise bonuses to blogging.

Patricia Stoltey said...

Hi Jane, I hope you're doing well. Time seems to zoom by awfully fast and if I don't keep up with my blog visits. I lose track of some of my most favorite e-friends.

Very interesting post about National Authors' Day. And thanks for the heads-up about the book giveaway. I'll trot over there and see what I can do to help promote.

Arlee Bird said...

Seems appropriate that the start of NaNo coincides with National Author's Day. A belated Happy N.A.D. to you!

Tossing It Out

Jane Kennedy Sutton said...

Daisy, maybe National Authors’ Day is just too close to Halloween for anyone to take notice.

Alex, I guess we need to think up a way to get this day into the mainstream of holidays.

Hart, I thought that was pretty special, too.

Patricia, I’m doing great. I know how difficult it is to keep up with all the blogs we like to visit. Just happy to have you here whenever you can make it.

Lee, I hadn’t thought about that, but it’s a good point. I bet Nellie McPherson would like that fact, too.

Susanne Drazic said...

I'm behind on my blog post reading, so I missed National Author's Day. : (

Thanks for such an interesting post.

Glynis said...

A wonderful post. How lovely to think a Grandaughter's idea is now worldwide. :)

Jane's Ride - Novelist Jane Kennedy Sutton's journey through the ups and downs of the writing, publishing and marketing world