“Writing Tailgate” at the Iowa City Public Library

An event to mark Saturday, Oct. 20 as the National Day on Writing will combine Iowa City’s two passions: literature and football. In honor of both, a collective of writing programs will sponsor the first-ever "Writing Tailgate" at the Iowa City Public Library on Saturday, October 20, from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. in Meeting Room A.

Young children through adults can join in literary scavenger hunts, Scrabble scrambles, magnetic poetry, a haiku contest, twitter stories, digital storytelling, a Hemingway Challenge (six-word stories), post-it fiction, erasure/found poetry, and other writing activities. Football fans can stop by on their way to the game for free, tailgate-style food and writing-inspired door prizes. Join us the whole time or pop in for a quick writing respite.

Iowa Review authors including James McKean and Kim Lozano will read from their work between 3:00 and 4:00. Discoveries: New Writing from the Iowa Review is an anthology of stories, essays, and poetry selected from the Review archives for high school and introductory college classes. Inspired by the Discoveries selections, aspiring teachers from Professor Bonnie Sunstein's "Approaches to Teaching Writing" class will lead short writing exercises. From 4:00 to 5:00, we'll have an open mic segment for any writer, or group of writers, to share work with the audience.

This is the fourth year October 20 has been designated by the U.S. Congress as the National Day on Writing. "Writing is a daily practice for millions of Americans," claims the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), "but few notice how integral writing has become to daily life in the twenty-first century."

Sponsors of the event are the NCTE Student Affiliate of the University of Iowa, the City of Literature, the Iowa Youth Writing Project, the Derek Project, and the Iowa City Public Library.