On April 23rd, 2014, we’ll be celebrating what is probably the 450th anniversary of the birth of William Shakespeare.  The Bard of Avon got a lot of feedback from his audience, sometimes in the form of groundlings whipping food at his players.  On Write a Writer Day, we’re going to celebrate the writing community.

We spend a lot of time alone, don’t we?  Scribbling in our notebooks, tapping away at a keyboard in a darkened room.  We seldom know when a reader is engaging with our work and so many of us have big fans out there…and we don’t even know it!

So mark the date.  On April 23rd, writers all over the world will receive good tidings that they never expected.  (Is there a better kind of admiration than the unexpected kind?)

Follow WAWD on Twitter to get the latest and to share your own ideas.

Like WAWS on Facebook for additional news that isn’t restrained by the 140-character limit.

What’s Going On, Now?

Who is invited to participate?

Everyone!  If you’re reading this, you’re likely a “reader.”  That means you probably have favorite writers.  These are living, breathing people who dedicate their time and attention to people like you.

What do you want me to do?

Share your admiration of literature with one of the people who created these works.

When would you like me to send these messages?

April 23rd, 2014.

Can I write a writer before April 23rd?  I just can’t help myself!

Of course.  Why not share what you’ve written with the WAWD crew here or on Twitter or on Facebook?  The public expression of your admiration will likely mean something to the writer in question.  You’ll also help WAWD to gain traction and to reach more people!

Where should this communication take place?

That’s up to you!  Social media has made it very easy to reach great writers.  Perhaps you’ll be able to find them on Facebook.  Maybe they’re on Twitter.  Perhaps their official home page has a page that will allow you to send them an e-mail.  Some writers even make their e-mail addresses public.  Write an old-fashioned letter to the author in care of the publisher.  If you love a writer who happens to be an acquaintance, perhaps you can show up with a bottle of wine.

Important note:  Please restrict yourself to publicly available methods of contact.  We don’t want to creep anybody out, do we?  (The answer is no.)  If the author has a Twitter account, there’s nothing wrong with tweeting them.  Please don’t ask your parent who works at the DMV to find their home address or something crazy like that.  No one likes crazy.

Why should I bother sending an e-mail to a writer?

Well, no one is forcing you to do so.  I’ve had this idea for a while because swimming through the literary journal world has made three things very clear:

  1. There are about a trillion writers out there who all want the same thing: to publish works and to have a wide readership.
  2. Most of those trillion writers are pretty great, but only a finite number of works can be published.  Even worse, there is a finite number of readers out there.
  3. The writing community is filled with love and more of that feeling must be shared with others.

So.  Are you in?  Here’s what you can do:

  • Leave a note in the comments or communicate with us through social media to shine a light on the authors who should receive fan letters.
  • Point out which journal (online or print) has published authors deserving of fan letters.  (I would LOVE to have a long list of journals covered.)
  • Write your fan letters now and share them with the rest of us!
  • Share any other ideas you might have that could help WAWD reach the widest possible audience.

Will April 23rd be a special day outside of the Shakespeare connection?  Time will tell.

I’ve been practicing what I’m preaching; here are the open letters I’ve written so far to help others get into the spirit:

An Open Letter of Thanks to Molly O’Brien for “Casual, Flux”

An Open Letter of Thanks to Roddy Doyle for “Guess Who’s Coming for the Dinner”

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