John Riddle, founder
John Riddle is also the Founder of I Love to Write Day. This date - November 15 - is also a great opportunity for you to let others know you're a writer. I'm sure you'll enjoy hearing about this idea came about and how it's grown. Be sure to stop by John's website and take advantage of his mentoring program, as well as his many ebooks.
What is I love to Write Day?
I Love To Write Day is a grassroots campaign I launched in 2002 to have people of all ages practice writing. Everyone is encouraged to write something: a poem, a letter to the editor, start a novel, finish a novel…the possibilities are endless!
People of all ages will celebrate I Love To Write Day on November 15. Founded in 2002 by Delaware author John Riddle, I Love To Write Day is now celebrated in over 22,000 schools all across the United States. Bookstores, libraries, community centers and everyday people also join in the fun. Many Governors from across the United States are recognizing the importance of writing, and are encouraging their residents to celebrate I Love To Write Day on November 15. In fact, Governors from the following states have "officially proclaimed" November 15 I Love To Write Day: Delaware, Maryland, Kentucky, Louisiana, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Florida, Michigan and Texas. President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden have been invited to participate in I Love To Write Day.
When did you start it and why?
In the spring of 2002 I was driving from my home in Delaware to the Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writer’s conference in Asheville, North Carolina, where I was scheduled to speak My oldest daughter, Bonnie, was in the car with me; she was a college student at the time and interested in attending some of the workshops. Even though she was already a published writer, she knew the value of learning more about the craft of writing.
As I was passing through the Richmond, Virginia, area, I was thinking about a magazine interview I had to do the following week. Normally I am the one interviewing someone and then writing an article, but this time I was going to be the subject of the article. Writer’s Digest magazine wanted to do a profile of me, highlighting my success in writing for so many Websites over the past few months.
When I worked in the fundraising field a number of years ago I loved planning big special events. One time I tried to set the Guinness Book of World Records by having the largest number of people dance the "Twist" in one location. I even got Chubby Checker to tape some Public Service Announcements to help promote the event. As a writer and author, I knew I needed a Website, and when I came up with the name I Love To Write Day.org, it wasn't long before the idea of holding the 'world's largest party for writers' came about.
I told Bonnie to “remember this moment,” because I “officially declared” November 15 to be I Love To Write Day, and I knew that I Love To Write Day would be a success.
However, never in my wildest dreams did I believe how successful it would become! About two weeks after the conference was over, I established the I Love To Write Day Website and began sending out press releases to media outlets all across the United States. I also sent information to schools, bookstores and libraries.
About ten days later I started getting numerous media requests for interviews and more info about I Love To Write Day. And the response from schools was absolutely overwhelming. By the time November 15 rolled around, over 11,000 schools all across the country had signed up to hold special ILTWD events and activities. Bookstores, libraries, churches, community centers and even a few malls joined in the fun. When USA Today published an interview with me on the first ILTWD, my phone didn’t stop ringing, and I lost track of how many e-mails I was receiving.
Share with us a little of your background.
I am the author of 34 books and have worked as a ghostwriter on numerous projects. For the past 16 years I have been working out of my home office here in Delaware, and enjoy going on the road to speak at schools, colleges and conferences. Before I became a full time author/ghostwriter, I worked in the nonprofit world as a fundraiser.
How many people do you estimate participate in ILTWD?
Over the past 9 years, we have heard from just over two million people!
Has it spread outside of the US? If so, where else?
Each year I get requests from other countries to start an I Love To Write Day program in their location, but I’m not going “International” until after our tenth year. Canada, Spain, Australia and Japan are a few of the countries that are waiting for an I Love To Write Day movement.
What are some of your favorite I Love to Write Day moments?
There are so many success stories associated with ILTWD; here are a few.
- A school in South Carolina sent their honors English students to a nearby nursing home, to help the residents write their life stories.
- A group of elementary students in New Jersey wrote to the Governor, and asked him to "officially proclaim November 15 I Love To Write Day in their state; (he did, along with 8 other Governors).
- The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence uses ILTWD as a way to encourage women and children to journal about their feelings (I spoke at their International conference in Washington, DC).
Please help spread the word in your community! Tell everyone: family members, co-workers, Facebook friends, local schools, bookstores and libraries, etc.
Please share the http://www.ilovetowriteday.org/ link with everyone ASAP! Contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions, or to sign up for ILTWD.
Now that you know about I love to Write Day, I encourage you to use this time to make a difference in the lives of others as a writer. Let's keep track of what everyone's doing. Leave your comments about your plans and then I'll report on everything we've done after November 15.
And, Don't forget to join the conversation!