Center for Writing Excellence celebrates National Day on Writing


Upon entering Davies Center there is typically at least one table filled across from the Service Center. All sorts of organizations fill the tables, and Monday was no exception.


One table in particular was from the Center for Writing Excellence, with anywhere from two to three students advocating for others to write a haiku, a poem with five syllables, then seven and then five again. If students wrote the haiku, they received a cookie.


The reason the students wanted others to write a haiku was simple: Monday was the sixth annual National Day on Writing. The National Council of Teachers of English started it in 2009, and it occurs annually on Oct. 20, according to the organization’s website.


UW-Eau Claire celebrates the day through the Center for Writing Excellence, with events happening in both Davies and the McIntyre Library. Director of the Center for Writing Excellence and assistant professor in English Alan Benson said although planning for the event begins in the springtime, crunch time starts at the beginning of the school year.


“It’s kind of a rolling project,” Benson said. “We have our traditional things, then we find things that can be added.”


This is Benson’s third year participating after coming to Eau Claire in 2012. He said the celebration started out as a little bake sale in Davies and a glass wall in McIntyre with an ongoing story. This year, however, students saw a few more activities around campus.


“Last year and the year before we added a reading,” Benson said. “This year we did it in collaboration with NOTA. We also added the two-sentence horror story … which is in the first floor of McIntyre.”


Students Jenna Gasner and Alison Wagener worked at the table in Davies around lunch time on Monday. Both said the day was focused on making writing look like a fun activity, rather than part of a dreaded homework assignment.


“The whole purpose of today is just to really appreciate writing and the different ways you can write,” Gasner said.


Benson said he hopes people realize writing doesn’t need to be tedious, and the students have fun with writing.


“(Writing) can be a fun thing,” he said. “It can be entertaining. I think it’s important to remind people … it’s a silly little haiku, but it’s something that I want to say.”