National Author's Day Explained

Posted by The Home School in the Woods Team on

Do you enjoy cuddling up on the couch with a hot beverage and a good book? Then National Author’s Day is right up your alley! 

Celebrated on November 1st, National Author’s Day is dedicated to appreciating the writers who inspire, teach, and entertain us. With so much hard work that goes into writing and publishing a book, this day helps us take a moment to thank our all-time favorite author by reading their work or sharing it with a friend. 

So, what is an author? Why are they important? And how can their work profoundly impact our lives? Keep on reading to find out! Plus, learn more about the history behind National Author’s Day and some unique way you can celebrate it with your children. 

What Is an Author?

On the surface level, an author is the writer of a literary work such as a novel, poem, or play. However, we believe authors are much more than that – they are creators!

Take for example Homer, an ancient-Greek author who wrote the epic poems The Iliad and The Odyssey. Homer was blind and told his stories without ever picking up a pen. Yet his stories gained popularity, were scribed for future generations, and are now considered among the best works of all time. 

You see, authors are more than just a “writer” – they are creators, storytellers, and can help us reflect and gain insight into the realities of life. They are also our friends!

Famous author J.D. Salinger once said, “What really knocks me out is a book that, when you’re all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours, and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it.”

If you have a favorite author, it’s most likely because you felt connected to their writing. Whether or not you interpreted it the way they intended, it somehow inspired you, challenged you, and left you wanting more. 

The Benefits of Reading

Authors are the creators of literature, and literature is one of the best things we can do for our minds. According to Healthline, books can benefit your mental and physical health by:

  • Strengthening your brain
  • Increasing your ability to empathize 
  • Building your vocabulary 
  • Preventing age-related cognitive decline
  • Reducing stress and depression 
  • Promoting better sleep

Pretty amazing, huh? But what about those of us who don’t enjoy reading?


The truth is, reading can be a challenge for some children and adults. However, once they find the right author, they suddenly learn to love reading and find joy in it. 

So, if you find reading to be a struggle, we encourage you to keep searching for the right author. Once you do, you’ll find yourself a new best friend and hobby! 

How Can You Include More Books in Your Homeschool?

Books are a homeschooler’s true friend. Why is that? Because books provide kids a chance to get out of the house without ever actually leaving. Books help kids expand their minds, teach them good morals, and, most importantly, educate them on various school subjects – history being at the top of the list! 

This is because most of the history we know today comes from books. What a gift it is to read up close and personal stories from those who fought in legendary battles or partook in historical events that changed life as we know it.

These timeless tales help us better understand and remember history and empathize with those who experienced it first-hand. For more on “living books” that can help teach kids history, read our article, Adding Living Books to Your Homeschool

What Is National Author’s Day?

In 1928, Nellie Verne Burt McPherson, president of the Bement, Illinois Women’s Club, came up with the idea of dedicating one day of the year to celebrate American authors. 

While spending time in the hospital during World War I, she decided to write a “thank you” letter to her favorite author, Irving Bacheller, author of Eben Holden’s Last Day A-Fishing. To her surprise, he responded and sent her an autographed copy of his new story!

McPherson, who was a teacher and an avid reader, was touched. She had no idea how to repay Bacheller for all he had done for her as an author. That’s when she submitted her idea for National Author’s Day to the General Federation of Women’s Clubs

The club endorsed the idea, and by 1949 the United States Department of Commerce recognized it as an unofficial national holiday. Today, nearly 1 million Americans celebrate their favorite authors and books on National Author’s Day. 

How Can You Celebrate National Author’s Day?

National Author’s Day gives you the opportunity to show appreciation to your favorite author in your own unique way, which means there’s really no wrong way of doing it! 

You could rent, buy, or share your favorite author’s book, send them a “thank you” letter (if they’re still alive), or dress up as your favorite character from their book and share it on social media. Chances are your favorite modern author has a social media account and would love it if you tagged them in your photo!

Probably one of the most significant ways you can show appreciation to your favorite author is by taking some time to write a story yourself. After all, there’s no better way to show an author respect than by being inspired by their work and sharing the gift of writing with others. 

If you’re looking to include some hands-on literary studies into your child’s schooling for National Author’s Day, sign up for our email list to receive a free study about famous authors. We also have a Literary Genres Lapbook to help deepen their understanding of literature!

These studies not only work well for National Author’s Day, but also other literary-themed holidays like National Book Day, National Family Literacy Day, and Read a Book Day. 

How Will You Celebrate National Author’s Day 2020?

Reading is an inexpensive hobby that can give so much in return. Why not thank the authors who made reading possible by celebrating National Author’s Day?! 

So, the question is: do you plan on including this obscure holiday in your child’s schooling? If so, please tell us what kind of National Author’s Day activities you plan to do in the comments below! 

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