Center for Writing Excellence, Elon School of Law celebrate The National Day on Writing

Students on main campus and the School of Law celebrated the power of words and writing on The National Day on Writing.

For several years, Elon University students, faculty, and staff have recognized the National Day on Writing, a national celebration of writing. The National Council of Teachers of English, which promotes the National Day on Writing, views “writing—and the many places, reasons, and ways we write each day — as an essential component of literacy.” This year, as in previous years, the Center for Writing Excellence, coordinated campus-wide events. However, with COVID-19 safety measures in place, the celebrations were a little different. This year’s events were coordinated by Writing Center Lead Consultant Ashley Tatum ‘22.

Elon School of Law ran its annual “High Rhymes and Misdemeanors” poetry slam as a hybrid event, with in-person and online poets and audience members. The Writing Center organized a writing context and open mic around the theme of “Why I Write” and a related Instagram contest on “Where I Write,” inviting Elon students to post their favorite writing haunt on campus or at home. In addition, the Student Professional Development Center held an online workshop to guide students on how to “Write Your Career Story.”

Elon’s School of Law’s “High Rhymes and Misdemeanors” featured law students presenting original poems on a range of topics, many of which connected to issues of social and racial justice, broadly defined. Winners were selected by a set of judges (Julia Bleakney, Sue Liemer and Jennifer Gibert Mencarini), and the audience also selected a people’s choice winner. Winners were Kelby Hicks, Charlie Schatz and Gabriella Lopez, and the overall winner was third-year law student Hicks’ powerful poem, “A Black Man.” (You may access the audio and transcript of Hicks’ poem via these links.)

On Nov. 20, an online open mic event hosted by The Writing Center in the Center for Writing Excellence featured readings from Trinity Battle ‘23, Ashley D’Andrea ’23, Olivia Eller ’22 and Michael Leung ‘24. These writers’ works focused on the National Day on Writing’s annual theme of “Why I Write.” Battle performed her poem “The Wealthiest of Women,” which brings light to the value of writing; D’Andrea’s piece tells the story of the moment she decided to become a writer; Eller’s poem titled “Down River” illuminates the process of using words to form art; and Leung’s piece expresses the struggles and joys of writing.

Thanks to all the participants and congratulations to all the winners who joined us on the National Day on Writing to celebrate the power of words!