Join NJCTE for Wild Writing on October 13!

New Jersey Council of Teachers of EnGlish

As the days get (slightly) cooler and the leaves start to change colors, we hope you will look to spend more time outside as a writer and teacher. On Sunday, October 13th, we invite you to join us as we celebrate #writeout and the National Day on Writing and get acquainted with the Pine Barrens National Reserve, part of the National Park System right here in NJ!

What is #writeout? A collaboration between The National Writing Project and the National Park Service, the project encourages students and teachers to analyze nature, natural resources, and cultural experiences to develop an awareness of place and use it to inspire writing.

Beginning October 13, 2019, Write Out will be a free two-week series of activities where educators, National Park Service Rangers, Writing Project TCs, parents, writers and youth are invited to:

  • explore national parks and other public spaces, including rural and urban settings, whether on-site or online
  • create using a variety of media, including text, image, video and others
  • connect to learn about using place-based learning as a critical cultural and environmental lens

Bookending the October 20th National Day on Writing, Write Out consists of activity cycles that include prompts that invite participants to write across a variety of media and curricular areas, facilitated online meet-ups, curated resources, and Twitter chats. Participants take part in as many or as few activities as fit their schedule. Additionally, through collaborative online possibilities, participants will be invited to share their creations, write, learn, and connect with the larger community.

NJCTE members and friends will meet on October 13th from 1:30-3:30pm at the Forest Education Resource Center in Jackson, NJ. We hope that this informal event will help you kick off the National Day on Writing in your classroom. Attendees will learn about the Pine Barrens National Reserve, read some nature writing samples together, and then spend time writing and sharing. Attendees will leave with resources to help bring nature and nature writing into the classroom.

Even spending just a few minutes outside each day has positive effects on children and adults.  According to the Children and Nature Network, learning in nature results in improved relationship skills; reduced stress, anger and aggression; performance boosts in reading, writing, science, and social studies; enhanced creativity, critical thinking, and problem-solving; and increased enthusiasm and engagement.

We suggest you dress for walking in a wooded area. Bring any snacks/water you may need.  Bring a notebook or journal and your favorite writing implement.  Sign up today! The event is free for NJCTE members and $5 for non-members, so bring a colleague!

Join NJCTE for Wild Writing on October 13!

Reflection on The National Day on Writing

by Audrey Fisch

The National Day on Writing® (October 20), an initiative of the National Council of Teachers of English, was created “on the premise that writing is critical to literacy but needs greater attention and celebration.”


We at NJCTE, your New Jersey affiliate of NCTE, agree. Writing isn’t just, as NCTE notes, “pencil-and-paper assignments”; “writing is part of your life . . . . how you work, how you learn, how you remember, and how you communicate. It gives voice to who you are and enables you to give voice to the things that matter to you.”

This year, we asked our NJCTE members to share their responses to #WhyIWrite. Here are a few of the responses people posted.


srcnwk tweetafisch tweet

As we struggle with hateful and incendiary language and murderous violence, our collective voices about the power of writing are more important than ever. Let’s continue to, as NCTE says, work at “raising the volume” on writing and use our skills at writing to create an environment for civility and positive change – on our screens, in our classrooms, and on our pages.

Reflection on The National Day on Writing