Where do you find peace? When did you last consider the world of trees or birds or bugs? How do you think about time? These are only a few of the important questions writers can answer with these writing sparks.
The Morehead Writing Project and Just Write Virtual Writing Group held a writing marathon in honor of National Day On Writing. The invitation to write was drawn from the National Writing Project and National Parks Service collaboration #WriteOut! The 2022 #WriteOut collaboration invited writers to dive into the world of STEAM (STEAM=Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math). Writers were invited to make notebooks and investigate a series of sparks to fill its pages! We drew our marathon invitation from these sparks with one addition from Kentucky.
#WriteOut is intended to send writers out into the world to explore, learn, and write so we challenged our writers to do just that before we met. As we gathered via Zoom we shared those experiences and experiments and some of our favorite places to #WriteOut. I shared my personal favorite spot (the featured photo on this post was taken there). The Herb Botts Nature Park in Mt. Sterling, Ky., is a place where I often walk and write.
We then explored these nine sparks:
- The poetry of Kentucky’s Wendell Berry is a perfect fit for #WriteOut. We drew inspiration from The Woods and The Peace of Wild Things.
- Inspired by Talking Trees we wrote about masting, tree communication, and hip-hop forestry.
- The Bird’s Nest on the Windowsill challenged us to contemplate Rita Dove’s Reverie in Open Air and to consider the birds all around us.
- By Land or By Sea invited us to consider lighthouses and other portals.
- Bug orchestra asked us to consider the sounds and rhythms of nature.
- Many Trips Around the Sun challenged us to explore the concept of time.
- Layers of the Land invited us to explore our terrain.
- Inspired by Nature’s Toolbox we wrote about George Washington Carver and his life, notebooks, and work.
- Mapping Our Moves asked us to write about the impact of the natural world on our ancestors.
Writers can explore each spark in turn or take a marathon approach using our marathon invitation. Even though the 2022 #WriteOut has ended we hope that you will continue to WRITE OUT! Interested in learning more about writing marathons and hosting your own? Check out The Writing Marathon Deeper Dive in the Write Now Teacher Studio hosted by the National Writing Project. Come learn more about the writing marathon and learn how you can harness its power in your classroom as well as at your institution or organization.