April is one of my favorite months of the year.
Not so much for the weather (which tends to be rainy, windy and generally soggy in north-central Illinois … not to mention all the water that gets in my basement). Despite the crummy half-winter, half-spring season, I look forward to April 1.
If ever a calendar page was meant for readers and writers, April is that page.
Here are some of the literary recognitions celebrated this month:
This is the little sibling to the main event of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month, hosted each November). Camp NaNoWriMo allows writers to create a profile, join a “cabin” (essentially a small, focused networking group) of other writers, and set their own word count. In November, all NaNoWriMo participants scramble to meet the goal of 50,000 in 30 days. In April, writers have 30 days to write toward the word count of their choice, be it 10,000 or 30,000 or 100,000.
Dates: April 1-30
To sign up: campnanowrimo.org/sign_in
NATIONAL POETRY MONTH
Do you love reading or writing poetry? This month is all about you! This year, National Poetry Month includes events like the Dear Poet project, which encourages K-12 students to write a letter to one of eight featured poets, and encouraging everyone to celebrate National Poem in Your Pocket Day. If you have a social media account or blog, you can share the love by posting your favorite poems or original poetry.
Dates: April 1-30
To learn more: poets.org/national-poetry-month/home
SCHOOL LIBRARY MONTH
Show some love to school libraries and librarians this month in honor of School Library Month, which the American Library Association launched in order to encourage schools to create activities to help the school and local community celebrate the essential role that strong school library programs play in transforming learning. Be sure to celebrate School Librarian Day on April
Dates: April 1-30
To learn more: ala.org/aasl/slm
Remember the days of D.E.A.R. Week in school? (Standing for “Drop Everything And Read”) The day usually is celebrated on April 12, in honor of Beverly Cleary’s birthday — Cleary featured D.E.A.R. in her book “Ramona Quimby, Age 8.” Now, the entire month of April is devoted to D.E.A.R. activities. You can participate in an already-organized activity at a school or library, or host your own event at home by designating a time when everyone in the house has to Drop Everything And Read!
Dates: April 1-30, or April 12
Find out more: dropeverythingandread.com/NationalDEARday.html
INTERNATIONAL CHILDREN’S BOOK DAY
Here’s one that is near and dear to my heart — so dear, in fact, that there will be a special one-day offer for digital readers — check back here tomorrow to find out more.
International Children’s Book Day is celebrated each year on April 2, near Hans Christian Andersen’s birthday, to inspire a love of reading and call attention to children’s book. This year’s theme is “Many cultures, one story.” You can celebrate by reading with the children in your life or taking a nostalgic trip through the pages of your favorite childhood book.
Date: April 2
Find out more: ibby.org/1494.0.html
NATIONAL LIBRARY WEEK
National Library Week is sponsored by the American Library Association and libraries throughout the United States to celebrate the contributions of our nation’s libraries and librarians. The best part? The week also aims to promote library use and support the facilities. All types of libraries — school, public, academic, and special — are encouraged to participate. And so are you — honor your library as simply as checking out materials, making a donation, or attending a library-sponsored event.
Dates: April 12-18
To learn more: ala.org/conferencesevents/celebrationweeks/natlibraryweek
WORLD BOOK AND COPYRIGHT DAY
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organizations honors World Book and Copyright day on April 23 to pay a worldwide tribute to books and authors as well as to encourage everyone — particularly young people — to discover the joy of reading.
Date: April 23
To learn more: un.org/en/events/bookday
WORLD BOOK NIGHT
Talk about a worthy event. The point of World Book Night isn’t to reach out to fellow book lovers — instead, it’s about book lovers reaching out to those who wouldn’t normally read or who don’t have access to books. Each year, World Book Night solicits volunteers to hand out books, then ships a box of books to the volunteer to distribute. Although the call for volunteers to hand out World Book Night’s books is closed for this year, organizers are still accepting volunteers to sign up and hand out their own books — they can be books the volunteer already owns or new books bought especially for the event.
Date: April 23
To volunteer and spread the love: worldbooknight.org/own-book-volunteers
Wow! There’s a world book night? Sweet!
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