International Writers' Day

International Writers’ Day – a bit of history

International Writers’ Day is on 3rd March. It was first celebrated in 1986 and was created by The International Congress of PEN Club (PEN standing for Poets; Essayists; Novelists), an organisation that advocates for all writers. It was the first non-government body that advocated for human rights and protects writers above national, racial and religious conflict. They defend freedom of speech, protect writers in exile and promote linguist rights.

PEN was founded in London in 1921 so they have been supporting writers for over a hundred years. It is the biggest literary organisation in the world and has subsidiaries in over 130 countries.

The theme for this year’s IWD is The Power of Words. 

Here at Booksmith Academy we are passionate about the power of words. They can heal, transform and create worlds. They can educate and also hurt. We have to choose our words carefully. 

Kate recently read “The Four Agreements” by Don Miguel Ruiz and the first agreement is: Be impeccable with your word. Choosing your words carefully is so important.

How can you celebrate International Writers’ Day?

If you love writing and words, why not take some time on Sunday to celebrate IWD. We thought we would give you a few ideas to get you started, but I’m sure you can think of many more ways to celebrate.

1. READ – The best way to celebrate writers, whether you consider yourself a writer or not, is always to read their work. Whether you sit down and take some time to read a good book, some poetry, catch up on some blogs or read the newspaper, those who wrote your reading material will be grateful that it is being read. 

2. START OR JOIN A BOOK CLUB – Book Clubs are a great way to be introduced to new books you may not have considered reading, but also to meet others who share your passion for reading and writing. If there isn’t a book club in your area, why not start one yourself? Book clubs can be niche, perhaps by genre, so don’t be put off by thinking you will have to read lots of books that don’t interest you. You can even find or create an online book club, they are increasingly popular. 

3. CREATE A MINI LENDING LIBRARY – This little free libraries are growing in popularity and are a great way to support other readers in your community and save books from landfill. This little beauty is in the village we grew up in in Yorkshire. They have three dotted around the village. We have seen them in old telephone boxes and even unused bus shelters converted. Such a great resource for the local community.

4. VISIT SOMEWHERE OF LITERARY SIGNIFICANCE – Perhaps you live near the Brontë Parsonage in Haworth, or near Thomas Hardy’s house in Dorchester. Maybe you fancy a pilgrimage to Baker Street to celebrate your love of Sherlock or to The Shambles in York to experience The Shop That Must Not Be Named if you are a Harry Potter fan. There are so many wonderful bookish places to visit. If you are lucky enough to have one near you (and if you look carefully enough most people are!), why not give one a visit.

5. DO SOME WRITING! – This might seem obvious but so often we focus on the pretty, fluffy things we can do, but perhaps you just want to spend the day sitting and writing. Whether it is journaling, poetry, writing a diary entry, starting or working on a book you are writing… Write something. 


Write a letter to someone. When was the last time you sent someone a handwritten letter? Think of someone you haven’t spoken to for a while, or perhaps someone you would love to send a heartwarming message to and sit down and write to them. Don’t forget to post it though! 

mini library

Hopefully we have given you some fun ideas to help you celebrate International Writers’ Day. Whether you consider yourself a writer or not – we are fairly certain if you are reading this you are – do consider doing some  writing. It is so much fun and can really help you focus and process.

For more writing tips and wellbeing for writers advice, check out our other blogs and sign up to our bi-monthly Booksmith Academy newsletter.

If writing more is one of your goals for this year, join us in our new membership for writers and booklovers, InkWell Scribes, where we’ll be sharing our love of all things nonfiction and writer wellbeing in a like-minded and passionate community.