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University of Iowa News Release


Oct. 15, 2009

UI, Iowa City-area writers can participate in National Day on Writing

The United States Senate has unanimously designated Oct. 20 as the National Day on Writing, supported by the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) and other organizations. Through the University of Iowa NCTE Student Affiliate (NCTE-SA), the state of Iowa, Iowa City, UI and alumni writers can participate by submitting their work to a "University of Writing" Web site:

The National Gallery of Writing Web site will open to the public Oct. 20 and remain open until at least July 2010. The site is a public forum, a gallery for citizen-writers comprised of smaller galleries organized by state, genre and topic. But the UI NCTE-SA is already accepting submissions of writing in any genre, less than 1,000 words and accompanied by a "process piece" -- a short (less than 500 words) personal account of writing the work.

Contributors can follow the guidelines and submit stories, poems, recipes, e-mails, blogs and even audio, video and artwork. Learn more about the National Day on Writing and the UI's NCTE-SA at

sunstein"Iowa City is full of writers: high school students, published authors, diarists, mathematicians, doctors, bus drivers, baristas, athletes and, of course, students," said Bonnie Sunstein, a faculty member in the UI Department of English and the College of Education. "It's a city whose residents have won more than 25 Pulitzer Prizes in literature. It has been home to such renowned writers as Kurt Vonnegut and Flannery O'Connor. And it was recently named UNESCO's third City of Literature. The city's writing legacy stems in large part from the UI's rich contribution to literature through its many writing and English programs, which is why the UI is often referred to as 'The Writing University.' It is no wonder we play an important role in a new national initiative that celebrates writing."

Sunstein has been faculty sponsor of NCTE-SA since 1992. As an author and teacher, she was one of three people elected to the national steering committee for the National Day on Writing. On Oct. 20, she will attend the initiative's national ceremonies in New York City, an event that will include an all-day television Web-cast and a gala evening event hosted by the editors of the New Yorker magazine and featuring writers Doris Kearns Goodwin, Gay Talese and Joan Didion. Learn more about Sunstein at
The event honors writer Toni Morrison, David Halberstam (posthumously) and the nonfiction writers who have won the Norman Mailer Writing Awards for college and high school students. Three UI graduate students served as judges for this award: Steve McNutt, Jeremy Jones and Michael Potter.

The English Department is a unit of the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

UI arts events are searchable on the UI Master Calendar: For additional arts information, visit To receive UI arts news by e-mail, go to and click the link "Join or Leave ACR News," then follow the instructions.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 351, Iowa City, IA 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACTS: Bonnie Sunstein, Winston Barclay, UI News Services, 319-384-0073,