The U.S. Senate passed a resolution declaring October 21 the National Day on Writing. The National Council of Teachers of English is sponsoring writing galleries where you can post your work and read the work of others.
You're never too late to start writing. John Erickson, creator of the Hank the Cowdog series, had been told in school that he was a good writer. In his young adulthood as a cowboy, his short stories were published, but he didn't begin writing full time until he was in his mid-30's with a wife and children.
Unable to sell his ranch stories to New York publishers, he invested in creating his own publishing company, and Hank the Cowdog was born. Puffin picked up the series, with Number 54 as the newest addition.
Erickson writes 3 Hank books a year and meets his readers at schools and childrens' lit festivals. At Plum Creek, Erickson taught his audience of hundreds of kids rousing renditions of Hank songs, including "Rotten Meat." Kids shouted out answers to his questions about characters and plot from random numbers in the series. He said he makes the books easy to read because he wants kids to enjoy them, and he was a reluctant reader himself as a kid. From the opening line, "It's me again, Hank the Cowdog" to the end, kids love Hank and his ranch dog adventures.
Erickson advises young writers to "leave your readers better off than they were before." With homespun humor and kid-friendly scenes, Hank books show that Erickson takes his own advice.
You still have time to post in the National Gallery of Writing. It's not too late to write and leave your readers better off!