[Write on Wednesday] National Handwriting Day

Today’s post is part of series of posts encouraging you to write stories for minor holidays.

Writing and submitting a story for Valentine’s Day or Mother’s Day or Christmas, means you’re up against a lot of competition in an editor’s inbox. Everyone writes for those holidays. But editors still love a timely, topical story. Why not take advantage of the myriad of minor holidays, to give your story an edge?

The Prompt

Write a story for National Handwriting Day on January 23


  • This ‘holiday’ was established by the Writing Instruments Manufacturers’ Association in 1977. (As a bit of a social historian I find that fascinating. They established this holiday to promote pens, pencils and the art of handwriting, just a few years before home computers really took off and desktop publishing became a thing we all had access too!)
  • Your story could be about that switch, or it could contain one important moment featuring handwriting.
  • In a mystery story, the individual nature of everyone’s handwriting could be a pivotal clue in solving the murder, finding the missing person, or uncovering the real identity of the person’s secret twin (“iI’s never twins…” – Sherlock)
  • The way a note is handwritten could give the reader, or another character, valuable insight into the state of mind of the writer. I don’t know about you, but my handwriting gets really big and loopy when I’m excited, and is more small and jagged when I’m furious.
  • An heirloom pen or mechanical pencil (engraved, perhaps?) could feature in this story, no doubt making the inventors fo this holiday very happy 😉
  • The paper, ink or age of a letter, could tell the characters–and the reader–something about the date, location or conditions under which the letter was written. This is a great way to show us details without telling us. If, in your opening scene, a character is painstakingly unrolling a piece of brittle papyrus, it’s more likely they’re an Egyptologist than an office worker. If a young woman is adding elaborate calligraphy to an invitation, would it be safe to assume she’s a bride-to-be? Letting the reader experience the scene and solve these mini-mysteries, is a great way to pull them into your story.
  • I found this prompt at HolidayInsights.com. You can find more there. (But I recommend writing today’s story before you fall down that rabbit hole…)

Get creative! See what you can do with writing implements and handwriting



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

The StoryADay

I, WRITER Course


A 6-part journey through the short story.

Starts July 28, 2023