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October 20, 2013 - 9:16pm

Write-a-thon hosted on Diag for the National Day on Writing


Students, faculty and community members took chalk to concrete Friday for The Sweetland Center for Writing’s “Write-a-Thon.”

Students were encouraged to mark up the Diag in exchange for a dessert, or a “sweet from Sweetland.”

The Write-a-Thon was Sweetland’s early celebration of the National Day on Writing, which took place Sunday.

“Everybody writes all the time, whether you're text messaging or Facebook messaging,” said Sweetland lecturer Lila Naydan, the event’s organizer. “Writing has even become multi-modal, so something like an Instagram image could constitute writing of a sort.”

Organizations across the country hosted events to commemorate the day and shared their experiences using the hashtag #write2connect.

Throughout the day, the Diag filled up with phrases like “Go Blue,” as well as haikus, including “Let’s Go Michigan/Bring Us Home Victory/This is a Haiku.”

But others, like Music, Theatre & Dance sophomore James Russell, took the opportunity to spread a different message. Russell marked the Diag with his graffiti artist’s tag: “Hope.”

“I’m not that active nowadays, but I used to write back home in Detroit all the time and I just wanted to spread it here in Ann Arbor,” Russell said.

Students from Ann Arbor’s Summers-Knoll Elementary School, a partner of Sweetland, took a field trip to the Diag to participate in the activities as well.

Sweetland’s 2012 event turned the tables on faculty and let students examine professor’s writings. This year’s event was inspired by the commonplace practice of chalking around campus to advertise for organizations and events. Naydan hopes the Write-A-Thon will become a National Day on Writing tradition for Sweetland.