As many of our readers may know October 20 is the National Day on Writing. The National Day on Writing celebrates the role that writing plays in our everyday lives. A perfect holiday to create everyday writing!
To celebrate this day, the Reading-Writing Center at Florida State University organizes writing focused events across campus to engage students in various common and uncommon writing practices. In 2016, the Reading-Writing Center set up writing activity tables where students could pick up candy and engage in a writing activity. Two of the booths were redacted poems and exquisite corpse narratives. In the redacted poetry booth, students were given black permanent markers and a wide variety of magazines and used books. Then, students were instructed to select a page and mark out words they wanted to get rid of. What would be left would be their redacted poem (check out some examples here, here, and here!). In the exquisite corpse station, students sat in front of an old fashion type writer and were instructed to read only the sentence written previously and to write one sentence building off of what they had just written. Once the page was completed they were left with a winding narrative (see our artifact here and here!). At both of these stations, students were asked to leave their work if they wanted them to be featured by the Reading-Writing Center. After using selected pieces, the Reading-Writing Center donated their collection of everyday writing to the Museum of Everyday Writing.
While we were thrilled to get a collection of new artifacts for our archive, we (the administrators) were faced with a challenge: how to categorize them. These works challenged how we were viewing everyday writing, because the previous artifacts tended to be nonfictional creations. The notes, letters, lists, calendars, postcards, social media posts, and flyers we had collected responded to real life situations. Additionally, no one had submitted any works of creative writing (such as poetry and narratives) to the Museum, so we had not begun to conceptualize how they would fit in with the Museum. Consequently, we did not have an item type category ready to go. As such, we worked together to create the Imaginative Text item type.
The Imaginative Text item includes fictional or nonfictional creative texts that are intended to be publicly distributed and circulated. It should be noted that we put particular emphasis on texts being circulated, if they’re only privately viewed they would likely be placed into the Diary and Journal item type. Therefore, this includes (but is not limited to): comics, fan fiction, poetry, personal narratives, poems, and short stories.
In the future we hope to continue to grow this item type so that we have a robust collection. If you have any Imaginative Texts that you would like to submit, please click here.