The Writing Instrument Manufacturers Association (WIMA) is celebrating National Handwriting Day in the US for the 43rd time, and says it’s never been more important to appreciate the benefits of writing by hand.
WIMA says that writing by hand is the perfect respite from the clinical text produced by a keyboard for a computer screen, and that nothing beats writing with a pen on paper. The day is held on 23 January as this is the birthday of America’s most famous signatory, John Hancock.
The day is also officially recognised by Congress, having been designated as National Handwriting Day via a congressional resolution in 2018. WIMA executive director David H. Baker said they had been hoping for this recognition for the day’s 40th anniversary, but “there was something called an inauguration in 2017, so that interfered with our plans.”
American news channel CNN said it offers an alternative narrative to recent education trends in the US, which has seen handwriting, particularly cursive, sidelined in favour of standardised testing. CNN’s Emanuella Grinberg wrote: “Its reason for being grows more urgent each year as pens, pencils, and paper lose ground to the QWERTY keyboard.”
This chimes well with a contest held each year by the American Handwriting Analysis Foundation (AHAF), which uses National Handwriting Day to kick off a competition for children to encourage their continued use of cursive writing.
David H Baker continued: “The best way to honour National Handwriting Day is by getting a pen and pencil in your hand. Whether it’s a letter, a note, a story or a drawing, start writing today to honour the importance of handwriting.”