National Author’s Day is celebrated on Nov. 1 each year and serves as a day to appreciate our favorite authors for their dedication to the art of writing and their persistence to sharing their stories to the world. Whether you are a fan of fiction, non-fiction, fantasy, romance, poetry or any other topic, you can appreciate the realm of literature and the impact that authors have on our lives and society.

The origin of National Author’s Day is here in Illinois’ Village of Bement. Bement is a small village in Piatt County which currently has a population of about 1,470 individuals. Back in 1928, Nellie Verne Burt McPherson, president of the Bement, Illinois Women’s Club was inspired to set aside a day to celebrate American authors. She had a profound love for reading her whole life and as an educator emphasized the importance of reading and literature to her students. After writing a note to Irving Bacheller about how much she enjoyed his book, Eben Holden’s Last Day A’ Fishing, he sent her back a signed copy of another one of his works. To adequately thank him for his gift, she submitted her idea for National Author’s Day to the General Federation of Women’s Clubs.

In May 1929, the club endorsed a resolution for National Author’s Day to be observed to honor American writers. It wasn’t until 1949 that the U.S. Department of Commerce officially recognized the day. Now, years later, National Author’s Day has been globally recognized and serves as a day to celebrate countless authors for their contributions to literature and inspire people to become avid readers and writers.

In celebration of the day, here is a list of note-worthy Illinois authors:

Ray Bradbury was born in Waukegan in 1920 and was an author and screenwriter. His works consist of a variety of genres including fantasy, horror, mystery and others. His most popular works are Fahrenheit 451 and The Martian Chronicles.

Ernest Hemingway was born in Oak Park in 1899. He was a novelist, short-story writer and journalist. He is one of the major American novelists of the 20th Century and received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1954 for “his mastery of the art of narrative” highlighting his work The Old Man and the Sea.

William Maxwell was born in Lincoln in 1908 and grew up in Chicago. He was a novelist, short-story writer and long-time editor for the New York Times. Many of his short stories and novels consist of themes from his childhood. Some of his works are Bright Center of Heaven, The Folded Leaf and So Long, See you Tomorrow. He is considered to be a “writer’s writer” as he never had an exorbitant amount of commercial success but was highly respected by other writers.

To learn more about Illinois authors, visit the Illinois Secretary of State website.