#NCTE23 Keynote Speaker Announcement - National Council of Teachers of English

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Tom Hanks Joins Prestigious Keynote Speaker Roster at the
2023 NCTE Annual Convention

Actor, Writer, Filmmaker, Humanitarian to Encourage Literacy Educators


September 19, 2023
Contact: media@ncte.org

Washington, D.C.—The National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), the professional organization for English language arts educators spanning preK–graduate studies, announces that Tom Hanks will deliver a keynote address to the anticipated 6,000 English language arts teachers at the 113th NCTE Annual Convention. The event will be held in Columbus, Ohio, November 16–19, 2023. Hanks will speak Saturday morning, November 18, 2023.

Hanks has long noted the indelible role teachers played in his development as a writer, actor, story creator, and leader. NCTE’s network of English language arts teachers, educators who love words and story (and typewriters), share and complement many of Hanks’ passions. His keynote address will connect to and encourage the hearts and minds of teachers educating the next generation of creative forces in our world.

Tom Hanks is an actor, director, writer, and producer. He has starred in over 40 films, including Philadelphia, Forrest Gump, Big, Sleepless in Seattle, Apollo 13, Saving Private Ryan, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, and many more. Most recently, he was seen in Wes Anderson’s Asteroid City and Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, Vanity Fair, and The New Yorker, and he is the author of a best-selling collection of stories, Uncommon Type. The Making of Another Major Motion Picture Masterpiece is his debut novel.

“Tom Hanks and his creative projects continue to inspire our world. His recognition of the teachers and educational settings that helped him forge his path affirms the incredible role English language arts teachers have in guiding students to develop their capacities to write, think critically, and imagine new possibilities. We welcome Hanks’ passion for our community, our shared cause, and know that he will uniquely encourage and challenge us to continue life-giving work,” says Emily Kirkpatrick, NCTE Executive Director.

The NCTE Annual Convention is the preeminent event for English and language arts teachers and educators in the United States, celebrating and educating literacy professionals spanning early childhood through specialized graduate studies. Approximately 700 sessions will be led by literacy educators desiring to share their expertise to support their peers. Additional keynote sessions will be delivered by Jacqueline Woodson, Angie Thomas, and Angus Fletcher alongside featured sessions that include the Smithsonian Institution, the Library of Congress, and the involvement of more than 250 national authors. Previous keynote speakers have included Michelle Obama, George Takei, Tara Westover, Amanda Gorman, and many historic voices over the event’s 113-year history.

Registration is open at convention.ncte.org.


The National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) is the nation’s professional organization for literacy teachers spanning preK–college. Through the expertise and advocacy from its members’ professional research, practice, and knowledge, NCTE has served at the forefront of every major improvement in the teaching and learning of English and the language arts since 1911.