National Writing Project

Getting Oriented to the Annual Meeting


Welcome to the National Writing Project Annual Meeting! Whether this will be your first Annual Meeting or you’ve attended before, we hope you will find what you are looking for as you participate in workshops, sessions, socials, and opportunities for informal networking with colleagues from around the country.

On these pages we offer some basic information about what you can expect at the meeting and give you some hints about planning ahead with others at your site to make the most of the meeting.

All are welcome at the meeting, which draws approximately 1,000 participants from more than 200 local writing project sites, representing all 50 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and associated international sites.

Even though participants attend the Annual Meeting for a variety of purposes, most say it is an opportunity to build site leadership, connect with each other, and get a bigger picture of the NWP network.

About the Annual Meeting

The NWP Annual Meeting is held yearly in conjunction with NCTE’s annual convention and is always the week before Thanksgiving. The annual change of locale provides an opportunity for local sites to serve as host for the Annual Meeting when it is held in their city.

NWP provides regular and frequent information about the Annual Meeting online beginning in July of each year, so you can make lodging plans and begin planning travel as early as possible. Workshop registration opens in early September and additional information about the meeting is posted throughout the fall.

The NWP Annual Meeting is more like a large working meeting than a conference. This is the one time each year that all representatives from all NWP sites come together in one large gathering of the community that is the National Writing Project.

There is no registration fee for the NWP Annual Meeting. We encourage everyone to register for and attend sessions at the NCTE Annual Convention too.

Here is a day-by-day snapshot of Annual Meeting activities.

Wednesday, November 19

Pick up a packet, get your questions answered, and orient yourself to Philadelphia and the Annual Meeting by dropping by the NWP Welcome Room Wednesday evening. Also, you can attend the forum The Power of Youth Voice: What Kids Learn When They Create With Digital Media, presented by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the National Writing Project, and the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation.

Thursday, November 20

Start off the day by learning more about navigating the Annual Meeting at an orientation session designed for new attendees.

Then, the Annual Meeting officially begins on Thursday with a series of workshops designed to support the development of NWP sites and the ongoing work of NWP programs. Three-hour workshops focus on sites' core work: the summer institute, inservice work, and continuity programs. This year, shorter 75-minute workshops will offer choices on teaching writing, technology and writing, and other current issues for site leaders and teacher consultants.

Workshops are coordinated by leaders of NWP special-focus networks, initiatives, and site leadership support programs to highlight and disseminate cross-site learning around topics of interest to site leaders and teachers.

These workshops give facilitators and participants the opportunity to learn from each other by sharing work from their own sites. Online registration opens the first week in September and closes in early November.

A series of information meetings about networks, projects, and initiatives is held in the late afternoon.

The day concludes with an evening social sponsored by the Special-Focus Networks where everyone is invited to relax, network, and talk informally.

Friday, November 21

You won't want to miss the General Session on Friday morning. Together with colleagues from around the country we will honor the work we do and, of course, spend some time writing.

On Friday afternoon plan to choose from sessions on a wide range of topics. There is no preregistration for the breakout sessions, but you will want to begin exploring the descriptions before you come to the meeting.

Another early evening social—the gala NWP Social—is planned for Friday evening.

Saturday, November 22

On Saturday, as part of the NCTE conference, NWP sponsors a strand of workshops focused on teaching writing and led by NWP teacher-consultants. In the NCTE exhibit hall at the convention center you will also find an NWP booth. This booth is run by the host site and NWP staff.

Also, the Philadelphia Writing Project is hosting a writing marathon. NWP program and network leadership team meetings will take place as well.

Making the Most of the Annual Meeting

To see how other sites have approached the Annual Meeting and to begin planning your Annual Meeting, see

Annual Meeting Survey

Be sure to take time to fill in the Annual Meeting online survey after the meeting is over. The Annual Meeting Program planners use this survey to look at how the Annual Meeting is serving the needs of local sites.

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