National Writing Project

Writing Outside Your Comfort Zone—An Online Learning Experience


Writing Outside Your Comfort Zone—An Online Learning Experience

March 31 – October 16, 2014

Host site: Eastern Michigan Writing Project


We all want our students to write well, with rigor and relevance, for multiple situations and in varied genres. But our time is limited. If we can't possibly "cover" every genre our students will encounter on their way to becoming college and career ready, what else can we do? We can teach students the tools and strategies they need to explore genres on their own.

Join Cathy Fleischer and Sarah Andrew-Vaughan, authors of Writing Outside Your Comfort Zone: Helping Students Navigate Unfamiliar Genres, in a three-part journey as we think together about genre instruction in the classroom and introduce the Unfamiliar Genre Project. Participants are welcome to join for one part or all three.


  • Part 1: Book Study (March 31-April 20, 2014). Read and talk about Writing Outside Your Comfort Zone with colleagues across the country in a loosely-structured, three-week, online conversation with the authors and each other.
  • Part 2: Trying Your Own Unfamiliar Genre Project (July 7-25, 2014). Over the summer, try your hand at writing in an unfamiliar genre, following some of the approaches and strategies suggested in the book and sharing your attempts and experiences with the authors and participating colleagues.
  • Part 3: Bringing It Back to School (October 9 and October 16, 2014 at 7:30 p.m. EST on Google Hangout) Save the dates for two sessions in the fall term to share your successes and challenges implementing the Unfamiliar Genre Project and get ideas from the authors and participating colleagues.

Learn More

Listen to this interview on NWP radio or check out the Heinemann site to purchase the book or read Chapter 4, "Unpacking the Unfamiliar Genre Project (PDF)."


Interested in joining or hearing more? Share your contact information using this form .


For more information, contact Sarah Andrew-Vaughan at

© 2021 National Writing Project