National Writing Project

About Professional Writing Retreats

The National Writing Project was founded on the belief that practitioners at all levels should be active contributors to the knowledge base about the teaching of writing and on the belief that teachers of writing should themselves write.

The NWP Professional Writing Retreats link these beliefs by supporting teachers and scholars in their professional writing and by providing a model for local programming focused on professional writing and publication.

The retreats highlight the value of teachers writing about their practice and create the time and support for this work. Writing from the retreats finds its way into local, regional, and national publications, making visible the beliefs, practices, and research of writing project teachers to a broad audience of teachers, administrators, legislators, and policymakers.

Participants are supported to think broadly about how professional writing can be supported at their local writing project site as part of a rich set of continuity programs for teacher-consultants.


The Professional Writing Retreats were developed with the aim of making professional writing more visible and prominent in the NWP network and at local sites. The Professional Writing Retreat program has the following goals:

  • To support NWP members in their efforts to produce and publish professional writing
  • To develop resources to support local writing projects in their efforts to expand professional writing at their sites.


Started in 1999 as a Project Outreach dissemination project, the Professional Writing Retreats began as an effort to support teachers and scholars as they developed articles and resources for the NWP community and beyond. After initial successes with the retreat model, the program was continued to expand support for teacher-consultants and scholars from all writing project sites.

Over time the program developed a model that has proven particularly successful at supporting teachers in writing about their practice. Teacher-consultants and site leaders return to their sites with a new understanding of the importance of this kind of writing and with the potential to develop similar retreats for their colleagues. This model has been used widely in NWP programs and networks as well as by local sites.


Participation in Professional Writing Retreats is open to teacher-consultants and affiliated scholars at all writing project sites. The Professional Writing Retreats are held in the summer and participation is by application only. Please visit our Events page for more details.

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