National Writing Project

Author of The Book Whisperer Headlines Teachers' Gathering

National Writing Project's Annual Meeting Draws 1,300 Teacher-Leaders from Across U.S.

For Immediate Release


ORLANDO, FL, November 17, 2010 — Teachers from across the country will soon gather for three days to showcase and evaluate new classroom strategies for giving young people the writing skills they need to succeed in the classroom and workforce of the 21st century. At the National Writing Project's (NWP) 33rd Annual Meeting—held this year in Orlando, Nov. 18-20—teacher-leaders from NWP's more than 200 local sites will participate in a wide variety of sessions and workshops.

This year's general session on Friday will feature keynote speaker Donalyn Miller, teacher-leader with the North Star of Texas Writing Project and author of The Book Whisperer: Awakening the Inner Reader in Every Child. Miller will speak about how her Writing Project experience helped her become a successful teacher and author.

Digital learning tools highlighted

Among other highlights at this year's annual meeting: the unveiling of NWP's new Digital Is website—a virtual collection of resources for teaching writing in our digital age. NWP will also showcase its new book, Because Digital Writing Matters (published by Jossey-Bass this month), a primer for educators, parents, and policymakers on how to help schools meet the challenges of new digital literacies.

"Just when technology seemed to have made good writing passé, technology has again established writing as the signature means of communication," NWP Executive Director Sharon J. Washington says. "Now more than ever, the effective teaching of writing at all levels and across all subjects should be a staple in our schools. With NWP's new Digital Is website, its book Because Digital Writing Matters, and other continuous learning opportunities, teachers have the resources they need to help them prepare their students for success in the digital world."

Created with support from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Digital Is website is a teaching-focused knowledge base that explores both the art and craft of writing as well as practical classroom strategies for teaching and learning writing. The site also looks at the fast-evolving ways we think about education and culture in the digital age.

The NWP Annual Meeting provides an opportunity for teachers and leaders from Writing Project sites around the country to gather for writing, thinking, and learning. Another highlight this year will be "Games for Education and Social Impact," a session led by Alan Gershenfeld, founder and president of E-Line Media. Gershenfeld will demonstrate video games that tap into children's natural passion for play while harnessing that passion for instructional and social purposes.

Other sessions of interest, among many, are "Writing with Beginning English Learners and Their Families," "Sustained Professional Development for Community College Faculty," "Framework for Success in Postsecondary Writing," "Transitional Conversations: Connecting Writing in High School and College," and "Issues in Special Education and Supporting the Learning of Special-Needs Students." Sessions on capacity-building at the local level and on current national education-reform efforts will also be offered.

The National Writing Project (NWP) is a nationwide network of educators working together to improve the teaching of writing in the nation's schools and in other settings. NWP provides high-quality professional development programs to teachers in a variety of disciplines and at all levels, from early childhood through university. Through its network of more than 200 university-based sites located in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, NWP develops the leadership, programs, and research needed for teachers to help students become successful writers and learners. For more information, visit Also follow NWP on Facebook and NWP on Twitter.

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