National Writing Project

Resource Topics

Professional Development - NWP Model - Summer Institute

Additional Resources

Aiken Writing Project to Host Summer Institute

Aiken Standard, May 2012
The Aiken Writing Project (South Carolina) has opened registration for its annual Summer Institute. This year's institute will help teachers explore new strategies for teaching writing in the classroom and meeting the Common Core State Standards. More ›

Why Retreat? Nurturing Teacher Confidence, Creativity, and Camaraderie

May 2012
Kristy Lauricella Dawson
Kristy Lauricella Dawson, a teacher-consultant of the National Writing Project at Rutgers University, writes about the importance of nurturing teacher creativity through writing retreats. Writing retreats provide an opportunity for teachers to recharge their emotional batteries, and as a result it can lead to better classroom instruction. More ›

Writing Project Invites Competitive Applicants for Summer Institute

SUNY Cortland, May 2012
The Seven Valleys Writing Project (New York) is currently accepting applications for participation in its Summer Institute. Project Director David Franke says that "those who apply tend to be creative, pragmatic, and solution-oriented. . . Together, teachers develop their personal writing, their self-chosen research projects, and their leaderships skills." More ›

Connecticut Writing Project Helps Teachers Teach Writing

UConn Today, May 2012
Many students at all levels struggle with writing, and many teachers welcome some help in working with their students. The Connecticut Writing Project–Storrs at UConn is a resource both for those who teach writing, from kindergarten through college, and for the students they teach. More ›

Tweeting in the Summer Institute and Beyond

July 2010
Grant Faulkner
Teachers in summer institutes across the nation connected via Twitter this summer—discovering a social platform to share viewpoints, resources, and connections—as they built "personal learning networks" that continue on. More ›

Central Georgia Writing Project Promotes Leadership Through Literacy

July 2010
Watch this profile of the Central Georgia Writing Project's fourth annual summer institute. Teachers from pre-K through college, from language arts to math and science, gathered to learn about the teaching of writing and to become better writers themselves. More ›

The Role of Early Recruitment in the Year-Round Work of a Site

June 2010
Katherine Frank
Drawing on lessons learned at the New-Site Leadership Institute, Katherine Frank, director of the Southern Colorado Writing Project, reflects on how her site developed successful models for summer institute recruiting. More ›

NWP Radio — Writing in the Summer Institute: Foundational Practice and Emergent Opportunities

April 2010
Writing and reflecting on writing are at the core of the summer institute model. But what does that mean in practice? In this episode of NWP Radio, site leaders talk about how they are thinking about writing in their institutes, including with online tools such as the E-Anthology. More ›

Moving Toward the Paperless Institute

March 2010
Eric Hasty, Bob Fecho
Two teachers from Georgia's Red Clay Writing Project document a journey from a summer institute that relied on paper-based communication to one that employs blogs, wikis, online discussion groups, and other technology. More ›

Building Leadership for a Sustained Districtwide Writing Improvement Program

February 2010
Nancy Robb Singer, Diane Scollay
This study examines the effects of a three-year professional development program conducted in the Mehlville School District (MSD) near St. Louis, Missouri, from 2004 through 2007. Gateway Writing Project (GWP) provided the inservice program, which was based on established National Writing Project principles. More ›

NWP Radio—Invitational Summer Institute: What Will Your Site Be Reading in the 2010 Summer Institute?

February 2010
Moderator Elyse Eidman-Aadahl discusses with NWP site directors Lil Brannon, Faye Peitzman, and Troy Hicks their ideas about appropriate and relevant readings for the invitational summer institute and how they can best be used. More ›

Working Together

January 2010
Cathy Cirimele
Cathy Cirimele, a teacher-consultant with the San Joaquin Valley Writing Project, narrates the fears, sorrows, joys, and benefits of participating in a summer institute writing group after 25 years as a writing teacher who had never been critiqued. More ›

E-Anthology Feedback Inspires Classroom Practice

January 2010
Lisa Bottone
Lisa Bottone, a teacher-consultant with New Jersey's Kean University Writing Project, reflects on how sharing her writing and receiving feedback through the E-Anthology has influenced her teaching. She plans to use the experience in her work with colleagues. More ›

Changing the Face of Leadership: Redesigning the Summer Institute to Invite Diversity

January 2010
Katie Kline, Thomas Ferrel
The Greater Kansas City Writing Project realized that its leadership and activities didn't reflect its service area, so it made difficult but valuable changes to its summer institute with the support of Project Outreach 3. More ›

School Partnership Leads to “Exciting Writing Week” in Little Rock

July 2009
Elizabeth Radin Simons
A partnership between an Arkansas elementary school and the Little Rock Writing Project has greatly advanced the school's writing culture, especially through its annual Exciting Writing Week. More ›

Teachers Write About What Matters in E-Anthology

July 2009
Teachers are writing in a range of genres and exploring their classrooms and their pedagogy in a variety of ways in the E-Anthology's Classroom Matters forum. More ›

Writing Equals Advocacy for West Texas Writing Project

February 2009
Jonna Perrillo's summer institute op-ed project brought teachers' classrooms and educational opinions into the community's homes. Perillo points to the range of creative work that can be supported by the time and strategies the New-Site Leadership Institute provides. More ›

Online Event Supports Debate about Content Area Literacy

January 2009
Twenty-five participants from 15 sites met online to discuss provocative issues related to the recruitment and retention of content area teachers at writing project sites. The questions posed prompted lively exchanges. More ›

Ten Readings That Make a Difference

January 2009
Compiled by Scott Peterson, Third Coast Writing Project (MI), for a 2008 Annual Meeting workshop entitled The Invitational Summer Institute: Preparing Teacher-Consultants for Learning and Leading, this collection of readings can be used by a summer institute planning team or site leadership team to help plan the different stages of a site's summer institute. More ›

Electronic Portfolios as Catalysts for Change in the Summer Institute

Karen McComas
The Marshall University Writing Project found that electronic portfolios helped document the work of teachers in its summer institute and were a meaningful form of professional development because teachers were placed in the role of learner. More ›

Blogging the Summer Institute

November 2008
Bonnie Kaplan
The Technology Liaisons Network supported Bonnie Kaplan in exploring weblogs, which she then brought to the Hudson Valley Writing Project's summer institute. Her site is just one of many that are beginning to learn from the process of blogging the summer institute. More ›

Northern Virginia Writing Project Institute Offers Tips for Teachers

The Winchester Star, August 2008
The 30th annual Northern Virginia Writing Project summer institute provided peer-to-peer professional development that teachers say will improve their teaching. More ›

Aiken Writing Project Opens Doors for Teachers

The Aiken Standard, June 2008
Teachers at the Aiken Writing Project in South Carolina are finding that the summer institute is showing them how to be "more inclusive and authentic in the teaching of writing." More ›

The E-Anthology Says “Bienvenidos” to Spanish Posts

Spanish wove its way into the E-Anthology in a significant way for the first time in 2008. Perhaps inspired by an audio welcome in Spanish, participants posted a notable number of their writings en español. More ›

The E-Anthology Helps Create a Space for Access, Relevance, and Diversity

March 2008
The 2007 E-Anthology gave members of the Blackfeet tribe in Montana a venue for telling their stories—which sparked an empowering dialogue among sites across the NWP network. More ›

Project Outreach at the Connecticut Writing Project-Fairfield: Change the Readings, Change the Site

May 2008
Connecticut Writing Project-Fairfield asked itself whether its philosophy and methods made clear, practical sense to teachers of urban students in its service area. In response to the question, the site changed its summer institute readings to explicitly introduce topics of race, culture, and language. More ›

Teacher Transformation in the National Writing Project

National Council of Teachers of English, November 2008
Anne Elrod Whitney
Studying seven participants, Whitney, a teacher-consultant with the South Coast Writing Project (CA), examines the "transformative" experience of NWP's summer institute, concluding that change relates to the degree of immersion in the institute's writing activities and confidence inspired by intensive collaborative professional work. More ›

Resources for Selecting Readings and Research for the Summer Institute

October 2008
This resource outlines some of the criteria for selecting summer institute readings and describes bibliographies that include readings that address the social issues affecting a local site's communities. More ›

Summer Institute and E-Anthology Make a Comfortable Fit

July 2007
Sally Crisp and Shari Williams, director and co-director of the Little Rock Writing Project, introduced a technology component at the site's pre-institute sessions and granted participants the technology units required by the state—preparing fellows to plunge right in to the E-Anthology and making the summer institute even more attractive to teachers. More ›

Toward a Scholarship of Teaching Practice: Contributions from NWP Teacher Inquiry Workshops

March 2007
Patricia Lambert Stock
In her keynote speech at NWP’s 2007 Spring Meeting, Patricia Lambert Stock reports on her study of an overlooked genre of educational research: the teacher workshop. Describing in detail a presentation on mock trials, she shows that such workshops not only have the customary elements of research published in professional journals but have four additional characteristics that make them a uniquely valuable genre of research in education. More ›

A Work in Progress: The Benefits of Early Recruitment for the Summer Institute

National Writing Project at Work, 2006
Anne-Marie Hall, Roger Shanley, Flory Simon
The authors document the process they took in recruiting participants for the annual summer institute early, ensuring a better pool of candidates and allowing the teachers to go into the event more prepared. More ›

A Writing Teacher Writes—Big Time

The Voice, 2006
Valerie Hobbs, well-known author of teen fiction—and one adult novel—had her start in a summer institute 25 years ago and went on to succeed as a writer while continuing to deepen her practice as a teacher. More ›

Developing Citizen-Teachers Through Performance Arts in the Summer Institute

National Writing Project at Work, 2006
Nancy Mellin McCracken, Anthony Manna, Darla Wagner, Bonnie Molnar
The authors describe their integration of the arts, particularly process drama, into the summer institute as a vehicle for providing equity, supporting educational reform, and promoting the concept of the citizen-teacher. More ›

Enabling Communities and Collaborative Responses to Teaching Demonstrations

National Writing Project at Work, 2006
Janet A. Swenson, Diana Mitchell
The authors created a summer institute protocol for responding collaboratively to the teacher demonstrations in the form of letters. This innovation elicited perceptive and thorough responses. More ›

The First BAWP Summer Institute

The Voice, 2006
James Gray
In this excerpt from his memoir Teachers at the Center, writing project founder Jim Gray recounts the triumphs and missteps of the first summer institute, where he and the participants began to bring together the key elements of the writing project model. More ›

NWP Plunges Teachers Into Specific Expertise With a Thorough Immersion in Writing

Journal of Staff Development, Summer 2006
Mary Ann Smith
This article from the Journal of Staff Development offers a look at the NWP model in action, reviews recent research findings, and gives recommendations for supporting teachers in their work of teaching students. More ›

The Philadelphia Writing Project Process: Reflections from a Newly Minted Teacher Consultant

The Voice, 2005
Jose-Manuel Navarro
In his address at the 2003 welcoming ceremony for members of the Philadelphia Writing Project's invitational summer institute, Dr. Navarro reflects on what it is that gives the summer institutes its ineffable efficacy... More ›

Beyond I Am

The Voice, 2004
Michael Taylor
Taylor shares how a summer institute community-building activity turned into a before-and-after example of how participants become better writers in the institute. More ›

Digging Deeper: Teacher Inquiry in the Summer Institute Demonstration

The Voice, 2004
Art Peterson
Peterson explores writing project summer institute teacher demonstrations as a form of teacher inquiry at the Northern California Writing and the Red Cedar Writing Project. More ›

Inside the E-Anthology Team

The Voice, 2004
Larry Barton
Sharing behind the scene observations of E-Team members at work, Barton describes how the E-Anthology allows summer institute participants to share writing with colleagues across the country. More ›

Keith's Question

The Voice, 2004
Bill Connolly
Prompted by a student-writer's question, high school teacher Bill Connolly reflects on why writing groups in the summer institute are so powerful. More ›

More Thoughts on Reading in the Summer Institute

The Voice, 2004
Lucy Ware
Lucy Ware reflects on how summer institute organizers at the Western Pennsylvania Writing Project learned to better integrate reading into their institute model by letting participants choose their reading topics and providing a clear purpose for the reading. More ›

Reading in the Summer Institute: How, Why, and What

The Voice, 2004
Nick Coles, Richard Louth
Coles and Louth, seasoned writing project directors, share not only what was read in their sites' institutes, but also discuss why and how institute participants read these selections. More ›

The E-Anthology, A Summer Institute Perspective

The Voice, 2004
Maggie Herrick
A technology liaison describes how her site's use of the NWP E-Anthology gave teachers technology experience and a new forum for publishing their work. More ›

Integrating Author Visits into the Summer Institute

The Voice, March-April 2003
Samuel Totten
Having professional writers visit during a summer institute can allow for an in-depth discussion about the profession and craft of writing, but it can also create a situation that minimizes the expertise of teacher participants. Samuel Totten, director of the Northwest Arkansas Writing Project outlines some steps his site takes to ensure that the exchange is rich and collegial. More ›

Empowering Teachers Through the Summer Institute

The Voice, May-June 2003
Beth Halbert
Building teacher leadership is an important component of the NWP model, but Beth Halbert of the West Tennessee Writing Project got a crash course when she was asked to facilitate the beginning of the 2002 summer institute. By relying on the proven writing project strategy of "teachers teaching teachers" she was able to launch the institute. More ›

Poetry, the World Book, and the Summer Institute

The Voice, May-June 2003
Lee Hudson
Hudson had given up the idea of teaching poetry to her elementary students until she attended a summer institute. Hearing how other teachers taught it inspired her to integrate poetry into her teaching. More ›

Teaching After the Summer Institute

The Voice, May-June 2003
Nick Maneno
After attending a summer institute, Maneno meets with his school administrators to share the potency of the NWP model. He recounts the successes and challenges he faces as he shares what he learned. More ›

Working Writing into a Comfortable Fit

The Voice, May-June 2003
Karon Henderson
Even though Karon Henderson thought of herself as a confident teacher of writing, it wasn't until she attended the Central Texas Writing Project Summer Institute that she considered herself a writer and experienced all the discomfort writing can entail. "For the first time, I understood how my students feel when they are asked to write and believe that they have nothing to say." More ›

An Intern's Summer Institute Experience

The Voice, May-June 2002
Beth Hammett
A recent graduate with no teaching experience, Beth Hammett shares what she learned—and contributed—at the Oklahoma Writing Project summer institute in the site's first internship position. More ›

Asking the Right Questions

The Voice, May-June 2002
Kenneth P. Farizo
A survey of teachers conducted by Kenneth Farizo of the Louisiana State University Writing Project shows that teachers feel a personal and professional connection to the writing project. More ›

Treasure: A Summer Institute Reflection

The Voice, May-June 2002
Melanie J. Taormina
Melanie J. Taormina reflects on how the positive feedback she received at a summer institute helped her rediscover a love of writing. More ›

Dipping into the 2002 Summer E-Anthology

The Voice, November-December 2002
Christina Cantrill
Read highlights from the 2002 E-Anthology, an online forum where teachers at summer institutes across the country share their writing and experiences. More ›

Compiling "Favorite Authors" List Proves No Easy Task

The Voice, May-June 2001
Joan Taylor
The results of an informal poll on favorite authors serve as food for thought in light of the upcoming summer institutes. More ›

New Jacket

The Voice, May-June 2001
Kathleen Ann Gonzalez
When asked to try on the role of summer institute co- director, author and teacher-consultant Kathleen Ann Gonzales finds the opportunity both a great fit and a chance for self-reflection. More ›

Two or Three Things I Know For Sure About Teaching Writing

The Voice, May-June 2001
Ashley Martin
A rich variety of reading during a summer institute becomes a creative catalyst for Ashley Martin to reflect on what she knows about teaching. More ›

Teachers at the Center: A Memoir of the Early Years of the National Writing Project

The Quarterly, Fall 2000
James Gray
An excerpt from Teachers at the Center by National Writing Project founder James Gray. More ›

Finding Answers to the Summer Institute

The Voice, January-February 2000
Susan Bennett
NWP directors, co-directors, and teacher-consultants representing at least 40 states and three countries uncovered scores of solutions to "frequently asked questions" in Denver at the NWP Annual Meeting. More ›

The Key to Recruiting: Teachers Nominating Teachers

The Voice, January-February 2000
Carol Tateishi
Carol Tateishi, director of the Bay Area Writing Project, discusses strategies for summer institute recruitment. More ›

Inspiring a Love for Reading, Writing, and Learning

The Voice, May-June 2000
Terri Sasaki
More ›

Reflections on a Summer Institute

The Voice, May-June 2000
Emily Bradley, Stephanie Vanderslice
More ›

Coaching and the Invitational Summer Institute*

November 2000
Susan Bennett
A document presented at the 2000 NWP Annual Meeting by Susan Bennett, director of the Redwood Writing Project. Bennett's portion of the workshop was a discussion on coaching. Coaching is the process by which a summer institute director, site director, co-director, or experienced teacher-consultant helps a summer fellow prepare to share his or her best practice with institute colleagues. More ›

NWP's E-Anthology Generates Thoughtful Discussions

The Voice, November-December 2000
NWP's 2000 summer E-Anthology was enormously successful. Contributors talked about teaching and learning issues, and posted book reviews, memoirs, fiction, and poetry. More ›

Well-Seasoned Teacher Thrives at Summer Institute

The Voice, November-December 2000
Carol A. Lafrance
A middle-school teacher for twenty-eight years, Carol A. Lafrance finds she can still be a learner when she attends the Third Coast Writing Project's summer institute. More ›

An Intimate Exchange: First Voice

The Quarterly, Spring 2000
Ellen Newberry
More ›

An Intimate Exchange: Second Voice

The Quarterly, Spring 2000
Terri Frase
More ›

Taking Out the Furniture, or What's Obvious: Lessons from the Literature Institute for Teachers

The Quarterly, Winter 2000
Marjorie Roemer
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NWP: 25 Years of Excellent Readings: BAWP Then and Now

The Quarterly, Fall 1998
James Gray, Mary K. Healy, Carol Tateishi
The authors trace the history of reading selections explored at the summer institute, concluding that the selections have moved increasingly toward providing readings that look more like the communities from which our students come. More ›

NWP: 25 Years of Excellent Readings: NVWP Then and Now

The Quarterly, Fall 1998
Don Gallehr
More ›

Summer Institute Prompts Imaginative, 'Touching' Story

The Voice, Spring/Summer 1997
Angela Rose
More ›

The Truth About the Capital Area Writing Project, or, How I Became a Convert

The Voice, Spring/Summer 1997
Cheri Louise Ross
More ›

Taking Murray Personally

The Voice, Fall 1996
Paul Epstein, Fran Simone
More ›

Different Strokes: Composing in a Writing Group

The Quarterly, Spring 1995
Robert Burroughs
College teacher Robert Burroughs reflects on his experience with a writing group at a Writing Project Summer Institute. He reconstructs the process that he and the other members of his group went through in revising and editing his poem for the South Coast Writing Project's summer anthology, with reference to the literature on writing groups. He goes on to explore the difference between adult and student writing groups. More ›

Alex in Process Land

The Quarterly, Summer 1992
Gary A. Watson
More ›

Learning from Mistakes

The Quarterly, Summer 1990
William Strong
Strong takes a hard look at why presentations falter and suggests some strategies for self–evaluation and improvement. More ›

Working with Groups

The Quarterly, April 1988
Keith Tandy
More ›

Taking the Summer Institutes to the Teachers

The Quarterly, April 1985
Patricia P. Kelly, Warren P. Self
More ›

Writing in the Summer Institute: What We Do and Why

The Quarterly, May 1984
Bill Bridges
More ›

Response Groups and Responding - A Case in Point

The Quarterly, January 1983
Margaret Fleming, Suzanne Padgett, James Rankin
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Survival vs. Innovation: Testing the NWP Model

The Quarterly, June 1983
Nancy Grimm
Grimm writes "The power of the model does not come from strength reinforcing strength [but from] the expectation of strong contributions and the structure that allows the director the freedom to learn not teach . . . ." More ›


The Quarterly, March 1982
Site directors report on innovations that have allowed their sites to implement and build on the NWP model. More ›

Some Reflections on the Dynamics of Summer Institutes

The Quarterly, February 1981
Miriam Baker
More ›

Teaching the Directors

The Quarterly, February 1981
Mary F. Hayes, Max Morenberg, Gilbert Storms
The authors write of their first summer institute experience, "twenty three fellows and three directors. We taught them theory they taught us . . . [that] not only can teachers teach teachers they can also teach directors." More ›

The Process Journal, the Writing Autobiography, and the Teacher

The Quarterly, February 1981
Charles R. Duke
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Theory—In Practice

The Quarterly, February 1981
Sonja Schrag
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Thinking about the Consultant's Role: Activities for the Last Days of a Summer Writing Workshop

The Quarterly, February 1981
John Hollowell
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Minutes of a Summer Session

The Quarterly, March 1979
More ›

Changes that Matter

The Quarterly, November 1979
Billie Thompson
More ›

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