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Summer 2015

June 29 - July 17, 2015 (Monday through Friday), 8:30 a.m.-4:00 p.m. daily
Orientation Day, June 6, 2015

The Western Massachusetts Writing Project's 22nd annual Summer Institute will run June 29 - July 17, 2015 (Mon. to Fri.) at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. It will be facilitated by WMWP co-directors, technology liaison, and teacher consultants. Teachers in all subjects, grades K-12, are eligible to apply. Teams of teachers from the same school or district are encouraged to apply. Deadline for applications is March 1st.

The Institute's goals:

- to help participating teachers reflect upon their own expertise as teachers of writing and share this knowledge with their peers;

- to help participating teachers organize and prepare ways of presenting this expertise to teachers outside WMWP;

- to make available to participating teachers the latest theory and research in the field;

  • - to help participating teachers see themselves as writers.

The Summer Institute program embodies these four goals, which reflect the philosophy of the National Writing Project. Participants will prepare and present professional workshops, read current theory and research in their chosen area, conduct informal action research projects in their classrooms, do their own self-directed writing, and help their colleagues with this writing through writing response groups.

The Schedule:

The Summer Institute is scheduled five days per week (Monday through Friday). Days run from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. A major part of each day will be devoted to developing and participating in workshops in preparation for possible future work as a teacher-consultant; other portions of the day will be devoted to personal writing and to a classroom-based research project.

There will be an orientation day in June and follow-up meetings during the 2015-2016 academic year (dates TBA).

Participants will receive a $400 stipend, 112 PDP units, and free parking, and will be eligible to register for 6 graduate credits.

If you have any questions about the institute, please contact institute director Alicia Lopez or call the office at 413-545-5466.

Apply to the Summer Institute

Know someone who might be interested? Download the brochure.


Summer 2014


Summer Institute
July 7-25, 2014 (Monday through Friday), 8:30 a.m.-4:00 p.m. daily, Orientation Day, June 7, 2014

Teachers in all subjects, grades K-12 are eligible to apply. Teams of teachers from the same school or district are encouraged to apply. Space is limited, so apply early. Click here for more information.

The 2014 Summer Institute has support from the UMass Center for the Study of African American Language, the English Department, and the College of Humanities and Fine Arts as well as the National Writing Project. 

Writing and the Teaching of Writing, 3 credits                                  

MTuWedTh, June 30-July 3, July 14-July 17, July 21-July 24, 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.                                                                                                      

This course is designed for K-16 writing teachers and all teachers who use writing as a teaching tool.  It will focus on theoretical and practical questions related to the nature of the writing process and the challenges of teaching writing, particularly in light of the new Common Core literacy standards.  The aim of the course will be to provide participants opportunities to reflect on their own literacy learning and teaching experiences, to explore composition theory and research, and to examine current issues in the teaching of writing.  Readings and research projects will focus on writing process and its linguistic, psychological, and socio-cultural underpinnings.  Concepts such as audience, voice, identity, and dialect – as well as practical matters such as teaching grammar, working with English Language Learners, and incorporating technology – will all be considered. 

A key assumption of this course is that the best way to learn about writing is to write – in a variety of modes and for a range of purposes – and to reflect on the complex processes involved in that act.  Participants can expect to write regularly: low-stakes experiments in different genres, informal reading responses, portfolio reflections, a literacy self-study, and a well-documented research essay will all be part of the mix.  Class meetings will include discussions, workshops, response groups, and presentations.  Limit: 16.  This course fulfills a core requirement for the Western Massachusetts Writing Project Certificate in the Teaching of Writing but is open to all. 

67.5 Pdps.  3 credit option. This course, if taken for graduate credit,  fulfills a core requirement for the Western Massachusetts Writing Project Certificate in the Teaching of Writing but is open to all.  Limit:  16.  Instructors:  Bruce M. Penniman and Anne Herrington

WMWP Registration fee:  $225.  Once this fee is paid and you are accepted, if you wish to register for graduate course credit, you would do so with UMass Amherst Continuing and Professional  Education at  The course is English 712.  CPE registration fee is $100 per credit plus $45 registration fee.

NOTE: Only those who have registered with WMWP and been accepted will be authorized to enroll for credit.  Registration deadline: June 16, 2014

Teachers as Writers
Monday-Friday, July 28 - August 1, UMass Amherst.

Join teacher-author Lucile Burt and other teacher writers during this one week workshop that builds on the premise that teachers of writing benefit most from working on their own writing and identity as writers. We will explore ways to generate new material, to complete unfinished work, to develop writing habits, and to foster support for writing through ongoing groups.  Although we will explore various model texts and different genres, participants are welcome to use the week to continue work they have already begun.  The group will write together in the morning, take private writing time midday, and share and respond in the afternoon. Open to new participants as well as alumni from previous Teachers as Writers workshops.

Here’s what past participants have said about the workshop and Lucile:  “Excellent!  Dedicated writers, insightful response, thoughtful and generous leadership, lots of flexibility and inspiration.”  “I really enjoy the challenge of writing in different genres. What’s best?  Having the time to write and share for response.”  “The daily writing exercises were a terrific catalyst!  Lots of new ideas each day made the writing fresh and easier to begin.” 

Registration fee: $150. 30 PDPS.  One graduate credit available through Continuing and Professional Education for $100 per credit plus $45 CPE registration fee. Limit 20.  Register here.