Teachers Teaching Teachers
The National Writing Project is the premier effort to improve writing in America. It began at the University of California at Berkeley in 1974 and now has over 200 sites around the country, including the Southern Maine Writing Project at the University of Southern Maine. The Writing Project fosters an interdisciplinary community and support system of teachers, administrators, and specialists from all grade levels and content areas, K‑University. Get involved by applying to the Invitational Summer and Fall Institute. More >
SMWP: A Model At Work
We were recently featured in the current issue of the Model at Work which is "a rich collection of ideas, strategies and programs gathered from NWP sites across the country." The article, Southern Maine WP Tests Alternative Model for the Invitational Summer Institute, can be found in the left sidebar.
Our Own TCs Share Their Passion
Leah Siviski, a TC and a member of the Leadership Team, was recently interviewed by the Maine Educator about engaging students in writing while keeping an eye on standards: "When it comes to engaging students in writing to meet standards there are some fundamentals that have proven to work, and work well for South Portland High School English teacher Leah Siviski." The question and answer format shares strategies that can be used in any classroom.
TC Joanne Lannin published Finding a Way to Play, about the pioneers of women's basketball. An avid basketball player, Joanne shares her passion of the sport through her writing. Here is what ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan has to say about the book: “Joanne Lannin has played and covered the game of basketball with great fervor and passion, and in her new book she captures the spirit of the women who pioneered the sport she treasures. Their stories are inspiring, heartbreaking and infuriating, and they spring to life with the author’s steady voice guiding the way. If you love the game, you’ll love this book.” You can explore more of Joanne's work and order her book by visiting her blog. Finding a Way to Play is also available on Amazon.
TC Andy Young has collected a number of his columns into a self published book. Young Ideas: Twelve Extraordinarily Thought-Provoking Essays (And 58 Others) By An Exceptionally Ordinary Human Being consists of 70 different columns, each 800 words or less. They all previously appeared in one of eight different Maine newspapers. Andy points out that his selections were "intended to amuse, inspire and/or prompt life-changing epiphanies. With a little luck a couple of the really good ones might do all three." You can read more about the book, how to obtain a copy, Andy's interesting past, and an early aversion to writing in a recent interview.
TC Alisha Goldblatt published Finding a Way, a children's book about her son's rare chromosomal abnormality. It's a story from which readers of any age can take something. Here's a quick blurb from the Maine Author's Publishing page: "Finding a Way is the story of a little boy who moves thorough the world differently than other children. He walks a little differently. He speaks a little differently. He eats a little differently (okay, a lot differently). But Zev loves in the same way as everyone else." The book is listed on the Maine Author's Publishing site or on Amazon.
See more TCs in action.
Writing by the Sea: A Writing Retreat for Writers and Writing Teachers (August 4-6, 2015)
Join the Southern Maine Writing Project for an explorative and creative journey to one of Maine’s secret treasures, Burnt Island. One mile from Boothbay Harbor, this five-acre space is a stunning natural sanctuary where it’s easy to forget the toils of your daily routine and conjure up your creative and collaborative self. While surrounded by the spectacular sights and sounds of mid-Maine’s rocky coast, writers and writing teachers will be treated to the supreme luxury: time and space to compose. During this three-day, two-night getaway, participants will:
SMWP is one of the National Writing Projects of Maine
Young Writers Thrive in SMWP's Young Authors Camps
by Leah Siviski
What better way to spend a summer morning than sitting hunched over a composition notebook, thoughts whirling, pencil poised for brilliance? Dozens of school-aged kids in Southern Maine would say “Nothing’s better than that!” Those kids who attended SMWP’s Young Authors Camps spent many rich hours of summer exploring their imaginations and creativity with activities such as paint chip poetry, writing marathons, six-word memoirs, write around the room, and much, much more! Corinne Bevans, a rising seventh grader who attended the Yarmouth YAC, encapsulated her experience in this six-word memoir: “A marathon of inspiration to write.” Ahhhhhh...happy summer!