Invitational Summer/Fall Institute 2019!
The SMWP is happy to announce that the Invitational Summer/Fall Institute will be offered in 2019! Orientation will be held Saturday 6/1 from 8:30-3:30, and the 3-credit graduate course will meet 6/26, 27 & 28 and 7/1 & 7/2 from 8:30-3:30. Check back in January for more information.
Breaking News: Balancing Act 2, an anthology of poetry by 50 contemporary Maine women of all ages and from all over the state, has been released. The original Balancing Act, collecting the writing of 10 Maine women poets, came out in 1975. Both anthologies are published by Littoral Books, right here in Portland, ME. Illustrations by the local sculptor Celeste Roberge and our very own Kate Kennedy wrote the introduction. https://littoralbooks.com
Our Professional Learning Network
It is no surprise that the Southern Maine Writing Project is comprised of
talented and gifted educators eager to share and learn from one another.
This year, we're expanding and deepening our SMWP Professional Learning Network (PLN). Once a month, we're inviting Teaching Consultants to reflect on their practice with questions posed through Community Conversations. Your responses, ideas, and resources are curated and shared.
Adventures in Art & Writing
New to the 2017 Institute, Fellows will spend an afternoon at the Portland Museum of Art touring the collection to inspire their own writing and to learn about the wide variety of programs the PMA offers to students. Museum Educators Louisa Donelson and Phillippa Pitts will guide the group as they engage in conversation, inquiry, and interactive activities that spark creativity, critical thinking, and hands-on learning.
This is an exciting collaboration. Thank you so much to the PMA for this amazing opportunity!
Sharing Our Passion
Anne Tommaso - TC and teacher of English at Yarmouth HIgh School. The article from the Portland Press Herald leads to Anne's wonderful words introduced by Gibson Fay-LeBlanc. When Words Were A Lesser Form
Kate Kennedy - TC, member of the Leadership Team, and former director of SMWP - recently released her latest book. Maine's Remarkable Women: Daughters, Wives, Sisters, and Mothers Who Shaped History is a collection of stories of 15 determined Maine women who made great contributions to their communities while breaking through gender barriers. Here is a review from the Portland Press Herald.
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.
See more Teaching Consultants in action.
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SWMP is one of Maine's National Writing Projects
Resources and Articles
SMWP is a vibrant professional learning network. Current articles and resources can be found by viewing our Flipboard.
Voices From Our Community
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 >
Young Authors Camp Reflections
Teen Authors To Tailor Their Topics At Summer Camp
by Dawn De Busk
NAPLES — It only takes a flick of the wrist to create a utopia where only best friends and favorite pastimes exist.
It only takes a flick of the wrist to concoct a post-apocalyptic world where daily life is for those with a warrior’s heart.
That is the magic of writing. The magic of transforming an idea into the written word is why agencies like the Southern Maine Writing Project (SMWP) promote writing camps. READ THE FULL ARTICLE
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.”