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Minnesota Writing Project.Center for Writing's home page.

Minnesota Writing Project

The Minnesota Writing Project aims to improve K–college literacy in Minnesota. Housed within the Center for Writing at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities, MWP is the local site of the National Writing Project, an authorized provider of No Child Left Behind.

MWP video: Teachers Celebrate MWP’s Invitational Summer Institute

From our first institute in 1991 to 2015, teachers share their experiences of participating.  Enjoy this short video featuring  several teachers identifying the impact the institute has had on their personal and professional lives.   

Ann Thompson, Producer
Charlie McCarron, Videographer

click here for a full-screen version of the video

Showcasing MWP teachers:

Much of what we read in the local education section of the newspaper describes shifting tests scores or school closings. It is infrequent that we are offered a peek into the mind and heart of teachers. Our new Teacher Showcase feature will give our recent ISI participants a chance to speak their mind about the teaching of writing and the need for quality professional development. Return often to read these profiles.

photo of teacherSean Bailey
Grade you teach:
7th and 8th
School: Ramsey Middle School
Teacher website:
Summer Institute Writing: Look Both Ways
Summer Institute Demonstration: Stake Your Claim! (.pdf file)

Reflections on teaching:
How has the MWP experience impacted your teaching? Participating in a writing group with caring, passionate, and creative professional educators has really shown me the power of creating a writing community. Through the course of our group sessions and the demonstration lessons I rediscovered the power of writing on a personal level, which has energized me as a teacher of writing.

Being surrounded by this awesome group of people has also allowed me to see how other folks passionate about teaching people of all ages approach the often-daunting task of literacy education. To put it more simply: I have all sorts of new tools and ideas for my own classroom!

What are your beliefs about writing? “I want my students to know they have choices in their lives, and those choices affect others as well as themselves. I want them to know that many of those choices are based on their personal beliefs and opinions that are grounded in their experiences. Their ability to share their beliefs and opinions can nudge the world a little.” — Linda Rief in Read Write Teach

I want to empower my students by helping them find their voice and nudge the world a little.

But beyond writing’s “nudging” ability I also believe writing is a tool to organize thinking, a powerful form of self-expression, and ultimately a way to make meaning in the world and in our personal lives.

book coverWhat is a book on writing or the teaching of writing that you would recommend (and why)?
I would recommend the book Read Write Think by Linda Rief. As I mentioned above I really agree with her philosophy, and she has tons of really cool activities that I plan to implement in my 7th and 8th grade ELA Workshop classes.


link to past showcases page

Believing that teachers can empower other teachers, members provide an environment in which teachers can learn from one another and then share that learning with others in their classrooms, departments, schools, and districts. MWP is committed to improving the literacy of all students, strengthening university and school collaboration on reading and writing instruction, and increasing the professional power of teachers in meeting state standards and the curricular demands of NCLB.


Identifies exemplary teachers who can teach other teachers

Encourages teachers to write

Assists schools and districts in identifying their literacy needs and supports them in meeting those needs through pertinent staff development

Supports long-term reform and improvement in literacy instruction through classroom-based, action research

Maintains partnerships between schools and the University

Promotes cultural, racial, and ethnic diversity and understanding within MWP

For additional information, see About MWP.


Muriel Thompson, Director

The Minnesota Writing Project is funded in part by the Center for Writing, the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Minnesota, and the National Writing Project.

Join us on Twitter link to MWP twitter page

2016 Saturday Session Workshops—Collaborations & Connections in the ELA Classroom

March 5 Community Connections in the Classroom

Download the PDF flyer and register online

We are getting ready for the 2016 MWP Invitational Summer Institute.

Interested in applying? Fill out our online form or go to our ISI webpage for more info and application materials.

Want to nominate a colleague? Let us know on our online form.