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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 teacherKristen Wilking
Grade you teach:
K-5 Instructional Coach
School: Red Oak Elementary
Summer Institute Writing:
Two Classrooms
Summer Institute Demonstration: Where are you From?: Writing “Where I’m From” Poems (.pdf file)

Reflections on teaching:
How has the MWP experience impacted your teaching? The MWP experience has made me not only a better writer, but a better teacher of writing. I believe it will also impact my coaching because I will be able to help teachers see themselves as writers. I learned so much from other fellows at the MWP Summer Institute and I will be taking these resources and strategies back to the teachers I work with every day.

What are your beliefs about writing? Writing is tough, but I believe every student has the ability to become a writer. It is our job as teachers to instill confidence in our students and to show them that we are writers, too. I also believe that writing is essential, in every aspect of life. We need to make writing authentic and purposeful in schools.

book coverWhat is a book on writing or the teaching of writing that you would recommend (and why)? The 9 Rights of Every Writer by Vicki Spandel transformed the way I thought about writing and teaching writing. By reading it, teachers can help instill confidence in their students as writers. It is practical and balanced.


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


MWP Fall Workshop: Partnering to Explore Social Justice, Art, & Literacy
Featuring Tish Jones,
spoken word artist and Executive Director of TruArtSpeaks!

Click here for details.