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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 teacherLaura Stelter
Grade you teach:
10-12 ESL
School: Shattuck-St. Mary’s School
Summer Institute Writing: Bus Sisters
Summer Institute Demonstration: Access Points: Inviting Students into Complex Text (.pdf file)

Reflections on teaching:
How has the MWP experience impacted your teaching? Ideas that I gleaned from the MWP experience are going to reshape a lot of the work that I do in my classroom. I learned a great deal during the Institute from my talented peers, and I look forward to drawing on those connections in the future. I found that I was doing well, but I can take my teaching of reading and writing to whole new level with the information I was exposed to here. I also felt I found my voice as a writer, and I have new insight into how I might help my students find their own.

What are your beliefs about writing? People often seem to feel that writing is a gift reserved for a chosen few, but I believe it is a skill that can be developed. With practice and supportive guidance, anyone can become a better writer. I also believe writing and thinking are closely connected—the process of writing can help us explore our thoughts and lead us to new discoveries. Writing can bring order to the chaos of our thoughts, because it requires that we articulate them—or at least put them out there. Writing is also empowering, giving us a series of choices that are ours to make, and by making those choices, allowing us to influence others.

book coverWhat is a book on writing or the teaching of writing that you would recommend (and why)?
My favorite book about writing is Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life, by Anne Lamott. She makes writing feel accessible, emphasizing that anyone can do it (though not everyone will be published…but that isn’t important!). Also, she makes you laugh, and when you can laugh with your writing, it feels less like a daunting task and more like a dear friend with whom you would like to spend some time.


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

February 6 Connecting in a One-to-One 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.