University of Minnesota
minnesota writing project
center for writing

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 teacher Molly Vasich's partnership with TruArt Speaks was recently featured in Educational Innovator. Click here for the article.

Apply for the 2017 LRNG Innovators Challenge here.

MWP video: Teachers Celebrate MWP’s Invitational Summer Institute

From our first institute in 1991 to 2016, 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 Teacher Showcase feature gives 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.

Tristi Wilson
Grade you teach:
7th grade
School: Century Middle School, Lakeville
Summer Institute Writing:
A Quiet Walk
Summer Institute Demonstration: Public Service Announcement Podcast (.pdf file)

Reflections on teaching:

How has the MWP experience impacted your teaching? Writing is every bit the equal to reading in developing literacy in students. Rather than being surreptitious about teaching writing ("should I really spend this amount of time on writing when we have an MCA test coming up?"), I can be more confident that writing is supporting my students, in all necessary ways. My own writing has shown me how journaling provides clarity I could not have achieved anyway else.

What are your beliefs about writing? Writing is essential in developing adolescent students—they want to know the "why"—and writing helps them. They want to know who they are—identity—and writing helps them. They want to more deeply understand their world—and writing helps them. It is a way to deepen critical thought in our students, our future citizens of this world.

image of bookWhat is a book on writing or the teaching of writing that you would recommend (and why)? Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg. Writing is demystified in this book, and her humorous and practical advice provide a novice or experienced writer to feel free "just to write." Reading her book is like entering into a Zen meditative state as she describes her own cerebral journey of being a writer.



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.


Stephanie Rollag Yoon, 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.

MWP is co-hosting the Scholastic Writing Awards Ceremony! 

Click here for details and for the list of award recipients!

Register for Saturday Sessions! 

Click here for step-by-step registration instructions. Questions?




Join us on Twitter link to MWP twitter page