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minnesota writing project
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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 teacherMolly Schned
Grade you teach:
School: Ramsey Middle School
Summer Institute Writing: An Encounter
Summer Institute Demonstration: Inspiring Original Student Voice with ArtsLiteracy (.pdf file)

Reflections on teaching:
How has the MWP experience impacted your teaching? The MWP has impacted my teaching by highlighting all the ways in which teachers can teach, support, and inspire each other. Being surrounded by thoughtful, reflective, and passionate teachers for three weeks in the midst of the summer months, away from the stress and bustle of the school year, reignited the enthusiasm and excitement I had for teaching when I first became a teacher and that a few tough years had somewhat diminished. I’m leaving the MWP filled with ideas, lessons, words of wisdom, support systems, and action plans for the year ahead that actually make me anxious to get back into the classroom.

What are your beliefs about writing? There is academic writing, which instructs, argues, or entertains, and academic writing is a necessary and valuable tool to get us through school and work and life. But there is also the kind of writing that just helps us sort through our own minds and our own experiences. It is a kind of writing that is difficult to teach because there is no right or wrong way of doing it. There is only doing it or not doing it. Doing it, though, is as valuable and as necessary as the academic writing is and arguably more so. This type of writing still requires the focus and the reflection needed to hone an academic piece, but it’s more personal and reflective or exploratory. For me, this kind of writing has been hard to do and it’s hard to get myself to do it. Having a group of people to show up for and share with and with whom I can work stuff out, though, has been the biggest step I’ve made towards becoming more of the writer I want to be—reflective, adventurous, and observant.


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

January 9 Building a Collaborative Writing 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.