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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 a local site of the National Writing Project, which "focuses the knowledge, expertise, and leadership of our nation's educators on sustained efforts to improve writing and learning for all learners."

NEW! 2018 Summer Youth Camps

Starting in summer 2018, MWP will facilitate youth writing camps for students entering 5th through 8th grade. Our enthusiastic summer camp leaders are currently practicing licensed teachers who bring energy and experience to the teaching of writing. All camps will take place at the University of Minnesota. Click here for details!

MWP in the news

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

MWP and National Student Poet winner, Ben Lee, recently visited Fox 9 with Leah Beno.

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Minnesota's 2018 Scholastic Writing National Award Winners  

Showcasing MWP 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.

Juliet Dana
Grade you teach:
10th and 11th Grade (History)
School: Marin Academy (San Rafael, CA)
Summer Institute Writing:
Pantoum for Americans, quiet and otherwise
Teaching Demonstration: Predict and Reveal: Sequencing Topic Sentences towards a Thesis

Reflections on teaching

How has your participation in the Summer Institute influenced your beliefs about the instruction of writing? The Summer Institute reignited my excitement about and conviction in the power of writing. By working alongside teachers who work with all grade levels and in a variety of disciplines, I got inspiration for writing prompts and lessons in a host of genres, at a wide array of stages in the writing process, and using an impressive array of mentor texts.

Describe one “take-away” from the Summer Institute that you plan to share with your colleagues or implement in your classroom. The more opportunities I create for students to write, the more I can encourage student voice, choice, and awareness of other perspectives. I will emphasize that authentic writing includes writing for many purposes.

In what ways does writing positively impact your students? By providing them the time to experience their own writing process, I think we can apply that to remember that all the writing we read -- often framed, in my class, as primary and secondary sources -- was crafted by someone, who had choices and limitations in how they shared their ideas, as they do.

What do students need in your school to become better writers? I think we ought to pivot towards prioritizing revisions, working on finding several ways to express a main idea and then evaluating which is the most effective for the audience and message. Especially in social studies, I would like to spend more time teaching that a thesis-driven paragraph (or essay) can take several forms and still be powerful, persuasive writing.

What is a resource on writing or the teaching of writing that you would recommend (and why)?
The National Writing Project, of course! Reading A Good Time for the Truth:Race in Minnesota this summer inspired me tremendously; the anthology is filled with masterful storytelling, and each piece takes the genre of essay or memoir and offers a lesson on craft. I was raised in Minnesota but live in California now, and every essay rang true to my knowledge of Minnesota and also bore resemblance to my knowledge of California. I believe these essays are relevant for readers anywhere in the United States.


link to past showcases page

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



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.

 Support MWP today! Donate to a MWP Youth Writing Camp Scholarship here

Click here to see the 2018 Scholastic Writing Award winners!




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