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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 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.

photo of teacherCarleen Matts-Behrends
Grade you teach:
ninth grade
School: Hopkins North Junior High
Summer Institute Writing:
The Story of Our Stories
Summer Institute Demonstration: Darkness and Light (.pdf file)

Reflections on teaching:

How has the MWP experience impacted your teaching? The MWP experience has renewed my resolve to slow down and allow my students to experience a higher volume of writing, rather than focus solely on making sure I am covering all of the Common Core State Standards requirements. We are building minds, not checklists, and in order for our students to be fully engaged in the learning process, we need to honor their stories, connections, and idea test drives.

What are your beliefs about writing? Writing is both a personal and communal expression of who we are as human beings. It is one of the finest dualities in existence because it has the power to:

• rip us apart and put us back together
• connect and alienate
• build and deconstruct
• celebrate and critique
• solve and convolute
• organize and make a mess
• reveal and disguise
• shout and whisper
• be simple or complicated ...often at the same time and in the same place.

Thank goodness for this beautiful paradox!

What is a book on writing or the teaching of writing that you would recommend (and why)? Write Like This, by Kelly Gallagher, is a practical guide for exploring a wide range of writing styles in the classroom that is both accessible to teachers of all levels and grounded in the lives of their students. Gallagher shows us how to use mentor texts to help students grow into the idea that they are writers—and when they understand that they, themselves, make choices as writers, they better grasp that professionals do the very same thing. Seeing that lightbulb go off for them is one of those perks of being an English teacher! 


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?

Apply for the MWP CRWP Advanced Institute!



Join us on Twitter link to MWP twitter page