Upcoming Conferences

Reaching Out: Revising Writing Center Spaces and Identities

October 12-15, 2017


Hempstead, New York



Our invitation to focus on “reaching out” considers the various ways Writing Centers connect with stakeholders on our campuses, in cyberspace, and through research. Our Centers reach out to students we support, tutors we recruit, and faculty and administrators we wish to persuade. The extended theme of “Revising Writing Center Spaces and Identities” further seeks to generate inquiry, conversation, and debate about defining the spaces in which we practice. Our Centers value and revalue the literacies of both tutors and those who visit our spaces, allowing us to consider the reciprocal relationships between the identities of our Centers, our tutors, and the writers we support. Tutor-researchers are at the center of this work, recursively revising their Centers’ practices and pedagogy, through the creation of “new knowledge about writing and about tutor research” (Fitzgerald and Ianetta v). The keynote speakers for this conference will be Lauren Fitzgerald and Melissa Ianetta, authors of The Oxford Guide for Writing Tutors: Practice and Research.

Possible inquiries for this conference include, but are not limited to:

  • How do we encourage the development of community and collaboration among our tutors? How do we develop a community of writing that reaches out across our institutions?
  • How do we insure that our spaces reach those we support? In what ways can we strive to implement accessible, inclusive, and innovative learning strategies for both tutors and tutees in our centers?
  • How do our centers facilitate and support tutor-researchers? How does tutor research reach larger institutional audiences beyond our Centers to have an impact on our local campuses?
  • What should our physical and virtual spaces look like? How do these spaces facilitate or limit access to and within writing centers?
  • How are our mission statements reaching our intended audience? How do we create and implement missions that evoke a sense of opportunity and development rather than one of remediation or fix-it shop?
  • How can we implement opportunities for staff development in order to expand experiential learning?
  • How do we design and implement assessment mechanisms that helps us to reach our various goals?

Proposals will be accepted until April 15, 2017.

We will accept up to two proposals from one individual, as long as at least one of those proposals involves other presenters. The guidelines for proposals are as follows:

  • Individual Presentations: a 15-20-minute presentation that will be combined into a conference panel by program chairs.
  • Panel Presentations: 3-4 presentations of 15-20 minutes organized around one particular issue, question, or theme
  • Roundtables: 15-20 minutes of introductory remarks to framing a question or issue; presenters then facilitate discussion among attendees
  • Poster Presentations: organized as a research fair, presenters offer a visual representation of their research to discuss informally with attendees
  • Workshops: a 75-minute interactive session in which organizers facilitate engagement among participants to explore an issue, question, or theme

KEYNOTE SPEAKERS: Lauren Fitzgerald and Melissa Ianetta

Melissa Ianetta is Director of the Writing Center and Professor of English at the University of Delaware, as well as the incoming editor of College English. Lauren Fitzgerald is Director of the Wilf Campus Writing Center and Professor of English at Yeshiva University, where she chairs the Yeshiva College English Department. They have published on writing centers, writing center scholarship, writing program administration, rhetoric, teaching writing, and undergraduate research in journals such as Writing Center Journal, Writing Lab Newsletter, WPA: Writing Program Administration, College Composition and Communication, College English, Composition Studies, PMLA, and Rhetoric Review and in the recent edited collections A Rhetoric for Writing Program Administrators (2016), A Critical Look at Institutional Mission: A Guide for Writing Program Administrators (2016), Writing Stories: Composition and Rhetoric in High Schools and Normal Schools, 1839-1969 (2015), and How to Get Started in Arts and Humanities Research with Undergraduates (2014). They have both served as IWCA Summer Institute leaders and on the Council of Writing Program Administrators Executive Board and the CCCC Executive Committee. Together, they wrote The Oxford Guide for Writing Tutors: Practice and Research (2016) and, from 2008 to 2013, edited The Writing Center Journal. Perhaps most impressively, they have just realized that, between them, they have worked in a total of eight writing centers for a combined 50 years.

Feel free to contact Conference Chair Andrea Efthymiou at andrea.r.efthymiou@hofstra.edu with any questions. We look forward to seeing you at NCPTW 2017 at Hofstra University!

NCPTW 2018: The University of Texas, Rio Grande Valley, South Padre Island, Texas, November 2-4, 2018

NCPTW 2019: Joint Conference with IWCA, Columbus, Ohio, October 17-19, 2019