Share Your #4c15 Writing Center Ideas!

IWCA Collab 15We’re back from yet another fun and productive CCCC! We attended many great panels and workshops at both the IWCA Collaborative and the main conference, and we’re flush with ideas!

How about you? Let’s share! Tweet us at @IWCA_NCTE and tell us one thing you discovered at #4c15 that you plan to use in your own writing center. Tag it with #4c15 and #WCIdeas. 

Don’t forget, there are only a few days left to submit a proposal to #IWCAConf15! Think you could turn one of your #WCIdeas into a proposal…and start some #WCrEvolutions? Submit here!


Julie’s Top Ten “Burgh Things” to See and Do at #IWCAConf15

IWCA At-Large Rep Julie Platt is probably a little too excited to show you around her hometown. But can you blame her? Pittsburgh is a fun, friendly, and fascinating city with a rich history and bright future. Let Julie give you a preview tour of the ‘Burgh before you arrive in October!

Go for a walk at Point State Park. The Wyndham Grand’s front door opens to this beautiful downtown park. Walk along the Three Rivers and take a photo by the fountain at the former site of Fort Pitt and Fort Duquesne.

Get creative at The Warhol or the Mattress Factory. A quick bus or taxi ride from the Wyndham will take you to the North Side, where you can see some incredible contemporary art. The Warhol’s collection includes recognizable classics and rotating exhibits by new artists while The Mattress Factory is dedicated to cutting-edge installation pieces.

Root for the black and gold at PNC Park, Heinz Field, or the Console Energy Center. Pittsburgh is the city of champions, and our sports teams call these three beautiful venues home. While you’re on the North Side, take in the skyline view from PNC Park.32RWncK

Visit Mister Rogers. While the Neighborhood of Make-Believe at WQED Studios is closed to the public (except for special events), you can visit the statue of Fred Rogers on the North Shore before you head elsewhere.

Eat a Primanti Bros’ sandwich. Pittsburgh is famous for piling French fries and vinegar-dressed cole slaw inside deli sandwiches—not on the side. Head east from downtown to find the original Primanti’s in the Strip District, Pittsburgh’s historic market district.


Take in the past at the Heinz History Center or the Carnegie Museum of Natural History. On your way to sandwich bliss, stop at the Heinz History Center, which celebrates Western Pennsylvania history, including the Sports Museum that honors the famous Homestead Grays and Pittsburgh Crawfords Negro League teams. Or, take a bus or taxi to Oakland to see the dinosaurs the Carnegie is famous for, including a massive, complete T. Rex skeleton.

Check out the Cathedral of Learning at the University of Pittsburgh. Walk a few short blocks from the Carnegie to get to this immense Gothic cathedral, which is the tallest educational building in the Western hemisphere. Take a tour of the Nationality Rooms, or hang out in the Commons Room and pretend you’re at Hogwarts.


Get back to nature at the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium, the National Aviary, or Phipps Conservatory. The Zoo and Aquarium, located a bus ride from the Wyndham, are world-class, and the National Aviary on the North Side has hundreds of species of birds. Phipps Conservatory, in Oakland, offers beautiful seasonal exhibits of plants and flowers year-round.

Celebrate Pittsburgh’s zombie heritage. While he wasn’t born in the ‘Burgh, George A. Romero has set virtually all of his classic zombie flicks in and around Pittsburgh. Take an excursion to Evans City to see the cemetery featured in Night of the Living Dead, or drive a few miles to Monroeville Mall for Dawn of the Dead déjà vu. The truly brave can check out the Pittsburgh Zombie Outbreak, an “interactive haunted paintball ride” offering a chance to hunt the undead.

Chill out on the South Side. After a productive day of sessions, walk across the Smithfield Street Bridge to some of the trendy restaurants and bars on East Carson, or take the Duquesne Incline to Mount Washington for another truly amazing view of the city.

DuqIncline21Join writing center professionals from around the world in Pittsburgh this fall for #IWCAConf15 as we celebrate #WCrEvolutions!

Get Ready to Fall In Love with Pittsburgh at #IWCAConf15!

One thing that makes this year’s IWCA Conference special is its location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, one of America’s most unique and dynamic cities. At least that’s what IWCA At-Large Rep Julie Platt (a born and bred Pittsburgher) thinks. Pittsburgh_WEO_Night_1

Check the IWCA Blog later this week for Julie’s list of top-ten must sees in the Steel City. For now, enjoy this pic of Pittsburgh’s famous skyline, and think about writing center (r)Evolutions!

Weekend To-Do: Think About #WCrEvolutions!

IWCA_logo_2015_revised_300dpi10inches-300x300It’s Friday evening. What’s your weekend looking like? Think you might have some time to consider your proposals for the IWCA Conference 2015?

We invite you to consider writing center (r)evolutions: the ways in which we create our writing center pedagogies, practices, spaces, and programs through artistic and technological innovations.

We will meet in Pittsburgh, PA, the Steel City, at the Wyndham Hotel to explore writing center (r)evolutions and the ways that these (r)evolutions move writing center conversations forward. Playing on Pittsburgh’s own evolution, we encourage proposals that consider the evolution of your own writing centers and writing center work. Successful proposals might focus on new communities, places, and spaces, and be inspired by (but not limited to) the following threads:

  • Working class and the visual arts–how writing centers channel blue collar versions of Andy Warhol
  • Ways in which visual arts and multimodal composition are at work in writing centers
  • The development of multiliteracy centers and related approaches
  • How writing centers allow students to create and connect
  • Ways in which notions of labor and unions figure in conversations about our work
  • The evolution of working with multilingual writers and multilingual writing

Program Format

The 2015 IWCA Conference consists primarily of 75-minute Concurrent Sessions offered Thursday morning through late Saturday afternoon. Concurrent Sessions may consist of full panel presentations (3 or more presenters); individual presentations (1-2 presenters, 15 minutes) grouped together by topic; roundtable discussions led by two or more facilitators; poster presentations; workshops led by two or more facilitators; Ignite presentations; and Special Interest Groups. Featured presentations will be organized by the Program Chair. Poster sessions will take place on Thursday and Friday afternoons. Special Interest Groups (SIGs) will be offered during 60-minute meeting times on Thursday and Friday evenings.

  • Concurrent Sessions: Individual presentation or conference paper. You will be placed on the program with other presenters with similar interests.
  • Panel Presentations: 3 to 4 presentations of 15-20 minutes each on a particular theme or question.
  • Individual Presentations: 15-20 minute papers that will be combined into a panel by the program chairs.
  • Roundtable Discussions: 15 minutes of introductory comments/question framing by the presenters and then a discussion among attendees.
  • Poster Presentations: A research-fair style presentation of research in which the presenter(s) create a visual argument and informally discuss their research with attendees.
  • Workshop Sessions: 75-minute interactive sessions that encourage participant involvement. Consider including manipulatives, games, etc. to encourage interaction.
  • Ignite Sessions: 5 minute presentations that include 20 presentation slides (PPT or Keynote), each lasting 15 seconds.
  • Special Interest Groups: Special Interest Groups (SIGs) would meet for one hour during the conference. SIGs are typically informal conversations with colleagues and peers. Proposals should include a brief description and overview of how participants will be involved.

Proposal Guidelines

  1. Follow the proposal guidelines.
  2. Be specific and clear about the focus and purpose of your proposal. No supplemental material will be accepted.
  3. Session descriptions should be no more than 300 words. Abstracts should be 70-100 words.
  4. Submit proposals by the deadline: April 1, 2015.
  5. Program invitations will be sent to presenters by May 15, 2015.
  6. All presenters must accept invitations, register, and pay registration fee by August 8, 2015, in order to appear in the conference program.
  7. All presenters and contact information must be accurate and up to date by August 8, 2015.

Please contact Russell Carpenter, Program Chair, at or 859-622-7403 with any questions regarding the conference proposal submission process.

  • More complex and layered ways that writing centers get their work done
  • Ways writing centers respond to the increasingly complex definitions of writing
  • How writing centers foster research, development, and innovation
  • Ways writing centers move institutions forward and build momentum for campus-wide initiatives
  • Ways writing centers reach beyond institutional walls through literacy and partnership activities