Research Grant Winners Announced!

FireworksIWCA is pleased to announce the winners of our July Research Grants.

The July 2015 IWCA Research Grant has been awarded to Dawn Fels, Clint Gardner, Maggie Herb, and Lila Naydan for their research on the working conditions of non-tenure line, contingent writing center workers.

The July 2015 IWCA Ben Rafoth Graduate Research Grant has been awarded to Rebecca Hallman for her research on writing center partnerships with disciplines across campus.

Congratulations to our winners, and thanks to all who applied!


IWCA Elections Are Open — Vote Today!

Vote!The IWCA is currently holding an election for three open positions: Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer.

These terms begin at NCTE in Fall 2015 and are two-year terms. The VP is a six-year commitment: VP becomes president in Fall 2017 and then past president in Fall 2019.

Duties of each office are described in both the IWCA constitution and in the bylaws (

The election will begin at 12:01 am on Monday, August 17, and ballots must by cast by midnight Eastern Daylight Time on Monday, August 31, 2015. Votes will be cast electronically and anonymously.

Only current IWCA members are permitted to cast votes. If your membership has expired, now is a good time to renew so you won’t miss this year’s election.

Visit to vote or to renew your membership and vote.

#IWCA15 Keynote: Warhol in the Writing Center with Dr. Ben Rafoth!

Be sure to join us at #IWCA15 on Thursday, October 8 at 8:45am for the conference keynote,“Faces, Factories, and Warhols:  A r(Evoluntionary) Future for Writing Centers” given by Dr. Ben Rafoth of Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

Dr. Ben Rafoth
Dr. Ben Rafoth

The combination of revolution and evolution, the theme of this conference, invites us to think expansively and even radically, and today I would like to do just that. The annual meeting of the IWCA offers a fresh perspective on the particulars of our lives and work–the kind of fresh perspective you sometimes feel when you experience great art. The extraordinary creativity of an artist like Warhol is easy to take for granted, in part because Warhol and his followers helped to shape the world we live in today. That is the amazing, and terrifying thing about revolutions and revolutionaries–they never leave the world as they found it. And so if we want to make a difference, it pays to study those who have done so. What can we learn about writing centers from Andy Warhol?

#IWCA15 Featured Session: Makerspaces with Dr. David Sheridan!

Be sure to join us at #IWCA15 on Saturday, October 10 at 6:30pm for this featured talk, “We’re Making It!: What Can Writing Centers Learn from Makerspaces?” given by Dr. David Sheridan of Michigan State University. 

Dr. David Sheridan
Dr. David Sheridan

Recent years have seen the emergence of makerspaces: community gathering spaces where people can access old and new tools for making things.  At makerspaces, one often encounters the latest digital fabrication technologies, like laser cutters and 3D printers. But one also finds more traditional making tools as well, including kilns, looms, and sewing machines.  It’s not uncommon to encounter traditional writing technologies, like movable type and letterpresses.  Even more important than these technologies, however, is the fact that makerspaces are populated with people devoted to helping each other put these old and new tools to creative use.  What can writing centers learn from these spaces?  This presentation builds on some striking commonalities that writing centers and makerspaces share: a commitment to peer-based learning and collaboration; a desire to create a safe space for risk-taking and experimentation; a healthy disregard for more formal educational structures; and, of course, the goal of nurturing processes of making themselves (variously referred to as “composing,” “designing,” “creating,” and “inventing”). Indeed, writing centers have always been a kind of makerspace.  At the same time, I argue that these new spaces can teach us something.  I examine practices of play, spontaneity, and technology-use found in makerspaces in order to suggest some lenses for refreshing our vision of writing center work.

#IWCA15 Registration Deadline is August 8!

IWCA_logo_2015_revised_300dpi10inches-300x300The 2015 IWCA conference is going to be exciting, and you won’t want to miss it! We hope that you will plan to join us in Pittsburgh to examine the theme, Writing Center (r)Evolutions. With a fabulous program of sessions and Ben Rafoth as the keynote speaker, this year’s conference will create many opportunities to share and imagine innovations in writing center pedagogies, practices, spaces, and programs. We hope you can join us and participate in these dynamic and exciting conversations.

The registration deadline to appear on the conference program is August 8. To accept an invitation to appear on the conference program, please make sure to register before the deadline.

To register for the conference: Login or create an account at Once logged into the system, you will see an option to register under “Available Conference Registrations.” Click “Register for this conference.”

Make sure to reserve your room at the Wyndham Grand Pittsburgh Downtown soon, as we’re expecting a great crowd:

You can follow the 2015 IWCA conference updates at #IWCA15 and @IWCA_NCTE.