RI Writing Project

people at India Point Park

The RIWP Spring Conference is BACK!

Saturday, March 18, 2023
8:30 a.m. - 2:15 p.m.
Rhode Island College, Alger Hall 110

For the first time since 2019, RIWP is pleased to host its annual Spring Conference in person. The theme of this year’s event, Right to Write: Pedagogical, Personal, and Public Possibilities, focuses on reclaiming our agency as teachers, writers, and public intellectuals, and is open to all K-16 educators. Over the course of the day, attendees will examine how our right to write in and outside of our classrooms, with our students, on our own, and in public is central to our professional and personal lives.

Kurt Ostrow headshot
Kurt Ostrow

RIWP is pleased to welcome Kurt Ostrow as the keynote speaker at this year’s conference. Kurt currently studies creative writing at The Ohio State University. Before moving to Columbus, he taught English and LGBTQ Studies for six years in Fall River Public Schools. He served on the board of the Fall River Educators Association, the Massachusetts Teachers Association, and the Providence Student Union. As part of this work, Kurt helped to start the FRPS Diversity and Equity Committee as well as the MTA Climate Action Network. He received fellowships to attend Smith College for his MAT, then Middlebury's Bread Loaf School of English for his MA. He publishes regularly in Rethinking Schools and elsewhere.

In addition to the keynote, the conference will feature traditional workshops, roundtable discussions, and renewal sessions that will provide the chance for participants to connect with teacher-friends from across the state, share their expertise, learn something new, and bring the RIWP spirit back to their lives!

Register

RIC teacher candidates register via this google form.
All other participants use this form titled Spring Conference Registration.
If paying with cash or PO, fill out this PDF form.

group photo on dock
writers outside workshop
young writers outside

Programs and Events

Exciting news!  You can now register for RIWP Spring and Summer Events.  See below for more information on each event. If you have questions, please email riwritingproject@gmail.com

The 2023 Spring Conference will take place in-person at Rhode Island College on March 18, 2023 from 8:30 a.m. to 2:15 p.m. and is open to all educators K-16. The theme of this year's conference is Right to Write: Pedagogical, Personal, and Public Possibilities and features teacher, writer, and union activist Kurt Ostrow as the keynote speaker. The day will also include RIWP’s usual diverse lineup of workshops centered on literacy activities that are professionally and personally relevant to participants. At a time when educators’ lives are fraught with challenges and tensions, we hope you will join us for a day that promises to be both informative and restorative!

Register

RIC teacher candidates register via this google form.
NON RIC teacher candidates use this form titled Spring Conference Registration.
If paying with cash or PO, fill out this PDF form.

The RIWP Open Air Institute spent three days in August focused on the theme “Transportation:  Here, There, and Everywhere in RI.” We began our journey in South Kingstown on Day 1, moved out to Middletown for Day 2, and wrapped up our event on Day 3 by visiting Pawtucket and Central Falls. Nineteen teachers braved three of the hottest days of the summer exploring both the literal and figurative concept of transportation in our different venues. We examined not only the historical and cultural aspects of transportation in our state, but also reflected on its personal and professional connection to us. Whether writing postcards from a character’s perspective at the West Kingstown train station, examining land acknowledgment documents and considering our arrival (and eventual departure) in teaching in Middletown, or reflecting on nostalgic memories at Apex in Pawtucket and our own personal “bibles” in Central Falls, participants engaged in writing, sharing, and building community. 

Participant Feedback

“It was great to further the excellence of the three-day OAI. Simply the most enriching experience, the kind that "revisits" my mind and heart and soul these days following.”

“The OAI this year was wonderful, as always.”

“I had a great time again this year! I looked forward to the week all summer.”

group photo outside of a building
writers at a farm hiking
solitary writer outside

New Teacher Camp is a free offering designed for teachers entering their first - third years. This supportive and fun community of “campers” worked together to develop strategies for successful teaching practices, efficient daily routines, self-care, and lifelines for your first few years.  Even if you missed this summer, camp counselors Seth Curran and Nora Pace provide office hours once a month throughout the school year. Camp office hours will continue to be on the first Thursday of the month through the end of 2022. November 3 will be virtual and December 1 will be in-person at Apponaug. You may signup online.

Participant Feedback

“I liked seeing two very different but passionate teachers explain their philosophies. It makes me feel comfortable to be myself as a teacher. I also feel more connected to my writing practice so that I can better teach my students to write.”

“Your advice was organized, practical, and high-quality.” 

“I also felt more inspired to write creatively so I unexpectedly spent a good amount of time outside of the school workshop completing that piece.”

“I didn’t know what to expect going in, but the time seemed to fly by because I was learning so much and very engaged. Great job! It was great to meet both of you and I feel very supported as a new teacher. I’m glad we got to write for a good portion of the time as well.”

teachers at a table outside

We welcomed seven teachers to the Summer Institute with this year’s focus on “Re-Vision: Advocacy in Our Classrooms and Beyond.”  Participants learned and shared new strategies, workshopped lessons, and wrote daily, creating personal and professional pieces. Friday field trips took them to some of the most beautiful places in Rhode Island to write and bask in the sunshine.

Participant Feedback

“As an educator and human being, I find myself more enabled to act on behalf of myself, my colleagues, and my students learning what I have during these past two weeks.”

“I was very thankful to focus on re-vision and advocacy after the stressful year I had had; I was able to look back at the advocacy from the previous year and analyze it to move forward and figure out how to better go about it in the future. It made me ready to start fresh.”

“I didn't expect to leave as changed as I did at the end of the two weeks. I'm so grateful to SI for allowing me the space and time to get used to my own voice again, and use writing as a way to heal some things I didn't know I needed to. It was an exciting and engaging way to conceptualize this next school year, and all of the activities, supplements, and strategies that we used during SI are things that excited me about using in my own classroom. It eliminated a lot of nerves about heading back into the school year, and gave me a community that truly has helped me to feel an authentic sense of belonging in Rhode Island, and alongside the brilliant teachers here. Grateful doesn't begin to cover it!”

writers outside in the shade
writers on a dock

The 2022 edition of Summer Writing Camp was a rousing success. We welcomed 30 students ranging from grades 2 to 11 to the RIC campus for two weeks in early July. Students spent their time each day experimenting with writing in a variety of genres and sharing their work with peers. Whether writing personal narratives or new works of fiction, creating poetry or exploring the RIC campus in search of topics, or simply interacting with each other, students had fun with the process of writing.  

Camper Feedback

“I love just everything we did and I’m also excited to perform our play!” Grade 3

“I think that this camp is amazing! It is fun and I meet so many great people that I look forward to seeing each summer!” Grade 7

“The environment feels like a safe space where everyone supports each other…I look forward to coming here all summer.” Grade 10

“I really liked how inspiring the people, setting and activities were…I think it’s important to know that I really appreciate the instructors here…what a friendly and happy and creative atmosphere they created, and it was one of my favorite things about writing camp.” Grade 11

Parent Feedback

“I am so happy that this program exists. I would rate the program a 10, as it’s a very positive and beneficial experience for the students. I’m thankful and happy that my child attended Writing Camp this summer.”

“Love that this is a non-sports camp alternative for kids who love writing. Even if they don’t attend while “loving” to write, they will come out with a better appreciation for it. Love that it offers a creative outlet for those who are expressive through thought. Also helps younger children further develop both reading and writing skills.”

group photo of students
group photo outside of students
group photo of kids
student writing outside
Writing Institute for Educators

While the Writing Institute for Educators did not run this year, we will be offering monthly Write Time virtual sessions during the school year.   These 90 minute sessions are opportunities to write according to a prompt or spend the time working on your own projects.   Dates and times will be available soon. 

Feedback

“I need to keep my craft and these discussions going with this incredible group. I'm realizing how much writing solo has discouraged me from writing in the first place. I'm no best-seller, but I damn near feel like one every time we break out for independent work time now.”

“Today I wrote BEFORE eating lunch which was huge.  I got a lot more done that way.  So something I already knew about myself but was confused.  Writing, like yoga, needs to be done on a fairly empty stomach :).  I also love reading other people's work.  I'm learning a lot.”

“Here's something I wrote from my manifesto reflection: I am beginning again.  Luckily writing is a practice that still waits for me, vastly patient and kind.  Writing says, "Great!  You're back, sweetheart!  I missed you!”

Write Time is a monthly opportunity to work on your own writing in (virtual) community with other educator-writers. Prompts will also be provided by the facilitator in case you want to play with something new.  Write Time will take place the third Sunday of each month from 3-4:30 pm via Zoom.  RSVP on this Google Form. Dates are: September 18, October 16, November 20, December 18, January 15, February 19, March 19, April 16, and May 21.

Rhode Island Writing Project

About RIWP

Founded in 1985 and affiliated with the National Writing Project in Berkeley, California, the Rhode Island Writing Project is a network of teachers who are dedicated to the improvement of teaching and learning in all schools. Rhode Island Writing Project teachers work in all content areas and at all grade levels, helping students become thoughtful readers and writers and connecting reading, writing and content area learning.

Reflecting the National Writing Project model of “teachers teaching teachers,” Rhode Island Writing Project teachers are leaders in their schools and communities who work to support students as they become avid and accomplished writers, readers and inquirers. By relying on the expertise of the educators who know students best--Rhode Island teachers--the RIWP  provides sustained and supportive professional development work in the Summer Institute, Open Air Institute, Spring Conference and Embedded Institutes. By supplementing teachers’ knowledge and skills in cultivating their students’ diverse literacy practices, we work toward positive social change.​

Email us at riwritingproject@gmail.com.

Rhode Island College entrance