Rhode Island Writing Project

people at India Point Park

The Rhode Island Writing Project (RIWP) strengthens teacher well-being and professional practice by supporting their agency and empowerment

Featured Events

2024 Summer Writing Camp

For more information, see the “Summer Writing Camp” tab near the bottom of this page, or contact Camp Director Jeff Lawton.

Register

Winter / Spring 2024

We are excited to offer multiple FREE events over the next few months for your professional and personal development.

February: AI Forum

The RIWP invites you to an engaging forum on Saturday, February 10, from 9 am to 12 pm on the RIC campus, tailored for teachers who are interested in the promises and perils of integrating text-based AI into their classrooms and its impact on literacy education, particularly when it comes to teaching writing. In true RIWP style, we will do some writing, devote some playtime to different resources and tools, and then come together to discuss next steps for us as individuals, as members of school communities, and as part of the RIWP.  This unique opportunity allows teachers to collaborate, share insights, and discuss practical applications of AI in teaching. Whether you're curious about AI or have experiences to contribute, this gathering aims to foster a dynamic exchange of ideas. Continental breakfast included. Space is limited.  

Registration Closed

March: Writing, Art, and Movement: Tend Your Garden

Due to popular demand, WAM is back!  Join us on Saturday, March 16, from 10–12 pm at RIC for a morning of writing, art, and light movement designed for your own personal practice and renewal. WAM is offered in collaboration with Write RI, a like-minded org based at School One which provides creative writing opportunities for students across the state. 

Register

April: Open Air Institute

Peanut butter and jelly. Fish and chips. Batman and Robin. In the tradition of other great pairings, the Open Air Institute is pairing up with The Canterbury Tales for a day of walking, sharing stories, and breaking bread. Come celebrate spring with us in the best way possible:  writing with your RIWP friends! Save the date – Saturday, April 27, 2024.

Register

May: Writing Marathon

On May 18, we reflect on the school year and look forward to summer and beyond.

Register

June: Pride Month Gathering

Celebrate our LGBTQIA+ colleagues, students, and community by attending PRIDEfest on June 15 as a group.

Register

New Time for “Write Time”

Need some dedicated writing time with the option to share? RIWP veteran and retired high school teacher Laura Maxwell will have a prompt ready or keep going on something you’re already working on. Join her from 6:30–8 pm on the following Thursday evenings: February 8, March 21, April 18, and May 16. To join a Write Time session, register and choose the virtual meeting at 6:30 pm on the dates provided.

Register

RSVP

Programs and Events

See below for more information on each event. If you have questions, please email riwritingproject@gmail.com

There will be no Spring Conference in 2024. Please join us for one or more of the monthly offerings instead.

RIWP Spring Conference 2023 – “The Right to Write:  Pedagogical, Personal, and Pedagogical Possibilities”
Many Highs, Many Thanks

For the first time since 2019, RIWP held its Spring Conference completely in-person on March 18. A diverse mix of experienced and soon-to-be educators assembled at Alger Hall on the RIC campus to listen to and learn from an equally diverse mix of speakers and presenters. In typical RIWP fashion, all enjoyed a PD experience that was both professionally informative and personally enriching. We want to thank all of the people that contributed to the success of Spring Conference 2023, especially keynote speaker Kurt Ostrow, all of the workshop presenters, and of course, everyone who attended. We are confident that you enjoyed the conference as much as we enjoyed providing it, and look forward to seeing you again in the future! 

writing conference interior photo
group photo on dock
writers outside workshop
young writers outside

For the first time since 2019, RIWP held its Spring Conference completely in-person on March 18. Despite four years of COVID cancellations and virtual workshops, putting on a full, live conference again was like riding a bike. Approximately 60 teachers, teacher candidates, and assorted RIWP friends gathered for a wonderful day of professional development that followed our typical pattern:  we listened, learned, collaborated, wrote, and shared. And at the end of the day, we left invigorated by the content and enriched by the camaraderie – as always.

The day began with a powerful keynote address by Kurt Ostrow entitled “Beyond Representation, Toward Resistance.” Kurt urged us to not only address issues of social justice, but also to use our voice, our writing, and even our union representation to take action on those issues, and offered examples from his own experience to demonstrate the impact we can make on education and the lives of our students.

Following the keynote, the conference offered two sets of workshops that offered a wide range of topics surrounding teaching and learning. We also found time to honor Marcia Ranglin-Vassell with our first annual “Writing in Action” Award. Marcia inspired all with her acceptance speech that showed how writing has played an integral and ongoing part in her life from her early days growing up in Jamaica to her teaching and political career in Rhode Island.

We want to thank all of the people that contributed to the success of Spring Conference 2023. First, we offer gratitude to Dean Jeannine Dingus-Eason and others in the RIC administration for their continued support of RIWP. Thanks to Kurt Ostrow for both his keynote address and his willingness to also offer a session workshop; we were thrilled to reconnect with a longtime friend of RIWP. Thanks also to all of the other workshop presenters:  Lisa Narcisi Stewart, Diana Champa, Eve Kerrigan, Dr. Martha Horn, Dr. Alia Hadid, Michael Gianfrancesco, Alex Graudins, Anne Pedro, Jason Ryan, Aimee Ryan, and Steve Krasner.

We greatly appreciate the time and effort that these presenters put in to plan and deliver workshops that proved both interesting and worthwhile. Last but not least, we thank all those who attended. Whether you were a first time participant, a longtime supporter, or someone in between, we could not count the conference a success without your willingness to spend a beautiful Saturday with us in the hope of better serving your students and yourselves. We trust it was worth it, and that we will see you at other RIWP events in the near future – and next time, bring a friend!

independent study sessions
teacher in front of a smart board
interior shot of conference
interior shot of conference Algers Hall

The Open Air Institute will take place on August 6, 7, and 8 in 2024.  Details coming soon.

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

Overview

We will meet in person from July 9–11 and July 16–18. Camp hours are 9 am to 2 pm. This will include full-group gatherings in the morning and afternoon, abundant individual writing time, talks from counselors and special guests, and several choices for additional learning. A $200 stipend will be provided and graduate credit is available for an additional fee. Only 10 applicants will be accepted.

Apply

What We Offer

New Teacher Camp is a free offering designed for teachers entering their first - third years. This supportive and fun community of “campers” works together to develop strategies for successful teaching practices, efficient daily routines, self-care, and lifelines for your first few years. 

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

Overview

Summer Institute (SI) is at the core of the National Writing Project's teachers-teaching-teachers model of professional development. Our institute is open to all current teachers who serve in K-12 classrooms. All content areas, including speciality areas such as special education and multilingual learning, are welcome to join us. Yep, you read that right: You do NOT need to be an English teacher in order to participate in this experience!

Ideal applicants include folk who are:

  • Ready to learn new skills and practices for teaching writing;
  • Committed to incorporating writing into their instruction;
  • Within the first 10 years of their teaching career (though if you are past this number, we still encourage you to join us!);
  • Looking to join a professional community of supportive, like-minded educators;
  • Becoming a RIWP Teacher Consultant and offer PD to colleagues at your school and around the state.
  • (Optional): Interested in earning THREE graduate credits (EDC 540: Teaching of Writing: Practice and Inquiry, from RIC);
     
Program Logistics & Details

Our programming will be fully IN-PERSON at Rhode Island College for two weeks, meeting only on Tuesdays, Wednesday, and Thursdays during the weeks of July 9–11 and July 16–18 from 9 am to 2 pm each day. In addition to our programming, there will be a Welcome Kick Off Event on June 22nd at RIC as well as a reunion event post-programming to discuss continued interest and support for the upcoming school year. The timing and location of our reunion event will be determined based on the current cohort's availability and interests.  

Together we will renew our identities as writers, share our pedagogical expertise, and experiment and play with tools and texts to help boost our teaching practices (and perhaps even our personal lives).Through practices like daily journaling, writing groups, and lesson workshopping, we will build community and share ready-to-use strategies that we can take back to our classrooms.

For the first time ever, SI is FREE *and* there is a $200 stipend for participants who fully engage in all of our programming. Due to this change, we plan to cap our cohort at 10 people.

The deadline for nominations/applications is June 19th. 

Questions? Concerns? Comments?

If you have any questions or would like to know more about this year's programming before submitting an application, you can email Alyssa Mason.

Apply

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

2024 Writing Camp Registration 

We are now accepting applications for the 2024 edition of Summer Writing Camp. This year’s camp will run July 8-19 from 9 am – 12 pm each day (M-F) and is open to all students (K-12) who enjoy writing. As always, students will have the opportunity to explore a wide variety of writing activities, interests and genres in a fun, friendly, and supportive environment. For more information or questions, contact Camp Director Jeff Lawton.

Register

Summer 2023

The 2023 edition of Summer Writing Camp was highly successful. We welcomed 59 students to our beautiful new home on the RIC campus, the renovated Horace Mann building. Writers from grades 1 to 12 spent two weeks in early July 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 enthusiastically engaged in 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. Art. Movement.

Join us for 3 days of writing, art, and light movement designed for your own personal practice and renewal with the theme of “Past, Present, Future”. We’ll channel our younger selves, reflect on our current identities, and imagine what lies ahead. WAM is offered in collaboration with Write RI, a like-minded org based at School One which provides creative writing opportunities for students across the state. 

July 23, 24, 25
9 am–2 pm
Rhode Island College
Registration Deadline: July 12

Hacking Your High Quality Curriculum

In this three-day workshop, participants will think about how to make their scripted curriculum feel more their own. We will be using protocols to examine dilemmas we face in implementation, both logistical and philosophical. Through creative problem solving, teachers will walk away feeling empowered to unpack and deliver curriculum while still staying true to themselves and engaging students in essential reading, writing, and thinking. 

July 30, 31 and August 1
9 am–2 pm, $100
Registration deadline: July 12
Location: RIC

Dates and Registration

New Time for “Write Time”

Need some dedicated writing time with the option to share? RIWP veteran and retired high school teacher Laura Maxwell will have a prompt ready or keep going on something you’re already working on. Join her from 6:30-8 pm on the following Thursday evenings: February 8, March 21, April 18, and May 16. To join a Write Time session, register and choose the virtual meeting at 6:30 p.m. on the dates provided.

RSVP

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.​

Rhode Island College entrance