News & Announcements

CFP: China Literacy Conference - Beijing, summer 2007

WPA announces its co-sponsorship of 'Literacies of Hope: Making Meaning across Boundaries' to be held in Beijing, China, July 24-27, 2007.

The conference, co-hosted by Beijing Normal University and Global Interactions, Inc., will inquire into the many forms of literacy that are vital to an increasingly globalized world, where partnership is essential. Proposals for presentations are invited for five strands:

Print Literacy / Media Literacy / Oral Literacy
Technology & Literacy
Creative & Critical Thinking
Social & Cultural Literacy

For detailed information about the conference and to download forms for submitting proposals go to and select "2007 China - U.S. Conference on Literacy." Submission deadline is December 12, 2006. Invitations to present will be emailed by December 20.


Narrative study seeking graduate students from working-class background

A new study is looking for unique/personal written narratives of working-class students who are currently enrolled in graduate course work (either at the MA/ Ph.D. level) in English composition studies.

Requirements for participation are: the participant must be actively pursuing an MA/ Ph.D. degree in English composition studies in the United States of America; the participant must be engaged in course work and not in the writing stages of the MA/Doctoral thesis; the participant must be from a self proclaimed working-class background; must be over the age of eighteen.

The narratives will address such themes as follows: graduate student enculturation in relation to reading, writing, and dialogue; educational background of both the student and his/her immediate family; family life while growing up; the various ways with which the participant identifies as being a member from the working-class.

2007 WPA Research Grants (call)


The Research Grants Committee of the Council of Writing Program Administrators invites proposals for research projects that investigate issues and practices in writing program administration. Maximum awards of $2000 may be given; average awards are $1000. Applicants must be current WPA members; all current WPA members are eligible to apply.

Please organize your proposal as follows:

1. A cover page that gives the names of all investigators (please don’t identify yourself or your institution in the rest of the proposal), mailing addresses, email addresses and phone numbers.

Call For Executive Board Nominations

Call for Nominations for WPA Executive Board Members

WPA will hold elections for three Executive Board members this fall. We will be saying thank you and goodbye to Executive Board members Rebecca Moore Howard, Martha Patton, and Susan Miller-Cochran, whose terms end in June 2007, and invite nominations for three Executive Board members
to replace those rotating off. The Executive Board oversees the WPA, its events, and its activities, creates policies and procedures for its
management, and engages in special projects and initiatives. The new Board members will serve for three years, with terms beginning in July

Business Writing

Business Writing
(University of Illinois at Chicago)

When you write, what are you thinking about? Are you thinking about yourself and your text or are you thinking about your reader? These are just a few of the critical questions professionals should ask themselves before picking up a pen or e-mailing a business memo.

Business Writing, part of the UIC Business Communication Certificate Program, can help you build confidence in your writing by improving your audience awareness. In this class you will learn how to make words work harder and eliminate fuzzy thinking. You will also review various types of business materials such as e-mails, memos, letters and reports.

Grammar After Grammar School

Grammar After Grammar School
(Grammar Workshop at the University of Illinois at Chicago)

Most people can live a successful, fulfilling life without ever really knowing what a dangling modifier is or exactly what to do with a semicolon. However, many of these same people may find themselves the "victims of good fortune," where they have suddenly received a professional promotion or find themselves about to step into a dream opportunity that requires them to write for the scrutinizing eyes of others.

Why wait until this happens? Register now for our Grammar Workshop and learn how to tighten up elements of grammar and style necessary for good, respectable, communicative writing.

Writing Women's Lives - A Revision Workshop

Have you ever tried chronicling the events of your life? Do you need help bringing clarity to your writing? If so, join the UIC Writers Series this fall for Writing Women’s Lives – A Revision Workshop.

This four-week memoir writing course is just what you need to make your memoir come alive! Sharing your life story is an important way to document your history. Learn to incorporate the following memoir writing techniques into your work:

• How to be cinematic
• How to use concrete sensory images
• How to be specific
• How to write what you feel
• And more!

If you are familiar with the memoir writing genre and already have a work-in-progress that needs to be revised or polished (at least several pages long), Writing Women’s Lives – A Revision Workshop is the class for you.

Thematic courses and inquiry

Posted for James LeDoux:

I am a grad student at Boise State University and would like to solicit some responses regarding thematic courses and inquiry-based teaching methods from experienced basic writing/developmental writing instructors. My class project partner and I are wondering if any of your courses are thematically based. If so, what kind of theme(s) do you use and why?

We are also interested in inquiry-based teaching methods. What kinds of things do you do to set up an inquiry based class and what has been your
experience teaching in this method (in other words, what are some advantages and disadvantages to inquiry that you've noted)?