WPA Network for Media Action/National Conversation on Writing: Wednesday Morning Workshop at CCCC

Please consider joining us for a half-day workshop, Wednesday, March 21, 9:00 -12:30 a.m. at CCCCs in New York, where you can learn how to become involved in the work of the WPA’s Network for Media Action and its most recent project, the National Conversation on Writing. (A text version of this announcement is attached--please feel free to print and share with colleagues and graduate students who might be interested).

The Network for Media Action has been working for several years to change the largely-negative conversations about writing in the media. Our most recent initiative is the National Conversation on Writing (NCoW). NCoW is an initiative to sponsor conversations about writing in many locations across the United States. NCoW is currently sponsoring videotaped conversations that will be edited into a documentary film meant to promote the importance of writing and writing instruction. We are also considering other ways to extend these conversations—and we hope you’ll bring your ideas for doing so. At this workshop you will learn about ways that you can become involved in this and other important initiatives of the WPA and its Network for Media Action—thus helping to change the frame within which the work of writing instruction is discussed both nationally and locally.

We hope you can join us at CCCC (you can register for the workshop at http://www.ncte.org/cccc/conv/125495.htm). And even if you can’t, feel free to contact us about getting involved. Email either Linda Adler-Kassner (ladlerka@emich.edu>) or Dominic Delli Carpini (dcarpini@ycp.edu) for more information about the workshop or the Network for Media Action and the National Conversation on Writing, or see the Network for Media Action’s webpage at http://wpacouncil.org/nma?PHPSESSID=9eeb8ca9961b6a031a310d516bbb498e.

A bit more detail: NCoW is a response to public discussions about writing and writers, which rarely focus on the writing that people do, and read, in their everyday lives. Such incarnations of literacy, and the importance of literacy education, gets little attention other than sensationalist stories that tout why “Johnny Can’t Write.” Because the wider message is largely absent, stories about the importance of writing in people’s everyday life and work remain untold, and so are neglected in public policy discussions as well. This neglect affects not just the ways that writing is taught and learned, but has long-term implications for the future of literacy education and who is included in—and who is excluded from—the discourse of American democracy. After all, as the NMA’s media recent campaign suggests, “Writing Makes Democracy Happen.”