WPA 2011 Conference Call for Proposals

Submit a Proposal for WPA 2011: Frameworks for Success

In the midst of our busy everyday lives, sometimes it’s challenging to find a quiet place to contemplate with friends our directions and opportunities. It can be especially daunting to find time to reflect on the successful features of our courses and programs. We hope that the 2011 CWPA conference will offer opportunities to share current successes and plan for future ones.

CWPA is eager to welcome the voices of people who participate in "writing program administration" writ large and who engage in myriad ways in the work associated with it. This could include work with writing centers; multiple sections or instructors of writing courses; work with community writing programs; course and program assessment; considering how to effectively make connections with others in the classroom, on campus, and beyond; or any other work that is related to writing instruction or program direction.

We invite four types of proposals to foster conversation that will bring together the multiple and varied voices of those with an interest in developing and directing writing programs. These voices include writing instructors (part- or full-time, graduate or lecturer, tenure-track or tenured); two- and four-year instructors; department chairs; writing center directors; directors of WAC and WID programs; institutional researchers; teaching and learning center directors, and others. These are:

Please review the information here about the different session types, then proceed to Instructions for Submitting Your Proposal to WPA 2011 to submit one or more proposals.


Final proposals are due no later than Wednesday, April 20. Submit by Wednesday, March 23 for expedited review.


Proposal Types

1. 6-minute individual presentations: Conversation Starters

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6-minute presentations are opportunities to share information, questions, and/or ideas quickly, then to facilitate vigorous and lively dialogue among session attendees.

These very short presentations should include three elements:  

  • a discussion point(s) (e.g., a question or two, an intriguing new direction; possibilities for unexpected partnerships;
  • evidence for the discussion point(s); and
  • and conversation starters for session attendees that will help them consider actions based on the conversation.

The focus in the session is on short presentations and lots of talk among participants.

Proposals should include a very brief description (150 words or fewer) that addresses:

  • The question you want to address or point you want to make
  • The evidence on which your question is grounded
  • The questions you’d like participants to take up in conversation.

For instance, a 6-minute presentation could focus around:

  • possibilities for using social networking to connect with communities outside of the university
  • the ways we have incorporated new media into our program's teaching of FY comp
  • an innovative assessment or pedagogy in my class or program

2. 10-minute individual presentations: Extended discussions

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10-minute presentations are opportunities to share ongoing research intended to lead to action. Attendees should share a research project with an emphasis on design, evidence/outcomes, and actions based on the research. Presentations should be 10 minutes. We strongly encourage interactive, non-reading presentations.

Proposals (150 words or fewer) should include a description of the focus of the presentation and strategies for engaging attendees in discussion about the presentation’s subject such as questions that will be posed for audience discussion.

  • For instance, a 10-minute extended discussion could focus around:  
  • A recent study of some element of teaching in your course or program
  • A recent assessment of the program
  • A study of the writing efforts of community organizations in your area
  • A study of writing outreach efforts of your course/program

Proposals would summarize these and include discussion strategies -- for example, posing 2-3 questions for participants to discuss; asking attendees to turn to the person next to them after your presentation/the conclusion of the session to share questions the session raised for them, or other strategies to foster conversation.

3. Full sessions: Panel discussions (75 minutes total)

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A full panel can consist of several linked 6-minute presentations (maximum 7 presenters), or fewer linked 10 minute presentations (maximum of 4 presenters). Of the 75 minute session, allocate at least 20 minutes for discussion.

In these sessions, attendees will present very brief subjects for whole-group discussion, including questions related to the subject of the panel discussion. Proposals should include a brief description (300 words or fewer) of the panel's focus and strategies for audience participation.

4. Mentoring Project Sessions

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In response to the interest generated by the Mentoring Project sessions at the 2009 CWPA Conference in Minneapolis and the 2010 CWPA Conference in Philadelphia, as well as feedback from the Mentoring Project Survey, several sessions at the 2011 CWPA Conference in Baton Rouge will again be devoted to professional development and mentoring issues. To shape the focus of these sessions, though, we need your input! Please complete this survey to

  • identify mentoring subjects you would like to have included in the 2011 conference.
  • indicate whether you would be willing to serve as a facilitator or presenter for one of these sessions.

If you wish to present or facilitate as part of a Mentoring Project session, please write the words "Mentoring Project" at the beginning of your proposal. Thank you.

Submitting Your Proposal

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If you're ready to submit a proposal, go to Instructions for Submitting Your Proposal to WPA 2011

We look forward to receiving a variety of lively, engaging submissions from a range of participants, and to a fantastic conference!

Questions about proposal formats or CWPA 2011 should be directed to Duane Roen or Linda Adler-Kassner, conference co-chairs, and/or Irv Peckham or James McDonald, local co-chairs. Questions about mentoring project sessions should be sent to Joe Janangelo.