(Nearly) Next-Door Neighbors:
Mapping Our Mississippi Writing Center Community
Mississippi writing center directors, professional staff, and tutors are invited attend the Mississippi Writing Centers Association Annual Meeting on Friday and Saturday, March 1st and 2nd, 2013, at Mississippi College in Clinton.
As more and more Mississippi institutions have established—or hope to establish—writing centers, we know that writing center colleagues, mentors, and friends are practically right around the corner or just down the road. Our writing center community here in the Hospitality State is poised to become a model of local and statewide networking, professional development, and support. But it all starts with learning who our neighbors are.
Our theme invites us to get to know one another—and to begin building a sustainable and supportive writing center community for Mississippi. To that end, we have designed a meeting that opens doors, invites conversation, shares knowledge, and generates plans.
In addition to shared events for all participants, we plan two main tracks for our March meeting: one for administrators and staff and one for tutors. (Of course, we invite you to move back-and-forth across tracks if you wish.) The tracks are described below, along with additional activities.
For Administrators and Staff
Rather than formal presentations by administrators and staff, we’d like to keep things casual—but productive. We plan a series of roundtable discussions on a variety of important topics, including:
- community building in the writing center
- tutor preparation and staff development
- tutoring basic writers
- tutoring ESL writers
- tutoring online
- beginning or expanding a writing center, and,
- writing center assessment.
We would love for administrators and staff to serve as discussion leaders for roundtables. There’s a space to sign up on the online registration form, so that we may include you as a roundtable leader on the program. We also encourage all participants to bring materials to share during the roundtable sessions.
MSWCA Organization Planning:
For the administrator/staff track, a portion of Saturday morning is dedicated to planning for the future of MSWCA. Join this important conversation to help us build a strong organization that supports our Mississippi Writing Center Community.
Presentation and Session-Leader Opportunities:
We invite tutors to make presentations, lead tutor-group discussions, and coordinate activities related to their writing center work. Rather than requesting formal proposals from tutors, we trust them to excel at our meeting just as they do in their writing centers. To add your tutors to the program, we simply need tutors’ names, along with titles and a brief description of the presentation, discussion topic, or activity. (We ask for that information, as well as for the length of time requested, on the online registration form.)
Beyond the Writing Center: Lunch with Michele Eodice:
On Saturday, tutors will share a lunchtime conversation with Michele Eodice, Associate Provost for Academic Engagement at the University of Oklahoma and a past president of the International Writing Centers Association. The conversation will emphasize graduate and professional opportunities for writing center tutors, including next steps for potential or current graduate students and strategies for showcasing tutoring experiences for non-graduate school contexts and employers.
Meet Your Neighbors:
Bring a poster, slideshow, or other materials representing your Writing Center. (Administrators, consider asking your tutors to compile your writing center’s materials!) During a casual down-home lunch on Friday, we’ll share who we are, where we’re from, and what makes each of our writing centers special. As we find out who our friends are, we can build opportunities to collaborate with and support our nearby writing center neighbors.
Writing Conference Video Night:
On Friday evening, Southeastern Writing Center Association (SWCA) Secretary, Daniel White, and SWCA State Representative for Mississippi, Brad Campbell, will host a viewing and analytical discussion of a tutorial session video. Expect thought-provoking questions and conversation about the work we do in writing centers.
Michele Eodice, University of Oklahoma
Associate Provost for Academic Engagement
Editor of The Writing Center Journal and Past President of International Writing Centers Association
Brad Campbell, Mississippi State University
Southeastern Writing Centers Association State Representative for Mississippi
Daniel White, Mississippi College
Southeastern Writing Centers Association Secretary
Times and Locations
Daytime sessions and meals will be held on the second floor of the B.C. Rogers Student Center. Our Writing Conference Video Night event on Friday will be held in the nearby Jennings Annex. Sessions will begin at 9am both days, and we will finish by 3pm on Saturday. The Friday night event will be held from 6:30-8:00pm. A detailed conference program will be posted by Tuesday, February 26th.
Registration and Payment
Please plan to attend both days if you can—or to join us for Friday or Saturday only. Registration fees are $25 for Friday, $20 for Saturday (or $45 for both) and include breakfast and lunch each day.
Please complete the registration survey here, by Monday, February 25th, if you plan to attend: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/TLZJF3D
Note that you will not pay when you complete the survey; rather, the survey is intended to help us plan.
Follow the link below for online payment, or pay by check to: Mississippi Writing Centers Association, Box 4022, Clinton, MS 39058. Note that on the day of the conference, we will be able to accept cash or check only.
We encourage you to book a room at the Clinton Comfort Inn and Suites. The hotel is near Interstate 20 (at the Springridge Road Exit) and less than a mile from campus. If you'll make arrangements by phone and explain that you are visiting Mississippi College for the Writing Centers Conference, you should receive the special MC rate of $80 per night. There are several other hotels nearby; those located near I-20 at Springridge Road are around a mile from campus.
From I-20 east or west, take the Springridge Road exit and head north on Springridge Road. When you reach the redlight at the intersection of Springridge Road and Highway 80, you'll see the southeast corner of campus ahead of you. Continue straight (Springridge Road will become Clinton Parkway) along the east border of campus. At the next redlight, turn left onto College Street. At the four-way stop, turn left into campus. B.C. Rogers will be straight ahead of you, just past Provine Chapel. Visitor parking is available in front of B.C. Rogers, and additional open parking is available behind First Baptist Church, nearby. Click here for an area map and detailed directions from your location. Click here for a campus map.