The Relevant Writing Center: Advocacy through Inquiry

An established tradition within the International Writing Center Association since 2003, the Summer Institute (SI) is meant to guide current or would-be writing center directors and assistants, writing program administrators, tutors, writing teachers (high school or college), curriculum developers, graduate students, new PhDs, and academic leaders. SI leaders offer presentations, workshops, and discussions on a variety of writing center topics. Leaders also work one-on-one with participants throughout the week.

The fifteenth annual IWCA Summer Institute will be held June 19-23, 2017, in Vancouver, Canada, at the Sheraton Wall Centre Hotel. This year’s SI focuses on how writing centers can demonstrate their relevance both inside and outside institutions by cultivating evidence-based practices. Basing our work in sustained research—whether it takes the form of assessment or scholarly inquiry—helps us not only teach writing effectively but also empower writing tutors and student writers to engage in a complex, often conflictual, world. Grounding our work in inquiry can also reveal the important, idea-driven work writing centers engage in daily, enhancing their role and value within academic communities. SI 2017 workshops will cultivate informed, sustainable, and effective writing centers by focusing on tutor training, budget and logistics, diversity and inclusion, institutional advocacy, and qualitative and quantitative assessment and research.

Leaders for the SI 2017

Christopher LeCluyse, Westminster College (Utah), Co-Chair
Stacia Watkins, Lipscomb University, Co-Chair
Shareen Grogran, National University; President, International Writing Center Association
Lucie Moussu, University of Alberta
Vershawn Young, University of Waterloo
Harry Denny, Purdue University, Guest Presenter


Participants can register online at Registration will be open until March 25, 2017. After the first 50 applications are received, a wait list will be started.

The SI registration fee of $900 includes participation in all workshops and presentations, receptions on Sunday, June 18, and Thursday, June 22, daily breakfast, and outside events. A limited number of travel and lodging grants are available. Please contact SI co-chair Chris LeCluyse ( if you would like to be considered for a travel or lodging grant.

Membership in IWCA is required to register for an IWCA event or to submit a proposal. To register, log into your IWCA account and locate the “Available Conference Registrations” box on the right-hand side of the webpage. Click “Register for this Conference” and follow the prompts to complete registration. Nonmembers must first set up an account by clicking the “IWCA Members” tab on the IWCA website. On the welcome home page, click the link in the first bullet point message to become a member.

Registrants who have paid can cancel their registration for a full refund through March 31, 2017. A seventy-five percent refund will be offered from April 1 through May 27, 2017, after which refunds will not be available.


The IWCA Summer Institute 2017 will take place in Vancouver, Canada, at the Sheraton Wall Centre Hotel. Room reservations can be made directly with the hotel (phone 604-331-1000); a special conference rate of $205/night Canadian (about $150/night U.S.) has been secured for the SI. This beautiful, cosmopolitan city boasts many natural and cultural attractions. Special excursions during the SI will give participants the opportunity to connect with this remarkable and diverse city.