Events / Annual IWCA Conference

Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers, Chicago, IL, November 10-13, 2017

Conference Program

Download the conference program here.

The Conference Program App

The IWCA Conference App for Chicago is live! You can download the app from one of the following places:

  1. App Store URL: Please click here to download the application 
  2. Play Store URL: Please click here to download the application
  3. Web App URL: Please click here to access the web application

The app will have all the up-to-date information about sessions.

Conference Schedule-at-a-Glance

The full conference schedule and program will be available soon. For now, view the schedule-at-a-glance.

Conference Hotel Reservations

The 2017 IWCA Conference will take place at the Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers in Chicago on November 10-13, 2017. Visit the Sheraton’s website to reserve a room in the IWCA conference block. The conference rate is available until October 23, 2017 or until the block fills up.

Registration Now Open

Register for the conference through the portal for registration rates of $325 for professionals, $225 for college students, or $175 for high school students. Membership in IWCA is required before registering for the conference.

Keynote Speaker

IWCA is proud to announce the keynote speaker for our 2017 Annual Conference in Chicago! Neisha-Anne Green has worked in our field in multiple ways—as a tutor, graduate tutor and assistant, and an administrator. Her research is not only uniquely related to our conference theme, it also strikes at something deep in writing center ethic by redefining the notion of ally as accomplice.

Neisha-Anne is the Director of the Writing Center at American University. She started her Writing Center journey as a volunteer tutor at Lehman College, Bronx NY where she worked her way up to the graduate assistant to both the Writing and Literacy Coordinator and the Director of the Instructional Support Services Program.

What began as volunteer work has blossomed into passion. Outside of her graduate work, Neisha-Anne fueled this passion by presenting and attending writing center and composition conferences. She has presented at the National Conference on Peer Tutoring in Writing, the Northeast Writing Center Association Conference, the Conference on College Composition and Communication, and the International Writing Center Association Conference.

In her article The Re-Education of Neisha-Anne S Green: A Close Look at the Damaging Effects of “a Standard Approach,” the Benefits of Code-meshing, and the Role Allies Play in this Work, she closely investigates her own education to evaluate both the use of code-meshing as a tool and the role others played in her re-educations.

Her current research focuses on reevaluating the use of the term ally and argues instead for the use of accomplices, which she feels more accurately describes the work we should be doing in terms of social justice and languaging efforts.

Neisha-Anne is a multidialectal orator and author proud of her roots in Barbados and Yonkers, NY. She is an accomplice who actively demonstrates allyship by interrogating and exploring the use of people’s language as a resource.

Call for Proposals

The proposal process closed on April 15, 2017.

Good Day, Presenter… Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is…

to engage with the conference theme for better or worse! No, really! Conference themes are funny but complicated things. They challenge us and, more often than not, confound us as we try to make our own contexts, working lives, research, theories, pedagogies, practices, and passions relatable to a wide audience. Writing this CFP last fall challenged Lauri and Andrew in many of the same ways. The goal of a conference theme is to present a metaphor that challenges and inspires, pushes against and embraces current thinking and educational trends, has workable guidelines while being lithe enough to accept multiple interpretations.

So, now it is your turn. Are you inspired the way that Lauri and Andrew were, by the often-melodramatic spy adventures of 20th Century Hollywood and the comic sub-genre they inspired? Do you think of spies as information wranglers and peddlers or as strategists? Are they all evil or working to protect the common good? Are you a Bond or Mata Hari fan? Would you rather talk codes with Edmond Harjo or break them with Alan Turing?

Or have current events around the world changed the way you think about the idea of “spy?” Are there more sinister currents running through our communities and schools that make you rethink the playful notes of the CFP? Has the idea of “spying”—the collection or dissemination of information through observation and stealth—become so tied to current affairs that it no longer serves as a useful way to look at our own writing center craft? Are you tempted to push back and challenge the core metaphor or use it to examine how our field deals with these issues?

Perhaps our favorite part of CFPs is their flexibility! Use this CFP’s metaphor as a starting point, but feel free to define, explore, explain, and complicate it as best suits your understanding of our conference and field. We look forward to reading your proposals soon!

This CFP will self-destruct on April 15, 2017. Good luck!

Tutor, Writer, Director, Spy

Download the CFP as a PDF

Writing Center work requires crossing borders and boundaries, infiltrating new systems, understanding the code, and sometimes a little sleight of hand. Join us in Chicago for a conference dedicated to understanding all our secret work. What secrets do you leak and which do you keep to yourself? Share your secrets for getting things done whether as a tutor, writer, director, or spy.

  • Tutors: What have you learned about working with your peers–both your fellow writers and tutors? What research have you been reading or doing? What do you need your administrators or instructors on your campus to know? What is your tutoring philosophy and how does it guide your ethics? What is your lair like? How does it inform or impede your work? How is your work informed by identity–yours and others? What else does your Control, MI6, or Acme Tomato Company need to know?
  • Writers: What do writers want us to know about working with them? What research are we doing on writers? What research are we doing on ourselves? To what extent do we see ourselves as writers? How do we communicate to writers what we need them to know? How do writers understand good writing and feedback? What is good writing center work for writers? How do writers fit into/appreciate/negotiate our spaces? When do you bring your writers in from the cold? Are our safe houses really open to all or do they marginalize purposefully or unwittingly? What else do we need to know about writers’ codes, ciphers, routes?
  • Directors: What do you know about working in your center? What research have you been doing? How do you get things done? Who are your sleeper spies or moles? What do you need tutors and stakeholders on your campus to know? How do you communicate your needs to stakeholders? What is your administrative philosophy and how does it guide your ethics? How autonomous are you from Control? Are you Control? Are they merging your departments or bargaining away your spycraft? Is your center a safe house? Who can come in from the cold? Is your mission impossible for some but not for others? What other secrets do you need to crack?
  • Spies: Where are the hidden plans? What’s in your attaché case? What do you need to pass on? What’s the code? What’s on the microfiche? How do you use your decoder ring? What tools do you use to get things done? What is the cipher? How do you set things in motion? Which chess piece are you? How do you work with or against institutional directives? Do you ever feel like a double agent? Or do you wish you were? Do you trust all of your contacts? Have you ever had to take the night train to an unknown destination? Have you ever had to meet in a foggy alleyway? Do you feel like agents are coming to take you to the Farm? Have you ever had to say “Dogs barking; can’t fly without umbrella?”

Bonus! Unlock the Secret Mission Track: This is for any conference participant, those who are presenting and those who aren’t. Here’s your chance to join the scavenger hunt by signing up now! You will receive early notifications about how to participate at the conference.

  • A Collaborative Scavenger Hunt: A conference-long mission open to all conference attendees full of encrypted messages and eyes-only directives that will take you and other participants from Uncle to the field. You’ll meet spymasters, sleepers, and handlers and have a chance to learn more about the secrets of our craft and trade in a very nontraditional way. Imagine a scavenger hunt littered with discussions of theory, pedagogy, research, and practice. The take – interesting conversations and new allies from around the world. This mission will allow you to interact with others throughout the conference while still being able to attend as many other sessions and SIGs as you would like. You may sign up for the Secret Mission while also proposing a session format.


Session Formats

The  2017 IWCA Conference consists primarily of 75-minute concurrent sessions. Participants may propose any of the following types of presentation:

  • Panel Presentation: 3 to 4 presentations of 15-­20 minutes each on a specific theme or question.
  • Individual Presentation: 15-­20 minute presentation (that will be combined into a panel by the program chairs).
  • Workshop: A participatory session that engages attendees in active learning.
  • Roundtable Discussion:15 minutes of introductory framing by the leader(s) followed by a facilitated discussion among attendees.
  • Special Interest Groups: Informal conversations with colleagues and peers who have similar interests, institutional settings, or identities.
  • Ignite Presentation: A 5-minute presentation composed of 20 images each lasting 15 seconds (modified PechaKucha).
  • Poster Presentation: A research-­fair style presentation in which the presenter(s) create a visual argument and informally discuss their research with attendees.
  • Works-in-Progress (WiP): These sessions will be composed of roundtable discussions where presenters briefly (10 minutes max) discuss their current research, assessment, or other writing projects and then receive feedback from other researchers including discussion leaders, other WiP presenters, and other conference-goes.

Proposal  Guidelines

  1. Log in to the conference proposal submission page at
  2. The Abstract should be 75-­100 words. If accepted, the abstract will appear in the program, so write an abstract that lets attendees know what to expect and why they should come.
  3. The Session Description should be no more than 300 words. Proposal reviewers evaluate session descriptions to determine the extent to which they meet the following criteria:
    1. Relevance to conference theme
    2. Appeal to a wide range of audiences
    3. Strength of focus and purpose of proposal
    4. Appropriateness in the field
  4. To honor the integrity of the blind review process, please do not refer to speaker names in the abstract or session description. Instead, for example, use “Presenter 1,” “Presenter 2,” etc. to refer to speakers.
  5. An individual may propose only one session and one SIG. The Secret Mission format does not count towards your proposal limit.
  6. Submit proposals by 11:59 PM CST on April 15, 2017. Proposers will be notified of decisions by June 15, 2017.
  7. All presenters must accept invitations by August 1, 2017.
  8. All presenters must register by October 1, 2017 in order to appear in the conference program.

Please contact Lauri Dietz ( or Andrew Jeter (, Conference Co-Chairs with any questions regarding the conference proposal submission process.