Events / Summer Institute


Summer Institute

The 2018 IWCA Summer Institute will be held in Indianapolis, Indiana from Monday, July 16 through Friday, July 20 (with an opening event the evening of Sunday, July 15).

The Summer Institute (SI) is open to both new and experienced writing center administrators, scholars, and practitioners from universities and colleges, K-12 education, or independent writing centers. Since 2003, the SI has allowed writing center professionals to work with leaders from the field in whole-group workshops, small-group discussions, and one-on-one conversations.

The cost of registration will stay at the 2017 rate of $900/participant. The hotel cost is $164/night (plus tax); participants must stay at the conference hotel for the duration of the institute. To register, log in to the portal, or if you have never created an account, create a new account and then register.

Co-Chairs: Julia Bleakney of Elon University and Stacia Watkins of Lipscomb University

2018 SI Theme: Revision of the “Grand Narrative”

In Peripheral Visions for Writing Centers (2013), Jackie Grutsch McKinney argues that writing centers operate under a “grand narrative” that narrowly defines our work as one-to-one tutoring. She writes: “[W]riting center work, we’re told, is about tutoring students—and a particular breed of tutoring that takes place in one-to-one sessions of a designated length and of a particular pedagogy that is more about conversations than answers” (58). The “grand narrative” of writing center work is invoked in lore regarding tutoring methods; in the notion of the welcoming writing center space; in the way we gather, showcase, and measure our effectiveness; and in our research and outreach practices. Increasingly, the assumptions on which these lores are founded are being tested, questioned, and reimagined (Kjesrud, 2015; Nordlof, 2014).

At the 2018 IWCA Summer Institute, we would like to continue this conversation and continue to  expand the definition of writing center work. Through workshops and discussions on a wider range of tutoring education and methods, community and campus outreach, social justice actions, and new approaches to research and assessment, we will work together to redetermine and re-envision our goals and outcomes, for staff, clients, and the community.

Registration: Registration for the 2018 IWCA Summer Institute is available on We will be able to accommodate 45 participants this year. Those who register beyond the first 45 spots will be placed on a waiting list. Registrants must be a member of IWCA.

Stacia Watkins, Lipscomb University, Co-chair
Julia Bleakney, Elon University, Co-chair
Denise Stephenson, Miracosta College
Karen Keaton Jackson, North Carolina Central University
Romeo Garcia, University of Utah

Scholarships: IWCA will offer up to six scholarships covering half of the registration costs, with priority given to graduate students and attendees from HBSU/HSI/Tribal colleges, 2-year colleges, secondary schools, and non-U.S. institutions. The scholarship application is available on the site. Scholarship applications are due April 10.

More . . .

Vancouver, British Columbia, Site of the 2017 Summer Institute