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The Cal State Northridge Writing Project

"It is inaccurate to envision a single writing process. There are, in fact, as many different writing processes as there are writers- more if you consider that individual writers vary their writing processes each time they sit down to write!"

-Andrea Lunsford The Saint Martin’s Handbook


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Cal State Northridge Writing Project
Kathleen D. Rowlands, Director
Michael D. Eisner College of Education
18111 Nordhoff Street
Northridge, CA 91330-8265

The Summer Writing Project Invitational

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Download Brochure/Application here.

Isn’t it time you did something for yourself—both personally and professionally? Imagine a professional learning experience where you are PAID to participate!  If you are accepted as a Fellow in the Invititational Summer Institute of the Cal State Northridge Writing Project, that is what happens! We seek a diverse group—teachers and administrators, K-college in all content areas—of no more than 15 participants interested in writing and teaching writing. Perhaps YOU could be selected as one of that group!

What is in it for you? When Inverness Research has asked our summer Fellows, “What do you think is the most important thing you gained from the Summer Institute and why?” their answers over the years have been enthusiastic. One wrote, “I became more confident in my own writing.” Another said, “Seeing that there is a dedicated cadre of writing teachers in this area has inspired me tremendously.” A third commented, “This entire experience was a transformative one for me both professionally and personally.  I gained access to my inner writer, the teacher I really want to be, and I met some amazing teachers.” Read teachers' answers to that important question HERE.

For non-English teachers, developing a deep understanding of disciplinary literacies has become especially important with the adoption of the California Common Core State Standards. A math teacher wrote, "I think I gained an understanding of the multiple ways I can incorporate writing into my teaching. Being a non-English teacher, it was difficult to envision incorporating writing into math, but now I have a more comprehensive view of how to do this successfully." A middle school science teacher concurs: "Writing in science has become non-existent. Because of the time crunch of covering standards and aligning to our unit plans, writing is often times discouraged.  Attending this summer institute has allowed me to look at writing with new eyes.  There is an importance to expressing key concepts through writing to show there is learning." 

One Fellow thought that he “gained different perspectives on writing and teaching writing.” Understanding writing and writing instruction deeply enabled a Fellow to observe, “This experience helped me break out of the traditional, rigid structures of writing that I had insisted on my students to learn.”

Highlights of the Invitational Summer Institute and benefits of affiliation with the Cal State Northridge Writing Project:

Participants come together for an Orientation dinner, and then meet four or five days a week during June and July, and one Saturday in August (in preparation for the Write to Literacy Conference). Participants write, share their practices as writing teachers, and read and talk about writing and writing instruction.

Participants earn a stipend of $600 for full participation. In addition, a $200 stipend is given for participation in the September 29th Write to Literacy Conference. In addition, particiants can purchase 3, 6, or 9 CEU's from Tseng College.

Upon completion of the Summer Institute, Fellows become Teacher Leaders, joining thousands of educational professionals affiliated with more than 200 Writing Project sites nationwide.

For the first year after completing the Invitational Summer Institute our Teacher Leaders are invited to participate in the additional professional development opportunities we offer at Cal State Northridge at no cost. These opportunities might include Open Institutes, a Visioning Retreat, writing or inquiry groups.

We are affiliated with both the National Writing Project ( ) and the California Writing Project ( These affiliations offer our Teacher Leaders many opportunities to participate in state and national professional experiences. Depending upon resources, the site annually supports travel to appropriate professional meetings and conferences for interested Teacher Leaders. For example,one summer we supported three Teacher Leaders for a week-long workshop at the Library of Congress. Another summer several Teacher Leaders joined others from sites around the nation in a National Writing Project Scoring Conference in Chicago. All expenses were paid, and they earned a $500 stipend.

Teacher Leaders enjoy many opportunities for work and professional learning. Selected Teacher Leaders are recruited for paid positions teaching in Young Writer's Camps or participating as presenters and facilitators for in-service activites.

Dates for the 2018 Invitational Summer Insitute are as follows:

April 16, 2018
April 28, 2018
May, 2018
Acceptance notifications
If you are accepted, full participation is expected with the following committments:
Friday, June 1, 2018
Orientation Dinner
5:00-9:00 pm
All Invitational Meetings are from 9:00 am-3:30 pm each day
Monday-Friday, June 18-22
Monday-Friday, June 25-29
Thursday and Friday, July 5-6
Monday-Friday, July 9-13
Saturday, August 25, 2018
Saturday, September 29, 2018 9 am-3 pm
Write to Literacy Conference

The Invitational Summer Institute is at the center of every Writing Project site and the starting point for developing a strong group of Teacher Leaders, ready to take their expertise as writers and as teachers of writing back to their schools, their districts, and into the community. This event brings together a selected group of teachers, Pre-K through university in all subject areas who provide application evidence of their committment to improving student learning through improved writing instruction.

Teachers as Writers: A central writing project belief from the earliest days of the Bay Area Writing Project is that effective teachers of writing are teachers who have experienced being writers themselves. Participants will have extensive time and support to write in a variety of genres for a range of purposes and audiences and to share their writing with a group of peers. Grounded in the practice of writing, participants will return to their classrooms well-positioned to help their students develop as writers.

Teachers Teaching Teachers: A second foundational Writing Project tenet is that effective teachers are the best teachers of other teachers. Much of the Invitational Summer Institute experience is built on this belief. With the support of the Directors, Summer Fellows will choose a writing lesson they have used successfully with their own students and develop it into a model lesson to present to their summer colleagues. Experiencing and discussing a broad range of teacher-led lessons will help all Fellows broaden their range of effective instructional practices.

Practice Grounded in Theory: During the Invitational Summer Institute, participants will learn about what others have learned and shared about writing and about effective practices in the teaching of writing. Common readings as well as readings in self-selected areas of interest, the contributions of guest presenters, and the emergent discussions will help participants deepen their knowledge base and encounter new ideas to spark and challenge their thinking.

Teacher Inquiry as the Center of Teacher Professionalism. During the Invitational Summer Institute participants develop an understanding of, and appreciation for, the power of teacher inquiry as a means for improving student learning in all classrooms.

Is this your summer to join us?  Give yourself the opportunity to develop as a writer and as a professional. We are again offering fellowships to a cadre of no more than FIFTEEN teachers and administrators, K-university from all content areas. If selected, participants earn $600 for full participation plus an additional $200 stipend for participation in the Write to Literacy Conference in November. In addition, CEUs are available for purchase from Tseng College.

Applying for the 2017 Cal State Northridge Writing Project Invitational Summer Institute. We are accepting applications for the Invitational Summer Institute now. You can download and complete the Brochure/Application Form from this page and send it, along with an brief essay (see Application) and a support letter from an administrator, via email, FAX (818-677-2582), or mail (Kathleen Rowlands, Director, Cal State Writing Project, Michael D. Eisner College of Education, Cal State Northridge, 18111 Nordhoff Street, Northridge, CA 91330-8265). Email us with questions.