National Writing Project

Invitational Summer Institute

Each of the nearly 200 NWP sites holds an invitational summer institute every summer. Several thousand teachers participate each year in these summer institutes, and every year new groups of summer fellows at local sites describe their summer institute experience as "a space for critical reflection so essential to good practice," "causing a noticeable and great shift in all of my teaching," "the best professional development I have had in all my years of teaching."

The invitational summer institute is at the core of NWP's model of "teachers teaching teachers." Read more about the intentional and complex design of NWP summer institutes and how they support teachers as professionals, as researchers, and as writers.

Summer Institute Monographs

The NWP at Work Summer Institute set offers a glimpse into the summer institute at three NWP sites.

Developing Citizen-Teachers Through Performance Arts in the Summer Institute

Nancy Mellin McCracken and Anthony Manna describe the journey they undertook integrating the arts into the summer institute. More ›

A Work in Progress

Site leaders at the Southern Arizona Writing Project needed to increase their pool of summer institute applicants, so they created a plan to recruit early. More ›

Enabling Communities and Collaborative Responses

Red Cedar Writing Project leaders noticed that responses to summer institute demonstrations lacked the energy that characterized other activities in the institute, so they created a new protocol for responding. More ›

Other Summer Institute Resources

Changing the Face of Leadership: Redesigning the Summer Institute to Invite Diversity

The Greater Kansas City Writing Project realized that its leadership and activities didn't reflect its service area, so it made difficult but valuable changes to its summer institute with the support of Project Outreach 3. More ›

Ten Readings That Make a Difference

Compiled by Scott Peterson, Third Coast Writing Project (MI), for a 2008 Annual Meeting workshop entitled The Invitational Summer Institute: Preparing Teacher-Consultants for Learning and Leading, this collection of readings can be used by a summer institute planning team or site leadership team to help plan the different stages of a site's summer institute. More ›

The First BAWP Institute

There we were—twenty-nine of us, counting the co-directors and myself—on a Monday morning in the summer of 1974, the first day of the first invitational institute of the Bay Area Writing Project. More ›

Finding Answers

NWP directors, co-directors, and teacher-consultants representing at least 40 states and three countries uncovered scores of solutions to "frequently asked questions" in Denver at the NWP Annual Meeting. More ›

Reflections on a Summer Institute (PDF)

The Central Arkansas Writing Project held its first summer institute in 1999. Here Stephanie Vanderslice, who was its "green" first-time director, shares excerpts from her journal and from that of Emily Bradley, one of the fellows. Download PDF file ›


NWP's E-Anthology is an online writing and response forum used by many NWP sites to connect summer fellows to colleagues across the country. More ›

  • The E-Anthology, a Summer Institute Perspective

    Technology liaison Maggie Herrick describes how the Little Rock Writing Project asked their summer institute participants, some of whom had limited experience with computers, to log on to the NWP E-Anthology and post at least one piece of writing. More ›


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