Author: acwcacommunications

Call for Papers: CWCA/ACCR Annual Conference (May 24-25, 2018)

Politics and the Writing Centre: Inquiry, Knowledge, Dialogue and Action

Deadline: Submit your proposals by 11:59pm (EST) Monday January 15, 2018.

Please note that this is a FIRM deadline, and will NOT be extended.

Where: University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon

When: May 24-25, 2018

Keynote: Dr. Sheelah McLean

Plenary: Jack Saddleback

In Canada, a recent focus on reconciliation and Indigenization are revitalizing conversations around anti-oppression pedagogy (Kumashiro, 2000), a series of approaches which focus on how traditional educational systems and practices reinforce existing hierarchies and contribute to the disenfranchisement of marginalized students. Nationally and internationally, post-secondary institutions are seeing students affected by the rising tide of extremist right-wing politics and dubious news sources, calling for renewed attention to social justice and literacy-building.

An International Writing Centres Association (IWCA) position statement states that writing centres are particularly well positioned to “uphold students’ rights, as we work in the everyday-ness of literacy” (as cited in Godbee & Olson, 2014). As Nancy Grimm (2009) said in her IWCA keynote, “Although some might claim that the work of a writing center is ‘just’ to teach writing, the teaching of writing is never a neutral endeavor; it is never devoid of political motivations or outcomes.”

At the 2018 CWCA conference, we invite you to join us to exchange knowledge, share challenges, and ask questions about the ways our teaching and tutoring can and should engage in anti-oppressive educational practices.

Keynote speaker Dr. Sheelah McLean — a founder of the Idle No More movement and recipient of the Carol Gellar Human Rights Award (2013) — will discuss anti-racist, anti-oppressive educational practices. Closing plenary speaker Jack Saddleback will discuss the topic of resilience, drawing on his personal experiences with mental health activism, student politics, and gender and sexual diversity.

Presentation Options:

Whether or not your idea, pedagogy or research addresses the conference theme directly, consider the following options:

  1. Pedagogical practice for roundtable discussion. 30 minutes. Roundtable session on a writing centre pedagogy or practice. Round table facilitators lead 30 minutes of engaged discussion. Describe your pedagogical practice and at least three questions to stimulate discussion.
  2. Research presentation. 20-minutes. Report on a study—quantitative, qualitative, mixed methods, action research, reflective—or a pedagogical innovation. Reports will be grouped into panels of 2 or 3.
  3. Interactive workshop. 45 minutes. Do you have a pedagogical practice or innovation that you want participants to experience? Describe your practice or innovation, the overall structure of the session, and how you will actively engage the audience.
  4. Panel discussion. 45 minutes. Are you having an interesting—and maybe controversial—discussion with colleagues around an issue? Share your conversation and engage others by putting together a panel or debate. Plan at least 15 minutes for Q&A.
  5. Poster Presentation. Posters are ideally suited for sharing results of a study where a picture (table, chart, graph, photographs, infographic, or word cloud) is worth a thousand words. They allow for individual conversations, and can be repurposed after the conference. This year, the plan is to combine them with cocktails and snacks.

Note: When submitting your proposal, you will be asked to indicate which of the following streams your proposal fits (you may choose more than one):

  • Tutor Training
  • Peer Tutor Presentation
  • General Tutoring Practices and Approaches
  • Working with Multilingual Writers
  • Working with Graduate Student Writers
  • Creative Responses to Administrative Challenges
  • RAD or Data-Driven Research
  • Writing Centre Programming
  • Online Tutoring or Support
  • Institutional and Cross-institutional Partnerships and Collaborations
  • Decolonizing and Indigenizing the Writing Centre

Questions to get you thinking:

  • Responding to the times: How do national and international politics affect writing centre staff, faculty, and student learners? How can writing centres respond? How do we help students work through and resist harmful rhetorics and discourses?
  • Safe and accessible spaces: How are writing centres improving access and creating safe spaces for all students, including older, international, multilingual, first-generation, Indigenous, LGBTQ, and students with disabilities? How does decolonization support all students? Is the writing centre as “neutral” space a myth? How are we improving access to distance or commuter students, in person or online?
  • Partnerships for change: What do successful partnerships with other units—on or off campus—look like, and how can they extend or support writing centre work?
  • Experiential learning, community outreach and community-based research: What initiatives connect the writing centre and the larger community, and what effects have they had?
  • Changing educational inequities: How are writing centres, with our front-line, one-to-one contact with students, in a privileged position to effect change? What are the risks, to ourselves and our centres, of leading or supporting change? How can our hiring and training practices effect change?
  • Allying and learning: How are writing centres allying and learning from colleagues in other disciplines as we face continuing and emerging inequities? How can we support and learn specifically from Indigenous faculty, TAs, tutors, students?
  • Care for ourselves and our students: How do our current practices foster resilience and a growth mindset? What are writing centres doing that contributes to a healthy campus?

Proposals must be submitted through our online submission form.

Email submissions will not be accepted.

Any individual presenter may be included on up to two (2) proposals, but at least one of the proposals must be for a group presentation (3-5 presenters) or a round-table.

Questions about conference proposals can be directed to CWCA Vice-President, Sarah King:

Presenters will be notified by email concerning the status of their proposal(s) by February 23, 2018.


Godbee, B., & Olson, B. (2014). “Readings for racial justice: A project of the IWCA SIG on antiracism activism.” Antiracism and LGBTQ SIG Resources. International Writing Centers Association. Retrieved from

Grimm, N. M. (2009). “New conceptual frameworks for writing center work.” The Writing Center Journal 29(2), 11-27.

Kumashiro, K. (2000). “Toward a Theory of Anti-Oppressive Education.” Review of Educational Research 70(1), 25-53.

Call for Feedback: Executive Function Skills and Writing Centres

Amanda Marshall, Writing Centre Project Coordinator at NSCC (and the newest member of the ACWCA), recently published an invited post to the WLN blog on “Executive Function Skills and Writing Centres.” Amanda is hoping to engage her Atlantic Canadian colleagues in discussion and information-sharing on this topic, with the goal of creating a training module to help Writing Centre practitioners understand the importance of working with executive function skills to aid in writing skills development.

To read Amanda’s post, visit the WLN blog. Members are invited to post comments there, or contact Amanda directly with feedback (

Fall 2017 ACWCA Meeting | September 29-30 at Cape Breton University

The fall meeting of the ACWCA will be taking place September 29-30. This year’s meeting will be hosted by Tammy Byrne, Writing Centre Coordinator at Cape Breton University in Sydney, Nova Scotia.

All writing centre staff and administrators are invited to attend, regardless of whether they are members of the ACWCA. (Not a member yet? You can sign up using our online form. Membership is free.)

Important Dates

  • Please confirm your attendance, and suggest a discussion topic, by emailing Linnet Humble, ACWCA Communications Officer, at by end of day Friday, September 22.
  • Rooms at Cambridge Suites will be held until Monday, September 18; rooms will be held at Hampton Inn until Friday, September 22.

Tentative Schedule

Our meeting will take place over two days:

Friday, September 29, 2pm-5pm
Saturday, September 30, 9:45am-1pm

We would be happy to have you attend one or both of these days.

At this time we are taking suggestions for discussion topics. If there is a topic of interest to you related to writing centre programming, administration, training, ethics, etc., please propose it in your RSVP. At the meeting, we’d ask you to introduce the topic and kick off a 45-minute discussion. For previous meeting agendas, see our Past Events webpage.


A block of rooms is on hold under the name “ACWCA” at the Hampton Inn by Hilton Sydney in Membertou and at the Cambridge Suites Hotel on the Sydney waterfront. Both are a 10-15 minute drive from the CBU campus. Tammy has booked the blocks for the nights of September 28-30 in case some of us will be traveling the days before/after the conference. The Hampton’s room rate is $125/night, and the Cambridge’s is $129/night. Both include parking and breakfast. The Hampton is holding rooms until end of day September 22. The Cambridge is holding them until September 18.

Call for Proposals: 2017 CASDW/ACR Conference

Please consider submitting a proposal for the Ninth Annual Conference of the Canadian Association for the Study of Discourse & Writing (CASDW) conference to be held at Ryerson University in Toronto on May 27-29. This year’s conference theme is The Presence of Writing: Making a Place for the Study of Writing and Discourse.

The deadline for proposals is January 27, 2017. See attached for details.



The Northeast Writing Centers Association (NEWCA) has extended its call for proposals for their Spring 2017 conference, Writing in the Margins: Language, Labor, and Class, which will be held April 1-2 at Pace University in Westchester, New York.

Proposals are now due by January 20, 2017. See CFP below for details or visit for more information.

NEWCA 2017 Conference CFP

Invitation to next ACWCA Meeting, September 23-24 (Acadia University, Wolfville, NS)

Writing Centre Coordinator Stephen Ahern will be hosting the next regional meeting at Acadia University in Wolfville, Nova Scotia, September 23-34. See below for details.

ACWCA Fall 2016 Meeting


KC Irving Environmental Science Centre
32 University Ave
Acadia University
Wolfville, Nova Scotia


Friday, September 23

  • discussions 2:00pm–5:15pm
  • dinner 6:00pm

Saturday, September 24

  • discussions 9:00am–12:00pm
  • lunch 12:00pm

Tentative Schedule

ACWCA Meeting Program (Fall 2016)

The idea is that on Friday you’ll have time to get here, and then on Saturday time to get home. Between the two days, we have budgeted time for five 45-minute sessions, topics TBD. For each session, one of us takes a few minutes to introduce a topic of relevance to running a writing centre, and then opens things up for a good, productive conversation.

If there’s a topic you’d like us all to consider, please email it to Linnet Humble, ACWCA Communications Officer, by September 6. If by chance there turn out to be more suggestions than slots, our ad hoc program committee – Stephen, Linnet Humble, and Brian Hotson – will put together a range of topics that work well together.

We’ve also included space for writing tutors to participate on the Friday afternoon, and hope that you’ll be able to bring a tutor or two—either those with experience or those newly hired. They’ll meet for their own session, and then join us for a refreshment break and then a plenary workshop on effective tutoring strategies.


For Friday night, we have reserved a block of 10 rooms at the Blomidon Inn in Wolfville. The Inn is offering us a 10% discount off their regular rates of $129 to $159 per night + tax. If you’d like to stay at the Blomidon, you’ll need to contact the Inn yourself and book by August 26, after which the rooms may be released.

There are few less expensive – and certainly few as charming – other options in the area, so you’ll want to decide soon. One B&B I’ve heard good things about is the Gaspereau Valley Bed and Breakfast. You’d need a car for sure if you stay there: it’s not far, but it is “over the ridge.”


For dinner on Friday, Stephen will book us in as a group at nice local restaurant, a short walk from our meeting place. (N.B. each of us will have to cover that meal from our own funds.)

Acadia’s administration has agreed to cover the cost of refreshment breaks and lunch on Saturday – so come thirsty and hungry!

RSVP Reminders

  • reserve your room at the Blomidon Inn by August 26
  • email suggestions for discussion topics to Linnet Humble, ACWCA Communications Officer, at by September 6
  • confirm attendance of both directors and tutors for catering/scheduling purposes by September 6 by emailing Linnet Humble, ACWCA Communications Officer, at

Next ACWCA Meeting

The next meeting of the Atlantic Canadian Writing Centres will be held at Acadia University in Wolfville, Nova Scotia, September 23-24, 2016.

Discussions will take place Friday, September 23 from 2:00pm-5:00pm and Saturday, September 24 from 9:30am-12:00pm. (Please note that these dates are tentative and subject to change.)

To suggest an item for the meeting’s agenda, please email Linnet Humble, Communications Officer, at

Thanks to our colleague Stephen Ahern for offering to host.



Call for Papers: 2nd Annual Academic Writing & English Language Learners (AWELL) Conference

Global Methods, Local Practice:
ELL Writing Pedagogy and Practice for Global Citizenship

April 29-30, 2016
Saint Mary’s University, Halifax, Nova Scotia
Presented by the Saint Mary’s University Writing Centre and the Atlantic Canadian Writing Centres

Global citizens are part of a worldwide community whose concerns are centered on the protection and development their community’s diverse practices and values. For global students, this identity is created through continued pedagogical development and innovation in communication and information technologies, and sustained by living within these practices through an engagement with writing. English Language Learners continue to be a growing student demographic. ELLs are a highly heterogeneous and diverse group, with varying backgrounds and educational needs and goals, who learn through a number of modes: English Second Language (ESL), English for Academic Purposes (EAP), Second-Language Learners (L2), and English Lingua Franca (ELF). As conceptions of global citizenship evolve, universities provide a unique opportunity to explore how the fundamental understanding of these modes of acquisition for academic writing and pedagogical methods change.

Topics related to Academic Writing & English Language Learners are welcome. Successful submissions will include immediate and practical applications with pedagogical and theoretical foundations that conference attendees can use within their academic communities.

Sessions will be in a 30-min paper and 1-hour workshop format. Please indicate preference in your submission.

Questions for consideration may include, but are not limited to:

  • Pedagogy and practice for multilingual classrooms
  • ELL pedagogy relating to globalized students
  • Learning community writing practice
  • Technology in writing practice relating to ELLs
  • Multimodal approaches to ELL writing instruction and practice
  • Considerations of general teaching and learning practice to ELLs

We encourage participation from all academic fields and disciplines.

Please submit your 250 word proposals by March 7, 2016 via e-mail: writing@smu.


Call for Papers || The Canadian Association for the Study of Discourse and Writing, Congress 2016

The Power of Writing: Explorations of the Energy of Writing and Discourse

The Eighth Annual Conference of the Canadian Association for the Study of Discourse and Writing (CASDW / ACR)

Saturday, May 28 to Monday, May 30, 2016
University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta


We invite papers on all aspects of writing studies for the eighth annual conference of CASDW/ACR, the largest gathering of writing studies scholars in Canada.  In particular, we invite papers on research on writing theory and pedagogy connecting with our theme of The Power of Writing. This theme encompasses research and theoretical studies of not only the effects of writing, but also the energy and efforts required to cultivate and sustain effective writing and writing program initiatives.

Papers might address topics such as:

  • the nature of effective and powerful writing in the academy, the professions, and the workplace
  • how strong and energetic writing programs are created and supported or undermined
  • writing and power
  • the writing centre as a “writing resource”
  • writing in the energy sector and Canada’s natural resource fields
  • the discourse of environmental activism – local and global
  • teaching students to write: what motivates and energizes writing instruction?
  • how writing shapes, challenges, and energizes communities

We invite papers that draw on work in genre studies, rhetorical theory, writing studies, writing centre theory and practice, and professional and technical writing research and practice. We welcome papers that connect with CASDW’s heritage as a place for sharing research on technical and professional writing as well as those that connect with its more inclusive mission to examine all forms of discourse and writing and to explore pedagogical practices and innovations.

The proposal deadline is January 25, 2016. See proposal requirements below for details.

CASDW 2016 CFP Proposal Requirements

For more information about CASDW and to join the association or renew your membership, please visit

For more information about the Congress or to register, visit