Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Write Tech, Write Now! Fall Conference

Thursday, September 18th, 2014

Join the National Writing Projects of Maine for Write Tech, Write Now! our 2014 Fall Conference sponsored by the Maine Writing Project and Southern Maine Writing Project.  Explore digital writing choices for the 21st century with more than 18 workshops plus a keynote featuring Troy Hicks, nationally respected authority on digital writing and technology integration!

When: Friday, November 7, 2014 ~ 8:30-3:00

Where: Richard Randall Student Center at the University if Maine in Augusta

Complete Program and Registration Available Online at:


Two MWP fellows publised in the BDN

Monday, May 5th, 2014

Two of our current Maine Writing Project Summer Institute fellows have recently been published on the Op-Ed Page of the Bangor Daily News:

Karla DeMaris was a stay-at-home mom for 20+ years before returning to school to complete her teaching degrees.  She is now in her 3rd year teaching English at Penquis Valley High School in Milo, and recently wrote about some critical thinking benefits of the Common Core Standards.  Find her op-ed piece here.

James “Ron” Bilancia teaches 7th grade Social Studies in Bangor, and more specifically US History and Maine Studies.  He is a second-career teacher, having been in the service and a police officer prior to going into teaching back in 2001.  James wrote about ways to confront the problem of historical illiteracy.  Find his op-ed piece here.


Congratulations to Karla and James!

Writing Ourselves, 2014

Tuesday, April 1st, 2014

Writing Ourselves, the annual spring gathering of Maine Writing Project teacher-consultants, was held on Saturday, March 22, at the Buchanan Alumni House in Orono, Maine. Once again, members had the opportunity to re-connect with other members of the writing project, and to write, to talk, to eat, and to laugh together.


Poet, Doug “Woody” Woodsum‘08, led the group through poetry readings and a workshop on writing short poems.  After some writing time, many participants shared their poems aloud, which showcased an impressively wide range of styles and voices.


Next, former MWP summer institute director, Maureen Montgomery ’02, presented to the group, via Skype, about the writing she does with her students, and offered a look at her inspired collection of graphic writer’s prompts.  Workshop participants were given several varying opportunities to write about teacher stories throughout Maureen’s presentation.

ken and maureen MWP

Maine Writes editorial board, in a call to submissions, invited participants to submit their writing for the 2014 anthology of teacher-consultant writing on a general theme of teacher stories.

Screen shot 2014-03-25 at 8.25.22 AMgroup table

New MWP director, Ken Martin was honored by the leadership committee, and the audience..

Also, this year, an orientation session was held for the 2014 writing project fellows who are on their way to becoming new teacher-consultants.  These individuals complete a three-credit online course, Introduction to the National Writing Project, in the spring, and this summer a three-credit Institute in Teacher Leadership on the Orono campus which concludes with our summer in July, Promising Practices.

group room

Participants left Writing Ourselves with the good energy of fellowship and a renewed motivation to write.

Summer Courses!

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014

2014 Summer Courses

in Writing & the Teaching of Writing

ERL 590-0001    Designing Online Learning Experiences with Dave Boardman Online 7/1-8/16
ERL 590-0002    Nature Writing with Rich Kent On campus: July 14-18
ERL 590-0003    Writing Center Pedagogy with Cynthia Dean Online 6/2-7/3
ERL 590-0004    Seminar in Blogging with Emilie Manhart Online 5/12-7/11
ERL 590-0005    Seminar in Fiction Writing with Kate Kennedy On campus 7/21-25
ERL 590-0006    Reading & Writing in the Common Core with Dave Boardman Online 7/1-8/16
EDG 657              Writing Practicum with Rich Kent online May 15-August 1


For more information, please contact:
Dr. Ken Martin, Director:

or Dr. Rich Kent:

Writing Ourselves: an Invitation to MWP members

Friday, January 31st, 2014

Dear Maine Writing Project TCs!  Our 2014 Writing Ourselves workshop will be held in Orono, on Saturday, March 22. This special day of writing just for MWP members will be held at the Buchanan Alumni House.

Some years ago, former co-director Maureen Montgomery said to herself, “You know, Maine Writing Project members do a lot to help young writers and to support each other in the teaching of writing.  Wouldn’t it be nice to set aside one day each year and just write for ourselves!”

Since 2009, MWP members have gathered for an early spring Saturday to do 3 things we love: write, reconnect with each other, and enjoy good food.  This year, Maureen Montgomery, 2002, and Doug “Woody” Woodsum, 2008, will each lead a one-hour activity that prompts writing and includes time to share with others at your table or the larger audience.  Their activities will likely be something you can take back to your classroom, but for this day we hope the writing and sharing will be just for you.

Other highlights of the day include breakfast snacks throughout the morning and lunch at noon with lots of time to catch up with friends.  In the afternoon, you are welcome to use rooms in Buchanan Alumni House to continue writing on your own.  Finally, we’d love to have you meet our new, 2014 Fellows who are invited for the morning and have an orientation in the afternoon for their July institute.

Writing Ourselves

with Maureen Montgomery and Doug “Woody” Woodsum

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Buchanan Alumni House

160 College Avenue, Orono, Maine

9:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. Registration & refreshments

9:30 a.m. — Writing Workshops 12:00 — Luncheon
$15 Registration Save with Early Registration: $10 by March 1

Interested?  Want to register?  Contact Lisa Daniel. or call (207)581-2492

Write Here, Write Now Draws Educators from Across Maine

Tuesday, October 29th, 2013

On October 25th, more than 100 Maine educators gathered in Lewiston for “Write Here, Write Now,” a conference devoted to writing across the curriculum and hosted by the National Writing Projects of Maine.

Twenty-four teacher-consultants of the Maine and Southern Maine Writing Projects presented workshops on a variety of topics, including Multigenre Writing, Writing in Elementary Science, Matching Writing Objectives to the Common Core, Digital Portfolios, and Building a Student-Staffed Writing Center.

student on laptop

The day was a successful opportunity for Writing Project members and other educators to renew friendships as well as their teaching spirits.  More pictures from this collegial day can be found at our Maine Writing Project Facebook page.

Thank you to all who presented and attended, and for all who continue to support the Maine Writing Project.

Ken Martin, new director of the Maine Writing Project

Friday, October 11th, 2013

Ken Martin, a Maine Writing Project Teacher-consultant since 1999, has been named Director of the Maine Writing Project.  Ken is taking over for Rich Kent who led the Writing Project for the last decade.

Ken Martin

Ken Martin, new director of the Maine Writing Project

Ken comes to the head of MWP after a wealth of experience.  He spearheaded projects such as “Our Maine: The Way Life Is,” MWP’s version of the National Writing Project’s “Rural Voices Radio” programs. He and Debra Butterfield organized and led this state-wide project that involved Maine students and teachers in creating placed-based, spoken-word anthologies. With Dave Boardman, Ken played a critical role in developing NWP’s Digital Is resource website as well as helping to create the MWP Graduate Program in Writing and the Teaching of Writing. He has also reinvented the Invitational Summer Institute (ISI) by creating an Annual Institute comprised of an online spring semester course and an on-campus summer institute.

Ken has led a wide range of professional development activities, presented nationally, chaired conferences, and served as an ISI Mentor, ISI Co-Director and Director, Technology Liaison, Professional Development Director, Co-Director, and Associate Director. Ken is currently a member of the literacy faculty at UMaine and formerly a K-12 technology integration coach in Washington County and a high school English teacher at Narraguagus High School in Harrington, Maine.

Rich Kent has been Director of the Maine Writing Project for ten years in which time Writing Project membership has grown to nearly 400 Teacher-consultants and core programs like young authors camps have expanded considerably.  Rich is distinguished for introducing  innovative new programming including the annual Writing Ourselves conference, support for student-staffed writing centers, sponsoring the Southern Maine Writing Project, MaineWrites publishing, and the MWP Graduate Program in Writing and the Teaching of Writing.


Rich is a nationally recognized authority on student-staffed writing centers and on writing in athletic settings, including his Writing Athletes website.  Rich is an Associate Professor in Literacy at UMaine and will continue to advise the Maine Writing Project as he pursues his interests in writing, research, and teaching.
Congratulations, Ken!

Write Here, Write Now.

Tuesday, September 24th, 2013

Join the National Writing Projects of Maine for Write Here, Write Now, a writing across the curriculum and writing centers conference at USM’s Lewiston/Auburn campus on October 25, 2013.  Workshops will feature a variety of write-to-learn strategies for students across content areas and grade levels. Register Online Today.

Promising Practices Conference Showcases 2013 Fellows

Wednesday, September 11th, 2013

On July 11, over fifty UMaine students, local teachers, and Maine Writing Project  members gathered at the Donald P. Corbett Hall on the University of Maine campus.  MWP 2013 Institute Fellows were the centerpiece of this one-day conference presenting
teaching workshops on a wide variety of topics, including Digital Story Telling – It’s Not Just for Fiction Anymore, Peaceable Moments with Picture Books, Engaging Diverse Learners through Writing Stations, Using Social Media to Connect with Characters, and Composition, and Developmental Learners.

Along with the practical demonstrations, Writing Project participants caught up with old friends who came to support fellow teachers as writers and presenters. The day included lots of time for reflection and writing. Participants were treated to door prizes and lots of great food.

Organized by MWP’s Kris McBean, Promising Practices will be a yearly event. Check back here for information on Promising Practices 2014 and join the learning and fun.

2013 Annual Institute welcomes new teacher-consultants

Thursday, August 22nd, 2013

The 2013 Annual Institute of the Maine Writing Project concluded with the seven-day Institute on Teacher Leadership held on the Orono campus July 1-12.  Twelve Fellows completed the online Introduction to the National Writing Project during the UMaine spring semester and became teacher-consultants by completing the July institute.

Highlights of this year’s institute included a visit from local children’s author Katie Quirk , a morning writing and sharing with forty-two writers from grades 3-12 at the Orono Young Authors Camp ,and our new TCs demonstrating their teaching practices at our Promising Practices Conference on July 11th.

This summer, an Advanced Institute in Teacher Leadership welcomed back six teacher-consultants from previous years.  These experienced MWP teacher leaders mentored the new Fellows along with completing their own writing and investigation of teacher leadership.