October Newsletter

October 29th, 2015 1:00 PM

Lots of good things are happening at MWP.

> Fall conference on Friday, November 13th.
> Maine Writes 2016 Call for submissions.
> Something new ~ “Your Daily Write” ~ coming soon to support your writing habit and connect you with other writing TCs.
> The 2016 MWP Institute program…Now enrolling new fellows!

See our October Newsletter for details!

2015 Wilhelm Fellows Announced

July 20th, 2015 12:43 PM

We are pleased to announce two new recipients of the Jeffrey D. Wilhelm Award for 2015: Katy Jones and Todd McKinley.

2015 Wilhelm Fellows

(L to R) Institute co-director Edith Berger congratulates Wilhelm Fellows Katy Jones and Todd McKinley with MWP site director Ken Martin

Katy Jones currently enjoys the “thrill” of teaching Reading and English for 8th graders at Winslow Junior High School. Besides loving to read and write with kids, Katy likes to bake, write letters to friends, read young adult fiction, workout, and travel with her husband. She believes in the power of cookies and storytelling, and she enjoys finding new ways to keep kids interested in her content. Katy is also dedicated to integrating technology in education. During the Institute, she demonstrated how she teaches the research process and informational writing with Google Apps. She describes herself as “tech-persistent,” instead of tech-savvy. Katy is “excited” to be a part of the Maine Writing Project and is looking forward to working with other members for many years to come.

Todd McKinley has taught 8th grade at Leonard Middle School in Old Town since 2000.  He is active in middle level education, serving as a consultant for the Middle Level Education Institute and presenting at the Maine Association for Middle Level Education’s annual conference.  Todd has a passion for writing — for himself and with and beside his students. He considers the act of writing like exercise: committing time each day feeds the soul and raises his well-being.  Although he mainly writes poetry, he experiments with short stories, taking inspiration from experiences shared by family and friends. He has received awards in local contests and participated as a judge for a young writers’ contest.

Todd also believes in the power of live performance — through music, drama, and  the spoken word. He has directed middle school productions for ten years, and most recently, he has served as a judge for the regional finals of the Poetry Out Loud competitions. Todd also acts in local productions and sings with Black Bear Men’s Chorus and Ursa Minor, an a cappella group. Todd lives with wife and daughter in Old Town along the Stillwater River where seasonal views often inspire his writing.

The Wilhelm Fellow recognizes inspired participation in the annual institute of the Maine Writing Project as determined by a vote of participants in the institute. The award was established in celebration of the contributions made to the Maine Writing Project and the educational community of Maine by our former site director, Jeffrey D. Wilhelm. Recent recipients include Teri Brown ’09, Susan Sandler ’09, Patsy Baldus ’10, and Pete St. John ’11, Amy Philbrook ’12, and David Farady ’13.

MWP News: Science Around ME launched!

March 23rd, 2015 8:38 PM

Jay at science festivalScience Around ME launched this past weekend at the Maine Science Festival in Bangor. Pictured here, project director Jay Meigs-McDonald greeted visitors to the festival and handed out more than 500 wallet-sized cards with the app logo and QR code.

Science Around ME is an app that was developed right here in Maine by MWP and the Maine Discovery Museum to highlight the science that is all around us and to invite users to write in response to the science at various local settings. The Penobscot River is our first app location and features birds, fish, the challenge to water quality, and our lumbering history.

While the android version of Science Around ME is available in Google Play, it will be a couple of weeks before it is available on the Apple app store. So stay tuned for when that happens!

MWP News – March 13, 2015

March 13th, 2015 1:34 PM

Writing Ourselves: A Marathon Event!Writing walk

Don’t miss our annual rite to celebrate writing:
When: Saturday, May 2nd, 9-1
Where: Maine Discovery Museum, downtown Bangor
No charge for MWP TCs: Register online
See attached flyer for details.

Announcing: Science Around ME!

MWP is partnering with the Maine Discovery Museum to create intersections between science and literacy. We have an app for that! Science Around ME is an app that invites users to respond to the science at local sites with writing to be published online. More information!

Science Around ME will be unveiled at the first annual Maine Science Festival, Friday-Sunday, March 20-22. Visit the festival and look for Science Around ME at the Maine Discovery Museum!

Coming Soon: MWP Reads

A community reading event just for you! Special book, special pricing, special discussion with MWP colleagues! Stay tuned for details.

Write Tech, Write Now! Fall Conference

September 18th, 2014 4:46 PM

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

May 5th, 2014 10:07 AM

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

April 1st, 2014 1:44 PM

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!

March 12th, 2014 12:02 PM

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: kenneth.martin@maine.edu

or Dr. Rich Kent: rich.kent@maine.edu

Writing Ourselves: an Invitation to MWP members

January 31st, 2014 12:26 PM

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.

lisa.daniel@umit.maine.edu or call (207)581-2492

Write Here, Write Now Draws Educators from Across Maine

October 29th, 2013 12:06 PM

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.