Institute in the Teaching of Writing

Update: TOSI is ON! We are thrilled to be offering the 2020 Taste of Summer Institute online July 28-30. Even though we know everyone has Zoom fatigue, we feel it is essential for writers to gather together in the same space (whether in-person or virtual) for mutual encouragement and synergy. This Taste of Summer Institute will involve some of the common practices that are foundational to our Institutes: writing into the room, responding to other authors, learning from one another through model lessons and lightning talks, and small-group writing. Come sustain your writerly habits and be renewed in your enthusiasm for teaching. 


2020 Taste of Summer Institute: Nourishing Voice

Do you want to get an idea of what our Institutes are like but don't have the time to commit to a full institute right now? Join our online Taste of Summer Institute July 28-30, 2020, from 9:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. You can earn PDUs or 1 graduate continuing education credit. Register your interest here!

We’ll slow down the clocks together as a writing community. This PD experience is oriented to helping teachers nourish their own writing practice and cultivate practices that will support their student writers. We will share practical, usable and engaging strategies, including story-starters, extensions, and feedback practices that nourish the richness of writers’ work. Together, writers will explore the natural synergy between writing and social-emotional learning with invitations that help writers find their stories and tell them in various genres.

2020 Hybrid Winter Institute

To accommodate teachers' busy schedules, we offer a hybrid Institute that meets once a month on Friday nights (5 - 8 p.m.) and Saturdays (9 a.m. - 3 p.m.) throughout the spring semester. This design offers teachers the opportunity to practice what they learn each month and report on the writing growth they see in their students. In 2020, meetings will be held at the George Fox campus in Newberg on the following weekends: 

January 24-25,  February 21-22,  March 6-7,  April 3-4

As we move into an era where ALL teachers are teachers of writing, we invite educators of any content area or grade level to participate in the Institute in the Teaching of Writing (also known in the NWP network as the Summer Institute). The Institute is modeled after the Bay Area Writing Project and offers professional growth opportunities for teachers, kindergarten through college in all content areas, who wish to develop their writing skills and improve effectiveness in teaching writing. The Institute is the first course in the Certificate in the Teaching of Writing Come strengthen your skills as a writer and as a teacher of writing alongside colleagues from surrounding districts.

  • Study a question or topic of YOUR interest related to the teaching of writing.
  • Collaborate with experienced P-16 teachers to share and develop practice.
  • Two convenient formats: A two-week Summer Intensive Institute OR a one-weekend a month Winter Institute.
  • Earn 3 graduate continuing education credits or professional development units (PDUs)

I’m a really busy teacher, why should I commit to an Institute?

  • Commit because you want to grow as a professional and you sense you can’t do it by yourself.
  • Commit because you recognize that we can all get insulated in our own perspectives and schools and we need new ideas and fresh voices.
  • Commit because you know you used to love to write, but you haven’t enjoyed it for a while and you’re aware that might be affecting your teaching.
  • Commit because you want new friends and colleagues who are doing this thoughtful work in their schools.
  • Commit because maybe you feel discouraged by all the standards and you want thought partners in how to teach beyond the standards and bring joy back to the writing process, for yourself and for your students.
  • Commit because you know that investing in yourself is an investment in your students and your longevity in the profession.

If you’re looking for a community of teachers who are interested in their own professional learning, and doing what’s best for their students, come write with us! Our teachers say that getting to talk and work with educators from different schools and subject areas is wonderful; it offers new perspectives and fresh ideas.  The model lessons and writing opportunities expand our teaching repertoires and give us inspiration for our work. You’ll grow as a writer yourself, and as a teacher of writing, as you explore the art and craft of teaching writers alongside other thoughtful educators. 

Register Interest Here!


This institute is generously sponsored by George Fox University and grants from the National Writing Project. For the full institute, participants can earn 3 graduate (degree applicable) credits for $1500 or 3 graduate continuing education credits for $995. Alternatively, participants can attend for a total cost of of $695 (PDU certificate issued upon completion). Please check with your school district about tuition/workshop fee reimbursement. Many school districts will reimburse these fees in full or in part, depending on district policy, including Salem-Keizer, Dallas, Central, Newberg, Woodburn, McMinnville, Sherwood and others.

The shorter Taste of Summer Institute will cost $300 per participant (PDU certificate offered upon completion) or $400 for 1 graduate continuing education credit. Sign up with a friend for a buddy rate of $250 per person (for PDUs). Contact for more information about this buddy rate. 

Tuition due at registration.


Teacher Writing   Participants will write, share, revise, and submit “polished” pieces for anthology and other professional publications.  This thread will include writing to prompts and sharing during the Institute as well as some on-line response within writing groups.

Inquiry   Participants will present a 45-minute “demonstration” on a “best practices” piece of his/her work.  This is a lesson or practice that is strong and worthy of further study and revision and which will be enriched by the ideas and contributions/discussions within this group.  This piece will be modeled and “coached” by an Institute team leader and/or a TC.

Common Core/EdTPA study   Participants in this Institute will use the time and space to further their professional learning on a topic of choice.  For K-12 teachers, that may be looking closely at and developing lessons for their classrooms to strengthen writing standards in light of Common Core requirements.  For college faculty, that work may include looking at the changes required in the shift from work samples to EdTPA.  There are strong and interesting intersections in both threads of work, including ways to strengthen Academic Language and use of video to analyze teaching and learning. 

Teacher Leadership  Participants will discuss what it means to be a teacher leader and explore opportunities to collaboratively design a leadership project of interest within the site.  That work might be to design and lead an inservice project, participate in Young Writers Camps, participate in leading a future Institute, develop and present a conference presentation, and/or develop a book or study group, or other activity.

Technology    Participants will explore the use of online responses to writing and the use of video reflection/analysis and/or other forms of digital media to enrich their teaching and learning. 

If you have questions or are interested in knowing more about the Institute please contact the Oregon Writing Project Collaborative at or by phone at 503-554-2881.

  Register Interest Online

In Their Own Words

Comments from Program Participants

"The best things about the Winter Institute were the amount of resources discussed and provided, the community of sharing and building writing stamina in teaching, and the creative writing ideas to get kids motivated to write."
"Getting to talk with and work with teachers in different schools and subject areas is wonderful. I felt a little reluctant about the daily writing practice at first, but I found that it helped me move my own writing forward, and I grew as a writer."

"I learned a lot from the instructor, coaches, and peers. This was a valuable experience."
"I felt heard, cared for, and challenged by all [of the instructors]."
"This workshop allowed me to have a more positive outlook on my career."

"OWP offers an opportunity to work collaboratively and share the best writing strategies with colleagues."

"Receiving feedback on my lesson from people that I wrote with and respect was very helpful."

"A wonderful way to develop the habits of a writer."

"So many more ideas! I actually feel like going back to teach tomorrow. Craziness in July! I am excited and confident about teaching writing."

"I'm inspired to use writing in my science teaching to help my students verbalize abstract concepts."

"The Summer Institute has fostered in me a greater recognition of how all the grade levels, kindergarten through college, are connected and reflect each other."

"I never knew writing would be so spirited and enlightening."

"The freedom to write and think and reflect and write again is a wonderful gift."