Friday, April 26, 2013

Welcome to the Spring 2013 Edition of eMuse!

In this edition...

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Ready for Writing, Revelations, and Recharging!

Shari Hales

The fourteen participants joining this year’s Summer Institute, along with the facilitators, are eagerly awaiting their opportunity to learn with supportive and enthusiastic peers, as well as hone their teaching and writing crafts.

The 2013 Summer Invitational Institute Orientation, when participants meet their mentors, will take place on April 30th in room 320 at EMU’s Student Center from 5-7:30.

The 2013 Summer Institute will also be held in room 320 at the Student Center each weekday from 9 until 3, beginning on June 19th and continuing until July 19th (with the exception of July 4th and 5th).

The Summer Institute at Eastern gives educators an all-too-rare opportunity to purposefully explore their writing practices, both personally and professionally, in a collaborative atmosphere where teachers of elementary, middle school, high school, and college students work alongside one another. This positive and unique atmosphere of encouragement allows teachers self-directed opportunities to explore action research, inspire others in best practices, and enhance their own teaching techniques to better reach and teach their students. When the EMWP concludes in July, these teacher leaders will deliver the message to schools: the best writing teachers are teachers who write.

Bill Tucker - EMWP Director
Cindy Guillean, 2011 – New Teacher Coordinator
Shari Hales, 2012 – Returning Fellow

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Registration is now open for The EMWP Literacy Coaching Institute

Julia Keider, Teacher Consultant (’01) and Institute Facilitator

The Eastern Michigan Writing Project is proud to announce the Literacy Coaching Institute, intended to bridge the communication and resources of literacy coaches in Michigan.

The Literacy Coaching Institute will focus on the effective collaborative strategies of teachers, teacher-leaders, coaches, administrators, and directors of coaching programs to build a capacity for improving literacy instruction strategies and routines.

The Literacy Coaching Institute Launch, scheduled for Thursday, June 6th from 4:30 to 6:30 pm at the EMU Student Center, will provide the initial resources for literacy coaching. Facilitators will outline the Institute’s purposes and its future aspirations.

During the Literacy Coaching Institute on June 20th and 21st, facilitators will discuss the purposes of coaching norms; address the importance of establishing trusting relationships in work environments; demonstrate one-on-one coaching sessions; and explore a future professional network of coaches in our region.

The registration cost for the Coaching Institute is $120 per person, which includes dinner on June 6th and the two-day workshop. Interested participants can contact EMWP Professional Development Coordinator Sarah Lorenz at sarahloren@gmail for more information. Registration Forms are available on the EMWP website and should be sent via e-mail to Julia Keider (TC ’01) at
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Summer Course Opportunity: LITR 585

LITR 585: Forging/Mastering Pedagogies for Teaching Art and Literature
Summer 2013, July 22 - August 2
MTWRF 9:00-3:00

Click here to view the course flier.
For more information, please contact Professor John Staunton at
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Summer Course Opportunity: Revenge! Scandal! and Dramatic Sensations!

Read all about it during the 6-week Summer I session (May-early June) in L540 Elizabethan/Jacobean Drama with Professor Melissa Jones. The readings include a fun selection of plays from Shakespeare and his cronies alongside contemporary critical theory on topics ranging from the historical to the salacious.

NOTE: The start time is officially 5:30 but this might be negotiated to 6:00 if necessary to accommodate teacher work schedules. This course can be used to satisfy period or elective requirements in the MA Literature or MA in English Studies for Teachers. It is also open to non-degree students with instructor permission.

The course runs in the Summer 1 session, MW Evenings (May 6-June 17). Contact Melissa ( ASAP if you are interested in enrolling or have any questions.
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ENGL 531 - Teacher as Writer

Have you been hoping to find time to write—projects that you want to begin or finish? A summer, two-week course might be the answer!

One of the principles of the National Writing Project, the most ubiquitous and historically effective professional development model for teachers, is: “Knowledge about the teaching of writing comes from many sources: theory and research, the analysis of practice, and the experience of writing.” This class will provide you the opportunity to engage in all three practices, particularly the last one. Through working as writers, including sharing and responding to each other’s writing, you will develop insights and theoretical frameworks toward pedagogy that positions students as writers.
A second principle of NWP states, “Writing can and should be taught, not just assigned,” and that teachers can work together to examine how writers develop across grade levels and subject areas. As a community of writers and teachers, we will discuss how students can learn to engage in practices, struggles and opportunities of writers, and how teachers can serve as models. For example, by engaging as writers, teachers are more prepared to position students as writers and guide or coach them (the metaphor is important), constructing practices and discourse that initiate and reflect a community of writers.

Through “reflective and informed community of practice,” a third NWP principle, teachers equip themselves to “design and develop comprehensive writing programs.” Therefore, in this two-week intensive course, we will engage in discourse and practices of a community of writers, including selecting topics and genres for particular purposes and audiences; and we will explore how these practices inform our pedagogy.

Finally, some of you may elect to enroll in the course for the purpose of working on particular projects. The class offers you the time and flexibility of continuing to build on those manuscripts while learning how to integrate your experiences as writers with those of your students, or future students. You will be encouraged to read brief selections by other writers, mainly for the purpose of supporting your work as a writer or teacher.

Eastern Michigan University
ENGL 531 – Teacher as Writer
June 24 – July 5, 2013
Student Center
9:00 am – 3:00 pm
Professor W. Douglas Baker
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NWP – The Model at Work

Bill Tucker, Director

The National Writing Project sifts through the annual reports of local sites for programs of interest to those in the network.
The Eastern Michigan Writing Project submitted its report in February, 2013, and an NWP task force of site leaders selected programs from the report and posted them to a blog: “NWP—The Model at Work.” You can go to the following address to view the entire page:

Or you can view the following individual posts to see what EMWP has accomplished in the past year. It was a good year!

Eastern Michigan WP Family Literacy Institute: A Midwest Success! ... Eastern_Michigan_2013_fli_flyer.docx ...

Eastern Michigan WP Tackles College Readiness .. Eastern_Michigan_2013_literacy_standards_for_life.docx ...

Eastern Michigan Writing Project Honored with Business Partner Award Eastern Michigan University's Eastern Michigan Writing Project was honored...

Eastern Michigan Writing Project Awarded Three SEED Grants The Eastern Michigan Writing Project received three $20,000 grants in the summer of 2012 ...

Easter Michigan WP’s School-Based Professional Development Grows Eastern Michigan WP identifies the factors and describes the planning that contribute to professional development...

Family Literacy Initiative Offers Bright Futures for Urban Schools at Eastern Michigan WP MI Eastern Michigan Writing Project addresses urban challenges...

Administrators, Advisors Support MI Eastern Michigan Writing Project Eastern Michigan Writing Project Enjoys University Support Meeting in September 2011...

Ball Foundation, National Center for Literacy Education Partner with Eastern Michigan Writing Project Eastern Michigan Writing Projects Partners with National Center for Literacy Education...

MI Eastern Michigan Writing Project Study Groups Explore Primary and Secondary Writing Instruction
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Writing Outside Your Comfort Zone Goes Online!

Cathy Fleischer and Sarah Andrew-Vaughan

How can professional development be formatted so that it meets the needs of busy teachers? One increasingly popular approach is shifting the idea of teacher book clubs from a face-to-face experience to one that occurs online. The two of us are very excited that, beginning next spring (2014), we’ll be offering a book-club based, online experience surrounding our book Writing Outside Your Comfort Zone: Helping Students Navigate Unfamiliar Genres.

Sponsored by the National Writing Project, we’re creating a three-part online experience that will take place over seven months. In the spring we’ll host Part 1, a three-week book study project, which will lead teachers in an online discussion of the book, moving chapter by chapter. In the summer, we’ll begin Part 2, which—relying on the NWP mantra of teacher as writer—will lead teachers through the experience of writing their very own Unfamiliar Genre Project (the centerpiece of the book). And then in the fall, we’ll use our online discussion format to help teachers think through how to bring their own reading and writing experiences about genre into their teaching.

All this is made possible through an NWP Seed Grant for Online Learning Experiences (OLE) that we’ve just been awarded. The grant helps us develop component parts of the project this summer as we both create content and learn how to use the NWP online system to make the content teacher friendly and accessible. And we’re looking forward to attending an NWP-sponsored July retreat so we can learn from other sites who have already developed some successful OLEs.

Hope you’ll join in the fun and take part in the online experience next spring and summer. Stay tuned for updates as we roll this out!
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Reunion 2013!

Mark your calendars! November 2nd, 2013 is the EMWP reunion!

Jeff, Carson, Jenny and Brady Taylor
Jason Elstone and Kerry Berry
We'll meet at the Corner Brewery from 5-7:30pm, with a writing marathon in the early afternoon.

Left: Angela Knight, Rachel Toon and her son; Right: Barbara Martin, Heather, Nolan and Hannah Shively

Click here to read the 2012 Reunion Special Edition issue of eMuse.
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Inkstains Celebrates 10 Years of Summer Writing Camps

Kim Pavlock TC ‘92

While the EMWP celebrates 20 years, Inkstains – formerly called Write-Link – will be celebrating its tenth year of offering summer writing camps for middle and high school students in Southeastern Michigan! In the last four years alone, we have had more than 200 teens and pre-teens gather on the campus of Eastern Michigan University to immerse themselves in the joy and freedom of writing for fun.

This year, the middle school camp (for students entering grades 6-8 in the fall of 2013) will be held the week of July 8-12. The high school camp (for students entering grades 9-12) will be held the week of July 15-19. Camp tuition for the entire week is $200 and includes creative writing activities, collaboration and fun for every student, as well as a hard-bound writing journal, t-shirt, and copy of the camp anthology with select writings from the week. A limited number of partial scholarships are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Of course, we’re a little partial to how wonderful this experience is for young writers, but don’t take our word for it; read on for a sampling of what the campers themselves have to say:

Inkstains was great! I really liked being outdoors a lot! And I liked how we were always with different people and different sized groups!
~Anne, an Inkstains middle school camper

I really loved camp, and will (hopefully) return next summer. One of my favorite things was that we were given many topics. I liked that we had many choices as far as what we want to write about and what we wanted to continue writing, instead of being forced to write about cheesy topics. I also liked that we were encouraged to share our stories, without being forced, and that reading them aloud wasn't at all stressful. I really can't think of anything that I didn't like; camp was so amazing!
~Rachel, an Inkstains high school camper

Being able to read my work [aloud] at the end of the week is wonderful. Although I am always shy and nervous right before reading, I love walking to the center of the room and seeing that all of my Inkstains friends and my family are there supporting my writing. It has also helped to improve my public speaking skills. I love the great variety of writing prompts provided to us throughout the week. Whenever there's a prompt that I'm not particularly inspired by, the next one will be completely different and I'm always guaranteed to find something to get my creative juices flowing.
~Shelby, an Inkstains high school camper

I was a camper all four years of high school and enjoyed every minute of it. THANKS to you and to everyone else that made my experiences so memorable. A big plus about camp this past summer was all the people there. The people running the camp who all of the campers genuinely felt cared about by, the fellow campers who made the atmosphere so fun, exciting and safe, and the people on and around campus who made for great writing prompts. Another plus was the ability to have our work published in an anthology. The anthology is a great way to see everyone else's writing and to keep it in a professional looking book for years to come.
~Ellen, an Inkstains high school camper

We encourage you to tell your students about Inkstains. For more information, please click here for our 2013 brochure or contact Kim Pavlock at .
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Let's Share the Love of Reading

Jim Schaefer
As people involved with the Eastern Michigan Writing Project, we want to encourage people of all ages to celebrate their reading and writing skills so they can develop their literacy.

A wonderful annual event on April 23, the World Book Night, has emerged to perform exactly this task—without costing those participating as book givers or book receivers even one penny!

All you need to do is to indicate an interest in handing out free books by signing up on the WBN web site ( You can select where and to whom you’ll distribute the books, plus which books you prefer on the WBN’s list for the year. The major guideline is to give them to people outside your own family.

In the week before the event, you will be notified where you will pick up your 20 books, and then you will be one of 25,000 volunteers who will distribute 500,000 books. I did this last year, and it was thoroughly enjoyable!

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Sacred Writing Weekend: Save the Date for the Fall Writing Retreat

Angela Knight

When: Friday-Sunday, September 20-22, 2013

Where: EMU’s Parsons Center, Lake Ann, MI (near Traverse City)

Cost: $25, plus travel and food

Just four hours away is the perfect spot for a writing retreat. Isolated in the trees of Lake Ann, are three young, environmentally friendly edifices, built for EMU and designed to foster creativity, community, and camaraderie.

We will be up north for a weekend this fall at the ideal fall time of the school year: late enough that routines are established, and before the insanity of fall testing and Homecoming events commence. After spending the first three weeks of the year investing in others, consider taking a weekend to invest in the writer in you. Missing work on Friday the 22nd is not required; late-evening arrivals are welcome.

Our extremely flexible agenda

Friday evening:
• welcome
• introductions
• wine and chocolate (or its equivalent)
• goal-setting
• plan marathon
• writing time

• breakfast on your own
• writing marathon
• lunch and/or dinner during marathon
• evening – writing back at Parsons Center or evening activity

• breakfast on your own
• writing time
• sharing time
• lunch (most likely Saturday’s leftovers)
• clean, pack, and head home in the early afternoon

Pictures of the Parsons Center can be seen here:

Please feel free to contact Kris Gedeon ( or Angela Knight ( if you have any questions.

Previous attendees of Parsons Center writing retreats have included Toni Coral, Ellen Daniel, Melodee Hosey, Jessica Kennedy, and Laurie Lahti.

Kris and Laurie at North Peak Brewing Company

Laurie, Kris, and Melodee at Moomer's Ice Cream
Laurie and Kris at Interlochen

Angela's writing spot view, Taylor Beach, Long Lake
Summer 2011 retreat article:

Fall 2009 retreat article: The location has changed, but the spirit is the same…

Hope to see you there! -Angela and Kris
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Sean Eldon and Aimee Grant (TCs from 2003), along with big brother Peter, welcomed Anna Mettler Eldon on Saturday, April 6, 2013.

Anna weighed 9 pounds, 11 ounces and was 22.5 inches long.
Congratulations to the whole family!

Jim Schaefer recently received official confirmation that he has passed all five comprehensive examination questions, so he is now a doctoral candidate.
Congratulations, Jim!

Congratulations to Jeff and Jenny Taylor on the birth of their third son!
Graham Blake Taylor was born on April 20th of this year, at 20.5 inches and 8 lbs. 2 oz.  He is the younger brother to Brady and Carson Taylor.  Congrats to the whole family! Read more!