October 30, 2013

The FYW Program Excellence in Writing Award

The FYW Program Excellence in Writing Award will be given to up to three outstanding essays written by current undergraduate students in a first-year writing course in the
2013-2014 academic year. The award recognizes the writing that is generated out of
University Writing, the first-year writing course.

The winner will receive a prize, a certificate, and publication on the FYW Program website. The award winner will be announced at the FYW Program Symposium in the spring.


* Authors must be an undergraduate student enrolled in either a Fall 2013 or Spring
2014 section of WRIT 1301 or 1401.
* Original essays must have been written in response to an assignment in WRIT 1301
or 1401.
* Essays written in any genre for the class are acceptable.
* Authors must be registered students as of May 2014 at the University of Minnesota
in order to receive the award.
* Only one entry per student is eligible for submission.

Submission Guidelines:

1. Fill out the application form. Remember to sign and date it.
2. Attach a typed, double-spaced, clean copy of your essay. Remove your name, but keep the title.
3. Attach the writing assignment the essay was written to fulfill. Your application will not be considered without the assignment sheet. See your instructor if you need a copy.

How To Submit:

Please bring all of the required materials to the Dept. of Writing Studies, 214 Nolte Center. OR, email all of the materials to with subject line "FYW Writing Award."

Deadline for Submissions:

* Fall 2013 students must submit materials by 4pm on Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2014.
* Spring 2014 students must submit materials by 4pm on Friday, May 9, 2014.

Late applications will not be accepted.

All winners will be notified by Thursday, May 15, 2014.

April 9, 2013

David Brauer's First Year Writing experience on "Almanac"

First Year Writing instructor extraordinaire, Maureen Aitken, was interviewed recently by TPT's "Almanac" for a profile on journalist David Brauer's return to the University to finish his degree.

Watch the segment, which aired last Friday, online:

David Brauer has also been blogging about his experiences over at MinnPost. From his March 5th post, note this paragraph in particular:

"I lucked out in that both classes have fewer than 20 students, taught seminar-style by enthusiastic teaching specialists. The U is especially awesome for doing first-year writing this intimately; the class kicked off with personal essays (research papers come later), so everyone got their feet wet writing about their own lives. We lingered over the revisions, and came to know each other a bit more."

December 4, 2012

We're Hiring

We're searching for a full-time Writing Program Administrator at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. Please circulate broadly and get in touch with any questions.

The Assistant Director of First Year Writing assists and supports the Faculty Director in the management and operation of the First-Year Writing Program (FYW). The First-Year Writing Program enables students to fulfill the University's first year writing requirement through its three available 1000-level writing courses. The individual in this position has responsibility for: (1) FYW administration and management, (2) FYW curriculum and instructional management, and (3) professional development and supervision of FYW instructors including graduate instructors and full- and part-time professional instructors. The Assistant Education Specialist teaches one (1) section of first-year writing each AY.

The full job posting is available here:
Posting is now closed.

Department of Writing Studies
University of Minnesota
Minneapolis, MN 55455

October 20, 2010

Today is National Day on Writing

You are a writer. In a dozen different ways you indulge in and suffer though the work of constructing symbolic language. Articles, essays, exams, applications, love notes, shopping lists, theorems, riddles, poems, manifestos. You are a writer.

Don't you think that that should be celebrated? We do.

On Wednesday, 10/20, join the Center for Writing, First-Year Writing, the Weisman Art Museum, and the Department of Writing Studies -- not to mention fellow writers across the country -- in stimulating and entertaining events and activities to celebrate the second annual National Day on Writing. Here is the line up of events on our campus

* Submit your writing to Write@U: The U of Minnesota Gallery of Writing (all day, every day)
* Stalled Writing: A Day on Writing Participatory Public Art Project (all day; ground and 1st floor bathrooms; Nicholson Hall)
* InTentsive Writing: The Big Tent of Writing (11:00 am - 2:30 pm; ground floor lobby; Nicholson Hall)
* Artful Writing: Writing With, Through and About Art with the Weisman Art Museum (9:30 - 11:30 am; 135 Nicholson Hall, advance registration appreciated)
* Rethinking Writing: Digital Storytelling in the College Classroom (11:45 am - 1:15 pm; Nicholson Hall; advance registration required)
* Professors Write: A Roundtable on Faculty Writing and Faculty Writing Support (2:00 - 3:30 pm; 123 Burton Hall; advance registration appreciated)
* Pick up a free pencil at Student Writing Support in 15 Nicholson (9:00 am - 4:30 pm) and 9 Appleby (10:30 am - 4:00 pm)

October 21, 2009

National Day on Writing participation featured in Minnesota Daily

An article in the Minnesota Daily about the University's National Day on Writing participation features quotes from Writing Studies' Heather Mendygral, Tim Gustafson, and Tim Dougherty.

Read it here: University's Center on Writing hosts first National Day on Writing

October 15, 2009

National Day on Writing

The National Council of Teachers of English has declared Tuesday, October 20th the National Day on Writing to acknowledge and celebrate the importance of writing in our lives. An important part of this national attention is the National Gallery of Writing:

We have our own U of MN - Twin Cities wing, called Write@U, in this National Gallery (, where we can showcase the writing done on our campus--including writing done by FYW students and teachers. Consider submitting a piece of your writing--and consider letting your students know about the opportunity. Writing is broadly defined here, including papers, videos, blog entries, emails, poems, short stories, narratives, and much more. This isn't about grades or evaluation, or even extra credit, but about celebrating writing in its diverse forms.

Submitting your writing is easy. Go to and click on the button to "Contribute to this Gallery." At that point, you will be asked to create a profile and a password; answer a series of demographic questions about yourself; answer a series of questions about your piece of writing; and finally upload a file, provide the URL of the piece, or copy and paste your document into a docbox.

Debra Hartley in the Center for Writing has agreed to be the Write@U curator, so she will prepare submissions for presentation in the gallery when it opens on Tuesday, October 20. The gallery will remain open for both viewing and submitting through May of 2010.

Also, see the list of UM-TC Day on Writing events, plus links to events happening nationally at . Stop by Nicholson or Walter on the 20th and join the celebration; invite your students.

National Day on Writing Flier

April 2, 2008

Writing Studies at CCCC

Faculty, Instructional Staff, Graduate Students, and Alumnae from the Department of Writing Studies and the Center for Writing are presenting at this year's CCCC Convention in New Orleans.

Bernadette Longo, along with her co-editors Blake Scott and Katherine Wills, will be receiving their NCTE Outstanding Book award at CCCC this year for their collection Critical Power Tools. Congratulations, Bernadette!

Resisting Neoliberal Reality in the Writing Center: Durable, Democratic Networks in Long-Term Tutoring Practices, Relationships, and Program Development
Chair: Tom Friedrich, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
Speakers: Tom Friedrich, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, “Long-term Tutoring Relationships as Durable, Democratic Networks: Using Hermeneutic Study of the Essence of Long-term Tutoring to Guide Program
Kirsten Jamsen and Katie Levin, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, “‘What makes a good writing center citizen?’: Two Case Studies of How Long-term Tutoring Relationships Change Writers and Tutors�?
Candance Doerr, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, “Graduate Tutors and Dissertation Writers as Network Reality: Distributed Democracy or Social Reproduction?�?

Rhetorics and Realities of Change: Reflections on Theory and Practice from a New Department of Writing Studies
Chair: Patrick Bruch, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
Speakers: Donald Ross, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, “Rhetorics and Realities of Writing as a Campus-wide Initiative at Minnesota�?
Thomas Reynolds, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, “Rhetorics and Realities of First-Year Composition at Minnesota�?
Tim Gustafson, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, “Rhetorics and Realities of Teacher Development at Minnesota�?
Lee-Ann K. Breuch, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, “Rhetorics and Realities of Assessment at Minnesota�?

Bodies, Water, and Money: Epideictic Rhetoric and the Rhetoric of Images in Science

Chair: Ken Baake, Texas Tech University, Lubbock
Speakers: T. Kenny Fountain, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, “Whole-Body Gifts: Epideictic Display and Anatomy Memorial Services�?
Fawn Musick, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, “Making Meanings through Visual Rhetoric in the Medical School Cadaver Lab�?
Derek Ross, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, “Sociopolitics and Dam Tourism: Glen Canyon and Hoover Dam as Recreational Areas�?
Ryan Hoover, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, “Scientists, Visual Rhetoric, and Grant Applications: Striking a Balance between Simplicity and Effectiveness�?

Institutions and the Writing In and Writing Out of Voice
Chair: Anthony Arrigo, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis/St. Paul
Speakers: Katy Southern, University of Wisconsin-Madison, “Writing Histories of the Overlooked: Gender, Status, and the Historical Record�?
Anthony Arrigo, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis/St. Paul, “Puny Hands: The Rhetorically Constructed Identity of Hoover Dam Laborers in Early 20th Century Popular Science Texts�?

Rhetoric Department Alumnae
Jennifer Novak, Denver University, CO, “Shaping Future Biomedical Practices: Kairos, Tools, and the Rhetoric of Medicine�?

Open Source and Free Software Users Group
Co-Chairs: Clancy Ratliff, University of Louisiana, Lafayette
Charles Lowe, Grand Valley State University, Allendale, MI

Not Just a Bullet on an Outcomes Statement: Taking Civic Literacy Seriously

Chair: Clancy Ratliff, University of Louisiana at Lafayette
Clancy Ratliff, University of Louisiana at Lafayette, “What Can Composition Learn from Bloggers’ Civic Writing? Tapping Into the Agora�?

February 14, 2008

Spring FYW Events / Professional Development

Grading and Responding to Student Writing Workshop
Wednesday, February 27
12:30-1:30 pm, 305 Lind
Will Bush

Approaches to Teaching Argument
Thursday, March 6
11:00 am-12:00 pm, 12 Nicholson
Nick Hengen
Tim Gustafson

Strategies for Facilitating Discussion
Thursday, March 27
11:00am-12:00 pm, 12 Nicholson
Matt Kimlinger
Katie Levin

Approaching the Job Market
Wednesday, April 16
12:30-1:30 pm, 305 Lind
Sara Berrey
Tom Reynolds

Spring FYW Events / Tech Talks

Using Wikis in the Classroom
Wednesday, February 20
12:30-1:30 pm, 305 Lind
Krista Kennedy
Matt Williams

Wiki Workshop
Thursday, February 28
11:00 am-12:00 pm, 12 Nicholson
Kim Schultz

Teaching Web Development
Wednesday, March 12
12:30-1:30 pm, 305 Lind
Maureen Aitken
Merry Rendahl
Tom Wright

Web Vista Discussion Tools
Wednesday, March 26
12:30-1:30 pm, 305 Lind
Kim Schultz

Virtual Peer Review Panel
Wednesday, April 9
12:30-1:30 pm, 305 Lind
Lee Ann Kastman-Breuch
Scott Wyatt

October 1, 2007

Spotlight on First Year Writing: Jerry Shannon

Teaching Specialist Jerry Shannon teaches first-year writing with a service learning approach. His students have worked collaboratively with those at North High in Minneapolis on a variety of projects, including jazz programs for the station, podcast interviews of local figures, and multimedia websites about jazz music and pressing urban issues.

Student at mixing board Students writing at computers