About Writing Matters

INDONESIA TOURISM BALIWriting Matters Conference 2015 will make the 2013 conference look like a garden party.  What is LEADERSHIP for teachers, by teachers?  What does it mean to say teachers must seek RISKY classrooms (in perilous times, even)? What does it mean to use writing to learn in all disciplines, content areas, and levels?

2013 Writing Matters Conference announcement flier
2013 Writing Matters schedule and brochure

finger Writing Matters 2013 was a teaching and writing conference held at the State University of New York at Cortland March 8 and 9 (Friday and Saturday) of 2013.  It recognizes that the COMMON CORE brings writing into most classrooms, but also that TEACHERS at all levels need innovative examples and strategies that work.

Here is what teachers said about the event:

I just wanted to tell you all you did a great job on the conference. It was awesome to hear teachers say that writing helped them to clarify their thinking or helped them to figure something out. Thanks for helping me remember the good things!Very supportive of the soul of the teacher – writer!

Sessions were all great!

Very well organized and motivational.  It truly got me thinking as both a writer and a facilitator of writing.

The day moved along pretty swiftly and I enjoyed the way it moved.  Good pacing!  Good food too!

Loved both days!  So happy I opened this email and registered for this conference

So glad I attended the Open Mic!  It really reinforced the power of having an audience for your writing.

Nice set-up for the day.  Great opportunity for me to present & participate!  Thank you!!

1.5 days was great! – would love to have had a bit more “meat” in Friday’s Creative Writing workshop.

I liked having the open mic although it was difficult for many to attend.

All sessions were extremely informative and provided information that I can easily incorporate into my classes.

The sessions didn’t feel too long or too short.  Little breaks (10) in between were nice.

Friday evening was great “me” time for writing, mingling, eating with writers

Overall, I thought this conference went very well and I am glad I came today! Each of the sessions had me writing and wanting to write further.   I was sad each time I had to stop.  Pace was right.  One hour sessions was just what was needed.  It was great to meet new people especially at the Friday session when we had lots of time to talk.  Thank you.

Friday evening – wonderful!  Loved having open mic – great soft opening to great work on Saturday Session!

Overall was great, although I think I’d like a bit more time between sessions to write about how we could bring the strategies to our classrooms.  I felt a bit guilty when I’d get an idea and have to scribble it down before returning to the task in the session

Great!  Loved the Open Mic

This was an awesome experience.  I am a student-teacher, so everything I learned today was extremely beneficial to my future as an English teacher.  I learned about improving my writing, my student’s writing and how to become a better teacher.

The “A” sessions helped me get in a writing “state of mind” for the rest of the day

Wish there was more time for presenters to set up. Some classes the time seemed perfect & others needed an additional half hour.

Fri – Saturday → okay  One hour sessions → Just Fine.  Overall very useful conference.  Time well spent, lots of “take-home” ideas & strategies includes Friday pm Panel as well as am Keynote.

This was an amazing experience!  I have learned so much about writing and teaching writing!  I hope to be able to come next year.  Thank you!


Writing Matters shares teachers’


strategies for using writing in and out of the classroom Writing Matters is unusual in several ways.  First, it’s driven by teacher expertise with classroom experience.  Teachers can propose to deliver an interactive session on how they use writing in their classroom, focusing on a particular assignment or strategy.  

Secondly, Writing Matters assumes teachers at all levels have much to share with other teachers, K-16.  Third, this conference is supported by a National Writing Project grant and the Empire State Writing Project Network, bringing together teachers from inside and outside Central New York. 

The National Writing Project, of which the Seven Valleys Writing Project is our regional branch, located in Cortland, NY, is specifically named and authorized in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act-otherwise known as No Child Left Behind- in NCLB, Subpart 2. The appropriation itself, or the funding for NWP, is chaptered in Title II.  Federal support for Professional Development is also offered through the Seven Valleys Writing Project via the U.S. Department of Education’s Title II Supporting Effective Educator Development (SEED) grant of 2012.

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6 thoughts on “About Writing Matters

  1. Don’t Fear the Writers

    Writing across the curriculum can be intimidating. “I’m not a writing teacher! I don’t know how to grade writing.” Even English teachers worry about signing another writing because it means more grading. There is understandable fear about all of this. So what if we assigned writing and didn’t grade it? What could be the use of such a thing and how would it work? This session explains the “how-tos” and “what-fors” of Writing Practice as a way to generate ideas and thinking instead of just more work. You will learn how to get your students writing and how to write with them as well as why this benefits both your students and you. Bring a pen and some paper. Let’s write!

  2. Mortimer Adler on why writing (in a book) matters: “When you buy a book, you establish a property right in it, just as you do in clothes or furniture when you buy and pay for them. But the act of purchase is actually only the prelude to possession in the case of a book. Full ownership of a book only comes when you have made it a part of yourself, and the best way to make yourself a part of it — which comes to the same thing — is by writing in it.

    Why is marking a book indispensable to reading it? First, it keeps you awake — not merely conscious, but wide awake. Second, reading, if it is active, is thinking, and thinking tends to express itself in words, spoken or written. The person who says he knows what he thinks but cannot express it usually does not know what he thinks. Third, writing your reactions down helps you to remember the thoughts of the author.

    Reading a book should be a conversation between you and the author. Presumably he knows more about the subject than you do; if not, you probably should not be bothering with his book. But understanding is a two-way operation; the learner has to question himself and question the teacher, once he understands what the teacher is saying. Marking a book is literally an expression of your differences or your agreements with the author. It is the highest respect you can pay him.”

  3. This conference sounds wonderful. It’s great to be able to have conversations among teachers about what works in a writing class. The memoir Saturday was such a hit; I’m sure this will be as well.

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