Annual and Ongoing NeWP Events
Annual Spring Gathering
The annual Spring Gathering invites NeWP alumni to connect and celebrate the work of the Nebraska Writing Project. The Gauguin Center on the UNL campus welcomes teachers the first Friday night of May at 6:00 pm. The evening honors the work of NeWP teachers. Poster and technology displays showcase NeWP best practices. Book sales, quilt chances and delicious hors d’oeuvres create an atmosphere of congeniality as members from across the state reconnect. Dr. Brooke, Director, gives an overview of the previous year’s work, upcoming events and the status of the National Project. A supportive administrator is recognized with a certificate of appreciation. The evening’s highlight is the presentation of the Carol MacDaniel Teacher of the Year Award.
The Nebraska Writing Project hosts writing marathons several times throughout the year, usually in downtown Lincoln each January, at Platte River State Park each fall, and at various other locations in Omaha and in western/central Nebraska. Writing marathons involve small groups of writers moving together through a landscape, writing and sharing along the way, with no comment from group members except for a “thank you.” On a marathon, writers compose in any genre they like, drawing inspiration from their surroundings and also from their fellow writers. Writing marathons were invented in the Southeastern Louisiana Writing Project in the early 1990s and have been adapted for use in National Writing Project Institutes, classrooms, literary festivals, and writing groups throughout the country. They help writers experience the world as writers, generate new material, and to share writing in a supportive community.
For a taste of a writing marathon, please read some of the web stories documenting these events, such as our last Winter Writing Marathon at http://www.unl.edu/newp/2012-winter-marathon-haymarket, and our writing marathon in rural Holt Country at http://www.unl.edu/newp/news/2011/Spring_Marathon.shtml
For more information about writing marathons and how to use them in your own classrooms and writing groups, please refer to the Louisiana Writing Project’s Writing Marathon Central website, located at http://english.selu.edu/writingmarathon/, and also their excellent publication on writing marathons, The Writing Marathon: In Good Company Revealed, available for checkout on the NeWP book cart.
The Nebraska Writing Project hosts an annual retreat at Platte River State Park, usually in mid September. At this three-day event, NeWP Teacher-Consultants (with their writing-friendly friends and family) gather for shared meals, writing activities, readings, a writing marathon, and other lively and informal events. We typically reserve a a duplex park cabin and invite participants to reserve space in it or to make their own accommodations in the park, to camp at nearby Mahoney State Park, or to commute each day from home. We use this time to reconnect with our NeWP roots, relax in the park’s rustic natural settings, write and share our work, and strengthen our personal and professional connections.
Read all about our last two retreats at http://www.unl.edu/newp/news/2011/Platte_River.shtml and http://www.unl.edu/newp/news/2010/Platte_River.shtml
For information about Platte River State Park, including directions and cabin availability, please refer to the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission website, http://outdoornebraska.ne.gov/parks/guides/parksearch/showpark.asp?Area_No=224
One Book One NeWP
One Book One NeWP invites NeWP members to select two books in common, one professional and one personal, and participate in discussion events that celebrate the books. This program originated at the NeWP Advisory Board Retreat as a way to foster community on a personal and professional level. In 2011, members of the Nebraska Writing Project decided to give their pens a rest and pick up a book for a little “light” reading.
Teacher consultants (any past NeWP institute participant) meet each September at the Platte River State Park for a Writing Retreat. On Sunday morning, teachers discuss favorite book titles. Their suggestions eventually become the book selection list for One Book One NeWP. We welcome suggestions from any teacher consultant. If teachers are unable attend the Writing Retreat, please send titles to firstname.lastname@example.org
Voting is available online through the UNL NeWP website or in person at the Winter Advisory Board Retreat and Winter Writing Marathon. Look for information to be posted on the Nebraska Writing Project website by early January.
Book discussions occur primarily during the summer months and may include in-person, online, and winery discussion events.
For more information, visit www.unl.edu/newp.
2012 – Personal: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann
Shaffer and Annie Barrows -- celebration event at Soaring Wings Vineyard and James Arthur Vineyard (JAV)
Professional: Liberty and Learning: Academic Freedom for Teachers and
Students by David Moshman -- celebration event at James Arthur Vineyard (JAV) and Soaring Wings Vineyard
2011 – Personal: Tortilla Curtain by T. Coraghessan Boyle
Professional: Teaching For Joy and Justice by Linda Christensen