Group photo of students and faculty

The Southern Maine Writing Project, hosted by the University of Southern Maine (USM), offers professional development and networking opportunities through our Invitational Summer and Fall Institutes. We invite USM Literacy Education graduate students, practicing teachers, and administrators to join us in opportunities to explore the craft of writing and effective practices for the teaching of writing.

About the Institute

Would you like to improve your own writing and learn more about the teaching of writing? Do you see yourself as a teacher-of-teachers or would you like to be? ​The Institutes are an opportunity to look closely at your own writing and student writing, to talk with colleagues about issues and ideas in the teaching of literacy, to explore writing in a digital age, to work toward becoming teacher leaders, and to share classroom practices or activities. This 6-credit graduate institute is divided into two 3-credit courses taken in sequence, one in the summer, one in the fall.

Who Can Attend

PreK-12 Educators and USM Literacy Education graduate students: You can earn six (6) course credits through EDU 525 Invitational Summer Writing Institute and EDU 526 Invitational Fall Writing Institute, taken in sequence while attending the Institutes.

2023 Institute Dates & Location

Summer Course:
Saturday, May 6; Monday through Friday, June 26-June 30
All days will go from 8:30 AM – 3:30 PM and will be held at Yarmouth High School.

Fall Course: 
Self-selected prep day in August; Saturdays on September 16, 30, and October 14.

Coronavirus Protocol

The Institute will follow all CDC guidance on face coverings and social distancing. It may be offered in hybrid or virtual modalities pending designations by the Maine School Health Advisory System (green, yellow, red).

Estimated Cost

The total cost of attendance is equal to the cost of six (6) graduate course credits plus applicable fees. See USM Tuition & Fees.

Apply Now

The priority deadline for applications is Friday, March 31

Space is limited to the first 20 qualified applicants. Others will be placed on the waitlist.

Complete the Invitational Summer and Fall Institute 2023 Application here:


For additional information, email Anne Tommaso (
or Kellie Hooper-Bressler ( , Institute Co-Facilitators.

Teacher Testimonials

Each morning I woke up excited for the day. I loved the community that was built over these last 5 days. I feel like I left inspired, with little tidbits to take to class, and bigger questions to ask myself about my teaching.

It was an awesome, life-changing experience.

I love the mixture of personal writing, thinking about teaching writing, and imaging being a resource to other teachers. It has also been a very special experience to spend time with other dedicated teachers, as both colleagues and mentors.

I went in with some anxiety and doubt. I emerged with the unexpected realization that I am a writer!

Learn more about the Southern Maine Writing Project