School of Education and Human Development

Southern Maine Writing Project


The National Writing Project is the premier effort to improve writing in America. It began at the University of California at Berkeley in 1974 and now has over 200 affiliate sites around the country, including the Southern Maine Writing Project at the University of Southern Maine, now in its 5th year.

Writing Projects across the country believe in a shared leadership model, which aims to promote writing for everyone across age groups and content areas, K - University. We support teachers as learners. In fact, the National Writing Project is the only provider of professional development in writing named in the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act.

The Writing Project fosters an interdisciplinary community.  Our site is a growing, dynamic group, and our ranks include elementary, middle and high school teachers, literacy specialists, and a school librarian. Many of us teach English language arts; others teach special education, math, science, foreign language, and social studies. We are authors, editors, readers, songwriters, photographers, basketball players, poets, outdoors people, actors, techies, and musicians. The common thread: all of us believe in the importance of writing in our personal and professional lives and in the lives of our students.  

For more information about SMWP, please visit our website.

Southern Maine Writing Project Programming:

  • Invitational Summer Institute – In this six-credit graduate course, educators learn more about the teaching of writing and work on their own writing.  Most teachers describe the ISI as an empowering, transformative experience. The ISI meets requirements for recertification in most districts, and the course credits count toward a number of graduate programs at USM.
  • Inservice and Professional Development – SMWP provides high-quality inservice programming to a number of southern Maine schools. Contact us today to design a professional development experience that fits the needs of the teachers in your district.
  • Young Authors’ Camps - The Southern Maine Writing Project’s Young Authors’ Camps offer young writers the chance to develop their skills by writing under the guidance of highly skilled teachers in a fun, relaxed environment.


Southern Maine Writing Project
University of Southern Maine
37 College Avenue – 305 Bailey Hall
Gorham , ME 04038
(207) 228-8321

National Writing Project