A Writing Marathon is the realization of writing as a “moveable feast,” blending writing, a community of writers, and a journey through “place.” In the summer of 2020, four hundred teachers, students, and community members took a virtual road trip to eight Writing Project sites, engaging in place-based writing along the way. A representative sample of their writing has been published online, thanks to the work of Wesleyan undergraduate Elias Mansell.
Summer 2021 #WriteAcrossAmerica
The #WriteAcrossAmerica Virtual Writing Marathon is happening again this summer, and it’s open to anyone. Each stop on the itinerary will last 90 minutes and include an orientation by the local site to a place in their region or, perhaps, to a new conception of virtual space. Each stop on the itinerary will provide inspiration, time to write, time to share, and a sense of community. Local stops will be facilitated by local teacher-leaders and welcome all kinds of writing and writers. We will be sharing our work with the hashtag #WriteAcrossAmerica.
Over the summer we hope to
- Connect the NWP network and our wider set of colleagues through the simple act of writing together in community.
- Provide an opportunity for participants to “travel” in the time of Coronavirus and participate in a community of writers.
- Learn about different places through writing.
- Raise the collective visibility of the NWP network and our commitment to writing.
- Collect shareable resources for teachers to take their students on a virtual writing marathon in the fall.
2021 Summer Itinerary
Next stops on the marathon will take you North/South/East and West. Participation is free, but registering in advance helps the host site plan.
All visits are scheduled at 2:00-3:30pm PT / 3:00-4:30pm MT / 4:00-5:30pm CT / 5:00-6:30 ET
|May 25 ||Louisville Writing Project (KY)|
|June 1||Chippewa River Writing Project (MI)|
|June 8||South Mississippi Writing Project (MS)|
|June 15||Pennsylvania Writing and Literature Project (PA)|
|June 22||Ohio Writing Project (OH)|
|June 29||University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Writing Project (WI)|
|July 6||Boise State Writing Project (ID)|
|July 13||UCI Writing Project (CA)|
|July 20||Prairie Lands Writing Project (MO)|
|July 27||San Antonio Writing Project (TX)|
|August 3||Eastern Michigan Writing Project (MI)|
|August 10||Bay Area Writing Project (CA)|
Get Your Badge
An NWP Writer digital badge is available for those that complete half or more of the stops. Apply for yours today!
The resources from last summer are still available if you would like to take your students on a Virtual Writing Marathon this school year. It is a great opportunity for students to practice writing, travel virtually, and build classroom community through “traveling” together and sharing writing. Here is a guide to support you.
If you do lead your students on a #WriteAcrossAmerica, we would like to hear about it! Register your Virtual Writing Marathon itinerary.
Learn More About Writing Marathons
The summer’s Virtual Marathon grows out of a long tradition of writing marathons at local sites and through the NWP network. The model was developed most richly in New Orleans at the Southeast Louisiana Writing Project. See their website for the New Orleans Writing Marathon. This website has the latest information about the New Orleans Writing Marathon Retreat as well as links to essays, books, radio programs, and more.
You can find resources here at WLL for planning your own ‘in-person marathon” (safety permitting, of course). See:
- Writing In The Community: The New Orleans Writing Marathon Model
- A Guide for Writing Marathon Leaders
- “I’m a Writer”: Essays on the Writing Marathon and Why We Write
- “New Orleans Writing Marathon Roundtable.” In Assay: A Journal of Nonfiction Studies, vol. 1 no. 2: this collection, available online, includes four essays from four different marathon leaders about writing marathon pedagogy
And two selections for sale at Lulu:
- The Writing Marathon: “In Good Company Revealed”: this collection from the Southeastern Louisiana Writing Project, edited by SLWP Director Richard Louth,
- Writing a Marathon: A Hands-On Guide to Creating and Implementing Successful Writing Marathons in Schools and Communities: this brief and handy guide, written by Southeastern Louisiana Writing Project TC Ellen Steigman