SCWCA Conference 2021


Call For Papers

“Collaboration, Confidence, and Compromise: The Interrelational Work of Writing Centers” 

South Central Writing Centers Association 2021 Virtual Conference

Hosted by Southwestern University and Abilene Christian University

March 5-7, 2021 

Keynote: “Course-Embedded Consulting and Writing Centers: Collaboration, Creativity, and Sustaining Community in a Time of Crisis” Dr. Scott Whiddon (Transylvania University) and Dr. Rusty Carpenter (Eastern Kentucky State University)

SCWCA invites abstracts for its 2021 virtual conference co-hosted by Southwestern University and Abilene Christian University.  The central theme surrounds the concepts of collaboration, confidence, and compromise. This theme intersects writing center work in many ways: we occupy and negotiate both physical and virtual spaces, and we work with writers of all abilities, from all walks of life, with multitudes of goals. In doing so, we develop robust skills of collaboration with writers, community members, and campus partners (such as learning commons and libraries). We carefully navigate all levels of writerly confidence, from the seasoned faculty member to the first-generation student; from the non-native English speaker to the honors student writing an undergraduate thesis. We work extensively with faculty from all corners of the curriculum, some of whom understand our missions well, and some who ask for and expect compromise regarding, for example, our tutoring styles, hours of operation, and editing emphases.

Moreover, some writing center directors and consultants collaborate to maximize our efforts across institutions or cross intellectual and professional borders into the private, public, or nonprofit sectors. Thus, we seek to “transfer” writing skills, peer review, audience emphasis, and scholarly ethics to the larger discourse communities, academic and non-academic, of which we’re a part. These efforts also take compromise; however, they ultimately promote confidence in both the writers we serve and our own centers’ efforts. 

We invite papers, presentations, roundtables, and workshops that address this three-part theme of collaboration, confidence, and compromise.  Some questions–or variations of–that participants might want to address include:

  1. What collaborative projects have you implemented on your campus, between other writing centers, or in your community that have enhanced your operation, advanced your mission, or developed your tutoring staff? For example, have you, as a director, designed internships for writers or courses as part of your training class, or as part of a Business/Professional Writing course or even as a philanthropic effort?
  2. In what ways have you succeeded or failed in building confidence in writers, tutors, or others? How did that raise (or not) the level of the service your writing center offers? Have you, for instance, spent significant amounts of time and energy developing a training module for new consultants that epically flopped or backfired? How did you know, and how did you respond?  
  3. How and with whom do you conduct orientations, in-class or community presentations, and/or workshops such that all parties contribute and feel invested in the collaborative effort? What did this collaborative process look like? How did you keep (or not) parties invested in the collaboration?
  4. How have you been able to compromise with faculty or writers in ways that serve all parties?  How did you “hold the line” on important items while “giving way” on others?  For example, have you presented grammar-heavy, close-editing sessions in order to gain footing in a class to talk about writing more holistically?  Have you given way to a WAC director to assess items you find meaningless in order to get meaningful data? What is the role of confidence in the act of compromise?

Interested parties should submit proposals (maximum 250 words) by midnight, November 1, 2020. We are looking for individual presenters, round tables, workshops, and Special Interest Groups (sigs). Letters of acceptance will be sent out near the third week of January. Conference registration will be $5 for students and $10 for professionals. If you have questions, please email one or both of the chairs below. We look forward to seeing you in March 2021!

Your conference chairs,

Dr. Jennifer Marciniak – Southwestern University

Dr. Cole Bennett – Abilene Christian University