CarolinasWPA Meeting in the Middle CFP

Friday, February 17, 2017

10:00 AM – 4:30 PM

UNC Charlotte Center City Building
320 E. 9th Street, Charlotte, NC 28202

Theme: Advocacy in Classrooms, Programs, Research, and Beyond

*Proposal deadline: Friday, February 3, 2017


Carolinas Writing Program Administrators is accepting proposals for its Eleventh Annual Spring Conference, Meeting in the Middle.


Teaching and program administration is always work in progress. We constantly alter our own classroom practices, reshape our programs, and revise our research. In so doing, we must advocate for ourselves and for others, and our social justice mission is rarely far from our minds. Much of the advocacy we do stays within our institutional contexts such as when we try different teaching approaches, or argue for program resources or equitable labor practices. Past Carolinas WPA speakers John Warner (Wildacres 2015) and Doug Hesse (Wildacres 2013) encourage us also to go public in our advocacy efforts. Our national body, the Council of Writing Program Administrators, urges us to see advocacy as particularly necessary to focus on right now, as evident in their recent call for conference proposals on the theme of agency and advocacy in an age of austerity. This dovetails well with the focus Michelle LaFrance brought to us at Wildacres 2016.


At this year’s Meeting in the Middle, we check in with each other on those efforts. We lift up the work each of us is doing that explores classrooms and writing programs as sites of advocacy. And we offer concrete activities to move that work forward.


So what are you working on now? And how can MinM help you meet your goals for advancing your own advocacy-centered projects?


Please respond with a brief Work-in-Progress Presentation (WiPP) proposal. You are entirely welcome to attend MinM without presenting, but those who declare what they are working on in advance will be listed on the formal agenda, which may help with self-advocating for travel funding.


Your proposals also help us plan appropriate interest groups and design workshop activities around your goals.


Possible topic starters:

  • Self-advocacy: What acts of self-determination are you taking in your professional life?
  • Advocacy in teaching: What teaching practices are you developing as acts of advocacy?  Or how are you positioning students to become advocates?
  • Program advocacy: What and how are you advocating for your program(s)? For faculty in your programs?  For students in your programs?
  • Advocacy in research:  How is your research an advocacy practice? For what, for whom?
  • Advocating in the public sphere: What are you writing for audiences beyond our disciplinary colleagues? What are you advocating?
  • Needed advocacy: What do you wish your department or CarWPA or our national organizations would do differently – or more emphatically –  to act as advocates for _____? If you were writing a call to action on this issue, what would it include?


Possible goals for work-in-progress presenters:

  • Seek and share self-advocacy methods
  • Refine a teaching project
  • Strengthen a plan for program advocacy
  • Improve an IRB proposal
  • Get feedback on an article draft – whether for a scholarly or public audience
  • Rehearse for 4Cs
  • Develop a CWPA proposal. (Maybe even find other panelists.) The proposal deadline is March 1.


We welcome creative interpretation of the advocacy theme and goals. This forum is appropriate for work that would benefit from feedback and focused workshop time. CarolinasWPA welcomes individual and team WiPPs at any stage of development and from people working in any teaching or administrative positions related to writing in the Carolinas.

Conference Format

A featured panel on advocacy led by members of CarolinasWPA will be followed by small breakout interest groups and writing activities. Those presenting should prepare for 15-20 minutes to discuss their work-in-progress and seek feedback from those with shared interests.


Each proposal should be 250 – 500 words including the following:

  • Names and contact information (email, phone, home institution) for each person associated with your proposal
  • A presentation title
  • A description of the pertinent topic
  • Your specific goals for presenting work-in-progress at MinM
  • Questions for interest group attendees that will help you elicit feedback relevant to your goals.

Submit it via email to Collie Fulford ( and Tracy Ann Morse ( by noon Friday, February 3, 2017, using the subject line “MinM Proposal yourlastname.”


Questions or Comments? – Contact Collie Fulford at

Meeting in the Middle 2014

Meeting in the Middle Postponed

Due to the winter weather conditions that are predicted to continue throughout the day tomorrow and due to concerns about travel conditions Friday morning, the board of the Carolinas WPA has decided to reschedule Friday’s Meeting in the Middle.

We hope to reschedule the MiM for some time in May or early June, after the semester and the snow have ended. If you have already paid your MiM registration, that registration will be honored at the rescheduled event.  If, after the details of the rescheduling are announced, you are not able to attend, we will be happy to refund your registration fee.

Carolina’s WPA President-elect Tracy Morse and I are sad that we won’t be seeing you all on Friday, but we look forward to having productive and engaging conversations about working conditions later this spring!

Please email me if you have any questions.


Dr. Wendy B. Sharer
QEP Director

Associate Professor of English

East Carolina University

Carolinas WPA 2014 Meeting in the Middle

Carolinas WPA Annual Meeting in the Middle

Friday, February 14, 2014

10:00 AM – 4:30 PM

UNC Charlotte Center City Building, Room 905-906
320 E. 9th Street, Charlotte, NC 28202

Theme:  Working Conditions and Writing Instruction


A multitude of factors affect the professional achievements and satisfaction of those who teach writing. Funding is an obvious limitation faced by most, if not all, of those who administer or work in writing programs. Given that funding will, most likely, continue to fall short of what it should be, we would do well to pool our ideas and learn from each other as we consider how to make the best use of limited resources. This year’s Meeting in the Middle will provide a space to share ideas and discuss strategies for bettering working environments for teachers of writing.

As always, Carolinas WPA welcomes the participation of graduate students.


Featured Speaker and Conference Overview

We’re pleased that Dr. Nancy Penrose, a Carolinas WPA alumnus from North Carolina State University, has agreed to spend the morning with us. Penrose is the author of “Professional Identity in a Contingent-Labor Profession: Expertise, Autonomy, Community in Composition Teaching,” which appeared in WPA 35.2 (2012). She will share insights gleaned from a survey of writing instructors at NCSU and lead us in discussions about how to foster a sense of professional identity and community among teachers of writing.


The afternoon will be devoted to small group discussions in which participants will share information about working conditions at their programs and collaborate to identify strategies for improving those conditions.


Participation and Registration



Given this year’s focus on learning from one another, we ask that each participant provide responses to an online survey (click here) about working conditions by the registration deadline, Monday, February 3, 2014. Responses will be compiled to be shared at our meeting.


Registration Fee

$30.00 includes lunch and “break” food.

To increase Carolinas WPA visibility, we encourage you to” Bring a Friend for Free,”  but you must register your friend when you register yourself.

* Click here to register.*

Registration Deadline—Monday, February 3, 2014


Learn more about Meeting in the Middle