Call for Proposals and Registration Now Available for Carolinas WPA Fall Conference 2024 at Wildacres

Photo of the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina

We are proud to announce that the 17th Fall Conference of the Carolinas Writing Program Administrators will take place September 16-18, 2024 at the Wildacres Retreat Center, centering on the theme We Are the Storytellers (more below).

Click here for a call for proposals and more information about the conference. When you’re ready to submit a proposal, please complete this form.

Proposals are due by 11:59pm on Monday, August 26, 2024.

You are entirely welcome to attend without presenting, but those whose proposals are accepted will be listed on the formal agenda. This may help you advocate for travel funding. Proposals also help us plan appropriate groups and design activities around members’ goals.

 Registration and Cost. The registration fee of $240 for full-time tenure track faculty and $220 for other faculty and graduate students includes 2 nights’ lodging in double occupancy rooms, and 5 meals at Wildacres, as well as all conference materials and annual voting membership in Carolinas Writing Program Administrators. 

Registration can be completed at the following link: 

Deadline. Conference goers must register by the end of day on Friday, August 30th, 2024.   

Plans changed? Registration will be fully refunded if we are notified by 8 am on September 2, 2024.


Please visit to get a sense of the location, which truly is serene. All meals are provided at the conference center. Please note below or email Shawn with any dietary needs or restrictions that we should be made aware of. Lodging is dorm style accommodations with private bathroom. Each room has two beds, a private bathroom. Spaces have common areas to hang out — both indoors and out. If you have a roommate preference, please indicate so on the form.

Questions can be sent to President Shawn Bowers Buxton (

We Are the Storytellers

Last year marked our return to Wildacres, a place that is deeply connected to the story and identity of CarWPA. In the fall of 2023, we rooted into the notion of place and how it can serve to renew us and our pedagogy. Last fall was a return “home” in many ways, when the veil of the global pandemic finally lifted enough for many of us to “normal,”  except we didn’t know what normal meant anymore or if we wanted to even go back to normal. And so, to understand where we want to go, as educators and as a community, we realized we needed to revisit our origin story. In the spring of 2024, at our annual Meeting in the Middle, Wendy Sharer (and Tracy Morse in absentia) shared that story and invited us to consider our key values and what the future of this beloved organization might look like. 

Stories and storytelling are important tools in knowledge-making (Legg & Sullivan, 2018) and stories are critical to community organizing practices (Goldblatt, 2010). Indeed, as Wendy and Tracy shared with us back at MitM, “Storytelling is the discursive form through which we translate our values into the motivation to act.” (Ganz, 2001, p. 279). 

With this in mind, we invite you to the mountains this fall to participate in storytelling, to engage in the work of collective dialogue that enunciates communal values we can usher forward as an organization and bring to our respectives campuses and programs. What stories guide our work? What values inform our practices and pedagogies? And: What stories (“lore”)––about writing program administration, students, the teaching of writing, higher education in the Carolinas, our work more generally––do we need to respond to in our work? Consider stories about policy, programming, faculty feelings, practicalities, politics, pedagogies, diversity and inclusion, scholarship and research, advocacy, archive, collaboration. We want to share stories about the bright and important work we’re doing in our classrooms and schools, and we want to create plenty of space for storymaking and brainstorming.

Conference Schedule and Format. The conference begins at 5:00 pm on Monday, September 16, and concludes at 10:00 am on Wednesday, September 18. On Monday evening, we will host a collective brainstorming session about the stories we want to collect and write. Tuesday will follow with a slate of workshops and presentations, but also with open-ended sessions to allow for networking and ideation. These sessions might be organized in conversation with the conference proposals we receive, but we hope to weave them around ideas of storytelling and rhetorical empathic listening. As always, we strive to create pockets of unscripted time, too. Our time will conclude with a closing session Wednesday morning, where we hope to share some reflections – and maybe even leave with some “story” we started . All meals are provided. 

Wildacres Retreat is a low-tech, informal setting conducive to relaxing, collaborating, and learning with friends and colleagues across the Carolinas. We welcome teams or solo participants from across our region. The main lobby area has wifi, as do some of the classroom meeting spaces, but presentations at Wildacres tend to be projected slides (think PowerPoint or downloaded Canvas slides) or good ol’ paper handouts.

Monday Evening Plenary Session: What Are Our Stories?

This relaxed session will be loosely moderated. Our hope is that members will share their stories – how did you first learn about CarWPA? Who invited you? Why does CarWPA matter? What role does CarWPA serve in the greater community of writing educators and program administrators? We will build off the values Wendy and Tracy shared with us at Meeting in the Middle to consider what values direct our work.

Tuesday Morning Plenary Session: What Stories Sustain Us? 

Using Monday evening’s discussion as a springboard, we’ll spend some time Tuesday morning identifying “hubs” – areas of interest or engagement to create some space to have story circles. 

Hubs might focus on issues that came up from our 2024 MitM (i.e.: documenting and sharing our origin stories, meaningfully engaging DEI in our programs, addressing generative AI in our writing programs, formalizing mentoring/buddy networks, creating collaboration spaces for SOTL and writing studies work). Hubs might also be inspired by 4C’s presentations or reflections. 

Plenary sessions will be facilitated by members of the CarWPA board.

16th Annual Fall Conference to take place September 11-13, 2023…CFP available!

We are proud to announce that the 16th Fall Conference of the Carolinas Writing Program Administrators will take place September 11-13, 2023 at the Wildacres Retreat Center, centering on the theme Homecoming: Finding a place for renewal in the profession.

Click here for a call for proposals and more information about the conference. When you’re ready to submit a proposal, please complete this form.

See the PayPal button below for means to submit a payment. (Note that the cost of the conference is $210 for students and NTT faculty and $220 for TT faculty; the cost includes a year of membership in the organization.)

If you have questions about the conference, please contact Carolinas WPA President Shawn Bowers at

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A message from Carolinas WPA President Paula Patch re: Wildacres 2020

Dear Carolinas WPA Members and Friends:

After some discussion, Collie, Kevin, and I have decided that it is best to go ahead and make a decision about Wildacres. We think that waiting until later is simply putting off the inevitable: The uncertainty of the virus makes it impossible to hold a face-to-face conference in September. We have decided to cancel Wildacres for 2020.

Even if we were able to gather, we fear that the demands on our members in the “next normal” of the fall semester, the instability of funding, and the very real danger for some of us to be in close quarters with others would make the retreat feel like too much of an obligation—or too much an occasion to feel real FOMO—for our members.

We will be in touch later in the summer about options for gathering virtually in the summer or fall—not so much to replace Wildacres, the magic of which is its in-person, off-grid, retreat nature—but to support one another as we make and implement tough decisions about our programs and communities.

Take good care—we’ll see each other as soon as it is possible!