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 bowerss@queens.edu.

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Carolinas WPA Wildacres Retreat, 2019 Call for Proposals

15th Annual Fall Carolinas Writing Program Administrators Conference
September 16-18, 2019

Proposal deadline: 11:59 p.m., Monday, August 26, 2019
Registration deadline: 11:59 p.m., Friday, September 6, 2019

Cost: $210 for students and NTT faculty; $220 for TT faculty. The cost covers two nights’ lodging and five meals at the retreat center.

Theme: Holding Space: Trauma, Community, and Care in Writing Programs



Today I write on behalf of the Carolinas Writing Program Administrators to extend sympathy, strength, comfort, and compassion to all of you. You have built and led this organization. You have hosted us in your space. We have shared ideas and strategies, meaningful glances and laughter and tears, meals and M&Ms, coffee, wine, and good beer, mountain sunrises and city sunsets. In so many ways, your campus is our campus; your students, our students; and thus, your heartbreak, pain, trauma, and healing—ours, too. We are holding space for you as long as you need it.


Carolinas WPA President Paula Patch wrote and published these words on May 1, 2019, hours after a gunman shot and killed two UNC Charlotte students in a classroom on campus. At Wildacres this year, we continue to make good on our promise to our UNC Charlotte colleagues and to all our colleagues in writing spaces in North and South Carolina. We hope you will join us in the space of healing through learning and sharing.


Conference Schedule and Format. The conference begins at 5:00 p.m. on Monday, September 16, and concludes at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, September 18. Jan Rieman’s Monday evening plenary session on will be followed by a full day Tuesday of workshops and presentations for and by writing teachers and program administrators. Non-tenure track members and attendees are invited to gather to talk shop and make connections during the NTT Network portion of the retreat. Paula Patch will convene that group. Unscripted time will be available, too, on the beautiful mountaintop of Wildacres Retreat, with a closing session Wednesday morning. 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.


Monday Evening Speaker and Tuesday Workshop Leader: Jan Rieman, UNC Charlotte


“Developing Trauma-Informed Practices in Writing Programs: Addressing the Impact of Trauma and Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) on Students, Teachers, and Programs”

By the time they reach college, 66 to 85 percent of youth report lifetime traumatic event exposure, with many reporting multiple exposures (Read, Ouimette, White, Colder, & Farrow, 2011; Smyth, Hockemeyer, Heron, Wonderlich, & Pennebaker, 2008). College students are particularly vulnerable to experiencing a new potentially traumatizing event (PTE); and as many as 50 percent of college students are exposed to a PTE in the first year of college (Galatzer-Levy et al., 2012). In addition, data show that nearly ⅔ of U.S. adults have Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs). Given the high rates of students who have experienced traumatic event exposure or ACEs, writing programs need to reexamine their institutional roles in order to better address the impact of trauma and ACEs on our students, our institutions, and on ourselves. Trauma in postsecondary learners can manifest in a number of ways: difficulty focusing, attending, retaining, and recalling; tendency to miss a lot of classes; challenges with emotional regulation; fear of taking risks; anxiety about deadlines, exams, group work, or public speaking; anger, helplessness, or dissociation when stressed; withdrawal and isolation (Hoch et al., 2015). Researcher Bruce Perry notes that students dealing with the aftereffects of trauma and ACEs often struggle to process new information when they are triggered or stressed. “The major challenge,” he writes, “is to furnish the structure, predictability, and sense of safety that can help [these students] begin to feel safe enough to learn.”


Despite the challenges and limitations we face as non-mental health professionals, having a trauma-informed framework can help rhetoric and composition teachers and WPAs be better prepared to not only recognize how trauma, ACEs and other adversities impact learning, but to develop policies and procedures to more holistically support learning in the midst of the realities of our students’ lives.


Call for Proposals


We encourage individual or team proposals from people in the Carolinas who are working in any teaching, research, or administrative positions related to writing. We welcome proposals related to this year’s theme of “Holding space: Trauma, community, and care in writing programs.”
Two different conversation-style presentation types will facilitate conversations around this theme:


  1. How We Help: Share a teaching method or writing program leadership strategy that is working well at your site. Or present findings from a study you’re involved in that would interest writing teachers and WPAs. 20 minutes includes feedback time.
  2. Help We Need: Describe a teaching, program leadership, or research problem or story that you would like help thinking about with other attendees. 20 minutes includes feedback time.


Proposals must include:

  • Names and contact information (email, phone, home institution) for each person associated with your proposal
  • Type of presentation (How We Help, Help We Need)
  • A title and 200-word (more or less) description for the program


Submit your proposal by completing this online proposal form. Proposals are due by 11:59 p.m., Monday, August 26, 2019.


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.



The registration deadline is 11:59 p.m. on Friday, September 6, and no refunds will be guaranteed after that time. To register, please visit the conference page.

Fall 2010 Conference CFP – Writing Program Assessment

Call for Proposals

CWPA Fall 2010 Conference

Writing Program Assessment: Accountability and Enrichment

Proposal deadline: Friday, July 16th

Conference Theme and Design

More than ever, Writing Program Administrators, Writing Center Directors, and teachers and tutors of writing at the post-secondary level are feeling the pressure of Accountability: we are required by external bodies (such as the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, a.k.a. SACS) to study and document the impact of our curricula and, subsequently, to revise our programs in response to what we learn. Many of us are in the middle of SACS reaccreditation; many of us have just finished the process; and many of us are soon to begin that process. The process is confusing, intimidating, and enormous, particularly for many of us who haven’t had a lot of training in assessment design and implementation.

Often, external pressure leads to “assessment dread”—the assessment process becomes another hoop to jump through or another way in which our work becomes vulnerable to attack by administrators and outsiders who don’t understand what we do. Lost in this scenario is the promise of assessment—the ways in which assessment can be used to enrich our courses and to improve the work we do on behalf of our students. It is easy, too, to lose sight of the fact that program assessment can perform important research and lead to significant publications in the field of composition and rhetoric.

In response to the pressures, and sometimes dread, that surrounds the topic, the Fall 2010 CWPA Annual Meeting at Wildacres Retreat Center in Little Switzerland, NC will focus on “Writing Program Assessment.” More specifically, the meeting is intended to foster conversations about topics such as

  • Current research on practices of writing assessment,
  • Assessment terminology,
  • Assessment design for external (satisfying accreditation requirements) and internal (improving curricula, advancing research) purposes,
  • Assessment implementation (logistics and getting program instructors “on board”),
  • Assessment reporting (presenting assessment results in rhetorically effective ways for different audiences).

Conference Schedule and Format

The format of the conference encourages full engagement of participants from a broad variety of institutions and programs. We will mix small, working group discussions with individual and roundtable presentations about writing program assessment.

The conference will begin at 5:00 pm on Monday, September 20, and will conclude at 10:00 am on Wednesday, September 22.

Read Full Call for Proposals

Download Registration Form

Writing Research and Program Preservation in Tight Financial Times (Call for Proposals)

Submission deadline extended: Proposals due July 17th

Conference Theme and Design

Since Chris Anson’s call at the CWPA Meeting in the Middle in February 2007 to research ways to improve student writing and writing programs at our universities, Carolinas Writing Program Administrators has worked to facilitate researched responses to the challenges and opportunities facing our programs. This year, many of our members share the challenge of preserving “what’s good” about our programs – and moving forward with innovation – in a time of financial hardship. 

In recognition of this shared challenge, this year’s CWPA sixth annual fall conference (September 21-23 at Wildacres) invites participants to share research and problem-solving on creative responses to tight financial times. Participants might examine how to use budget cuts as opportunities to restructure programs in positive ways, share research that demonstrates the need to preserve small class sizes/low teaching loads, or challenge our assumptions about what is truly essential to a strong writing program. This list is not exhaustive, and we invite members to draw on their particular areas of expertise in order to assist like-minded colleagues from across NC and SC to better understand the state of research and practice in related areas.

Continue reading Writing Research and Program Preservation in Tight Financial Times (Call for Proposals)