Western Massachusetts Writing Project Celebrates 30 Years at Westfield State

Jun 14, 2023
A table covered with various papers, newspaper clippings, and a large WMWP poster on it.

The Western Massachusetts Writing Project (WMWP) is a coalition of faculty members which reside in the Western Massachusetts area. The WMWP was founded in 1993 and is a local chapter  of a  larger group, the National Writing Project.

The WMWP allows teachers and professors from grades pre-K to the university level to come together and collaborate new ways of either understanding or implementing ideas within the classroom. Several hundred teachers in the local chapter participate, their mission being to “provide a space for teachers to teach other teachers.”

Westfield State welcomed participants and supporters of the Western Massachusetts Writing Project to campus on May 20th to celebrate the group’s long and storied history. Educators came together from Westfield State and UMASS to collaborate and enjoy reflecting on 30-years of teaching, writing, and experiencing the joys of authorship.

In addition to the community the WMWP offers, they provide programs, graduate courses, workshops, and conferences to those who are interested in further professional development. More than one thousand teachers participate in WMWP events per year, with teachers as far out as Worcester attending.

This year the WMWP celebrated its 30th anniversary. The event was held at Westfield State, and featured a night of communion, where attendees were encouraged to eat, celebrate, and reminisce on the WMWP’s long history through slideshows of historical photos and old newspaper articles detailing WMWP events.

Jennifer DiGrazia, a professor of English at Westfield State, commented on her personal experience of the celebration.“It was wonderful to hear from so many of those whose experiences have shaped the WMWP historically and enabled it to reach such a wide swath of teachers and students. It reinforced for me that at WSU, we want to continue to support empowering teachers to be strong writers and leaders so that they can reach more students and use the best practices in teaching writing in their own K-16 classrooms.  I'm thrilled that WSU has demonstrated such support for the program, as those in both English and Education as well as the President turned out to welcome the WMWP to WSU.”