Secondary Schools Writing Center Conference

Questions and inquiries? Please contact Julianna at


Our Annual Conference

Outreach Coordinator Julianna Iacovelli welcomes students, teachers, tutors, and faculty.

This year’s conference held on October 17, 2022 was a success! Our theme of “Write Now” focused on the current culture of Writing Centers and how we can adapt to be more accessible, equity-centered, and sustainable. In order to continue this work, our presenters have allowed us to share their materials that you may view in order to support your own Writing Center. Stay tuned for next year’s conference!

In the spirit of accessibility, here are some of the presentations/workshops offered at our 2022 Fall Conference!

Rockville High School’s Presentation led by Victoria Nordlund

Rockville High School tutors present on student buy-in and sustainability


Trauma-Informed Teaching Presentation by Julia Ward

Writing Center alumnus Juia Ward presents

A Right to Their Own Language: Centering Access, Inclusion, and Linguistic Justice in Writing Center Spaces By Jess Gallagher and Marya Hayat

Writing Center alumnus Jess Gallagher presents



Respecting Dialects and Multilingualism in the Writing Center by Eunice Kim and Robert Zatryb

Tutor Eunice Kim and Graduate Assistant Robert Zatryb

Outreach Partnerships

Typically, The University Writing Center picks one or two schools to work with extensively throughout the year to pilot a new writing center. This year instead, we are offering in-house retreats at our center on Thursdays and after-school visits to yours. We are also piloting a new project that will offer Hartford English teachers specialized group workshops. The chart below details our three different formats for outreach this year. Of course, this list is not exhaustive and our outreach coordinator communicates and collaborates with each school beforehand. Interested? Fill out this form and/or contact

In-House Retreat School Visits Hartford Workshops
Where? UConn’s Library Your school UConn Hartford Writing Center
Who is it for? students/teachers students/teachers teachers
What does it include?
  • 3-4 hours of team building, information, and workshops.
  • Tour of our space in action
  • 90 minutes-2 hours after school (shorter or longer based on school)
90 minutes-2 hours after school 
Sample Workshop topics to choose from

(these can all be requested in any of the three formats)

  • Tutoring Basics
  • The Foundations of a Writing Center
  • Tutoring Writers, Not Editing Papers
  • Higher Order Tutoring Strategies
  • Respecting Multilingualism and Dialects
  • How to Give Feedback
    • Trauma-Informed Tutoring 
    • Linguistic Justice and Anti-Racist Writing Center practices 
    • Multimodality
      • asynchronous/online tutoring
    • Recruitment and Community
    • Writing Center practicum
    • How to Start from Scratch
    • Why Your School Needs a Writing Center
    • Marketing and Building Interests
    • Foundational Pedagogy
    • How to teach a practicum


      Connecticut Secondary School Writing Center Network

      Part of the reason that public land grant universities like UConn were founded was to serve their state and regional communities. The University Writing Center carries on that spirit of service through our collaborations with Connecticut middle and high schools.  In partnership with the Connecticut Writing Project several area schools, we work to launch and sustain writing centers that value writing across the curriculum, focus on each writer’s development, recognize the benefits of peer-to-peer tutoring, and understand writing as a complex, interactive process.

      Click on the image below to go to an interactive map of schools that have been involved with UConn as partners and/or conference participants.


      Not all of the schools marked by pins currently have active writing centers (some, for example, have only attended our conference) but all have played some part of an emerging regional network.


      The blue and purple pins represent UConn partner schools.
      The red pins represent schools that have attended our annual conference with teachers and students.
      The yellow pins represent schools that have attended our annual conference with teachers only.


      Students in a breakout session during our annual conference discuss tutoring strategies.
      Students in a breakout session during our annual conference discuss tutoring strategies.

      How to Get Involved

      If interested in learning more about peer-run writing centers, we invite you to attend our annual  Secondary School Writing Centers Conference, which is open to all who are involved in our growing network or who want to learn more about it.

      Another opportunity to consider when looking to learn more about peer tutoring and our growing network is participating in the Connecticut Writing Project’s Summer Institute:

      Attending the Summer Institute is not a prerequisite for involvement, but we have found that teachers who attend this paid summer professional development program are usually in a better position to start and sustain a writing center.


      CREC Opening
      Read about our 2015 Writing Center opening at CREC Two Rivers Magnet Middle School


      Our History

      Our first community outreach work was initiated, appropriately enough, by an undergraduate tutor who wanted to bring one-on-one tutoring in academic and creative writing to her own former high school, Hartford Public.   To learn more about that experience, please see this article in Reflections:

      Starting in 2007 we shifted our emphasis from having UConn students deliver tutoring to HPHS to working with schools to assist them in founding their own faculty-led but peer-driven writing centers. At that time the Connecticut Writing Project (CWP) became a partner in the project.

      As part of our partnership program, we are currently working with Ellington High School to open their writing center.

      In recent years we have worked with:

      • Ashford School
      • Griswold
      • E.O. Smith High School, Storrs, CT.
      • East Hartford High School
      • Bolton High School
      • Public Safety Academy, Enfield, CT
      • Manchester High School
      • Woodstock Academy
      • Two Rivers Magnet Middle School (East Hartford)
      • Rockville High School
      • Sports and Medical Sciences Academy (Hartford)
      • Mansfield Middle School
      Connecticut teachers gather at the Secondary School Writing Centers Conference hosted by UConn each October to talk about planning and implementing peer tutoring.
      Connecticut teachers gather at the Secondary School Writing Centers Conference hosted by UConn each October to talk about planning and implementing peer tutoring.

      Visiting Our Writing Center

      We extend an invitation to any school that wishes to visit our campus Writing Center. See our space, observe a session, and speak with our tutors!

      Learning More

      If you want to learn more about student-staffed writing centers, here are some places to start:

      International Writing Center Association Position Statement on Secondary School Writing Centers:
      Richard Kent’s writing center portal page:
      High School Writing Centers:
      National Writing Project/Writing Center Resources:
      Capital Area Peer Tutoring Association:
      National Map of K-12 Writing Centers: