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San Marcos Writing Project

San Marcos Writing Project

The San Marcos Writing Project (SMWP) is one of 190 sites of the National Writing Project (17 in California), which is a professional development network of teachers whose goal is to improve student-writing achievement by improving the teaching and learning of writing in the nation's schools.

The writing project is a resource for teachers and school districts. During the school year, writing project teachers can also provide professional development workshops for other teachers in their schools and communities. We host Open Institutes around relevant topics for two weeks in the summer or two to three day workshops during the school year. We also host Young Writer's Camps for two weeks in the summer at school sites around North San Diego County for students in grades two through eight.

2024 Summer Institute for K-16 Teachers

  • Dates: June 17 - July 11, 2024 
  • Times: Monday through Thursday between 8:30am - 4:00pm 
  • Modality: Hybrid Institute! 2 days virtual and 2 days in person each week.

The San Marcos Writing Project (SMWP) provides opportunities in professional development for K-16 teacher practitioners in all disciplines, administrators, and curriculum specialists. The SMWP is a National Writing Project site dedicated to the improvement of student learning through the effective teaching of writing in culturally and linguistically diverse classrooms. Our aim is for fellows to come away from the Institute with a renewed sense of excitement about and commitment to teaching, writing and the teaching of writing.

  • More Information about the 2024 Summer Institute
    • The San Marcos Writing Project, based at CSUSM, was established to give teachers an opportunity to expand their skills in teaching writing.
    • Teachers will attend a four-week (four days a week) hybrid, intensive institute and two half-day follow-up meetings on Saturdays during the following academic year. There will be an in-person orientation on Saturday June 8. Lunch provided.
    • Participants will receive a $400 stipend for attending the four-week summer institute and $100 for attending a fall meeting and $100 for attending a spring meeting. We are adding $100 to this year’s stipend to offset parking fees and gas costs when we meet in person. There is no cost to district or school.
    • Participants are eligible to receive up to 6 units of graduate credit for a reduced fee.
  • What to Expect during the Summer Institute

    In our Summer Institute we will:

    • write, share our writing, and develop confidence in our own writing.

    • learn research-based reading and writing strategies that can improve the academic achievement of native English-speaking students and non-Native English speakers.

    • read and have conversations about current research, policy, and assessment.

    • build content-based curriculum based on the CA ELA/ELD standards

    • learn to use and integrate digital tools that support reading and writing.

    • learn and use strategies for effective teaching of writing.

    • share and learn approaches for teaching writing and critical literacy across disciplines.

    • develop our leadership skills.

    • use writing to renew and care for ourselves and our students.

Participation in the Summer Institute is invitational only. Please apply below to be considered. 

Application Deadline: May 24, 2024  

Apply for the 2024 Summer Institute

Effective Writing Instruction Symposium 

Symposium Dates: June 24 - 29 2024 (9am - 3pm) 

Application Deadline: June 6, 2024

Whether you are new to teaching or would like to improve on your current skill level, this 5- day, in-person writing institute will meet your needs. Writing Institute topics will include: • Creating the conditions for standards-based, effective writing in your classroom • Providing meaningful feedback for student writing, all while handling the “paper load” • Using mentor texts to facilitate learning • Using technology to support student writing • Topics applicable to grades K-12. 

Each day (9 a.m. - 3 p.m.) will include: demonstrations with practical resources to use immediately; time to work with experienced classroom teachers; and opportunities to collaborate with grade-level colleagues. 

$100 stipend upon completion of institute Space is limited to 30 participants 1 semester unit of graduate credit is available from CSUSM for a discounted fee. 

Apply for the Effective Writing Instruction Symposium

Teen Writers' Camp

Join the Teen Writers' Camp for Middle and High School students this summer! Our theme this summer is Everyone Has a Story. Read details below: 

For Students entering grades 9-12

  • Dates: August 5 through 9, 2024
  • Time: Monday - Friday 9:30am-2:30pm
  • Place: CSUSM Campus 

Learn More about the High School Teen Camp

For Students entering grades 6-8     

  • Dates: July 29 through August 2, 2024
  • Time: Monday - Friday 9:30am-2:30pm
  • Place: CSUSM Campus 

 Learn More about the Middle School Teen Camp       

Young Writers' Camp

Stay tuned for new dates!

Upcoming Events

AI in the Classroom: Learn How AI Can Support Teachers Each and Everyday

  • Dates: July 1-3 (3 days) 
  • Time: 9:00am-1:00pm
  • Location: CSUSM campus

AI in the Classroom Registration

Contact Us

Laurie Stowell, SMWP Director

Nancy Pace-Skinner, SMWP Co-Director



SMWP In the News

Additional Information & Resources