International Writing Centers Week 2017

Near the end of last quarter, the UCWbL staff had the opportunity to participate in International Writing Centers Week (IWCW). According to the International Writing Centers Week website, this event gives writing centers across the globe a chance to “celebrate writing and become more aware of the important role of their individual campus.” At the UCWbL, we wanted to celebrate the week both internationally and locally within DePaul’s campus.

Within our own university, the Outreach Team and other peer tutors from the UCWbL hosted tabling events dedicated to the celebration of writing centers. We tabled in both LPC and the Loop, where we encouraged writers to make an appointment or follow the UCWbL on Twitter in exchange for an UCWbL t-shirt. We used this time to promote our writing center, while also celebrating the existence of writing centers in general through interacting with people walking by.

In the weeks leading up to the event, the Outreach team worked together to prepare for IWCW.  We wanted to come up with a collaborative activity that incorporated working with writing centers all over the globe, while also bringing something fresh and new to the discussion surrounding the writing center. Last year, we emailed many universities and asked them to tell us about their writing center and about the kind of work that they do, as well as their writing center philosophies.

This year, however, we wanted to take a different approach yet still hold on to that spirit of inquiry and collaboration. We decided that a good activity to promote dialogue between writing centers, as well as to promote an overall awareness of International Writing Centers Week, would be to tweet at other writing centers with the prompt, “In celebration of International Writing Centers Week, we want to hear from you! Tell us what you 💙 about tutoring! #iwcw17.” During our team meetings, the Outreach team compiled a list of writing centers that we wanted to reach out to, both in the United States and outside. As the tweets began to go out, responses started to trickle in, like this tweet from John Carroll University in Ohio:

As well as this response from the University of North Florida:

We heard responses from schools as close as North Central University in Naperville, IL all the way to the University of Limerick in Ireland. We then used all of the wonderful, creative responses to create a map that depicts where each response came from in order to show how global writing centers are. From the responses, it’s clear to see that at the UCWbL we have a lot in common with writing centers across the world. International Writing Centers Week was able to bring both writers and other writing centers together in a way that fosters community and collaboration across local and global boundaries.