Making Writers in a National Writing Project Invitational Summer Institute

Kentucky English Bulletin, Spring 2014, Vol 63, No. 2, pgs. 50-59


These findings support the idea that working in a learning community focused on writing has a long-term, positive effect on writers by decreasing writing apprehension; attending to the sources of writing self-efficacy; and fostering self-regulation. The results of this study provide support for fostering writing in more open systems such as writing groups, writing workshops, and learning communities. These findings have implications for teachers of writing at all levels of education.


Those who work with writers can take several lessons away from this project. First, is the knowledge that intervention can make a difference in whether or not a person becomes a writer. Second, we gain insight into some of the strategies that can be used for that intervention and that these strategies can be used to work with student writers or professional adults. Third, and most important, is the understanding that the level of intervention must be low rather than high to allow the writer the agency to set her goals and reflect on her growth and development as a writer. There is still a clear role for the teacher and editor as the experienced writer and mentor. Not only can they provide an important model for how writing should be done as well as examples of work in progress and completed work, but they can also share their successes and failures to illustrate their own growth and development as a writer. Perhaps the most important contribution the teacher or editor can make to assist in the process of the writer becoming a confident and skilled writer is to help shape the immersion or workshop experience that offers not only the sources of writing self-efficacy, but also makes the agency for full growth and development to take place.