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Pennsylvania Writing and Literature Project


Contact Pennsylvania Writing and Literature Project  

Pennsylvania Writing and Literature Project

The Pennsylvania Writing and Literature Project
West Chester University
Main Hall
720 S. High St
West Chester, PA 19383

Phone: 610-436-2598

Pauline Schmidt, Ph.D.

2018 PAWLP Fellows

Congrats to our 2018 PAWLP Fellows!


Spring 2020

Tuition and Fees

3 Graduate Credits from West Chester University

If you are not enrolled in a Master's Degree program at West Chester University, to learn how to enroll as a nondegree student.

For more information please call 610-436-2202 or

email Pauline Schmidt.

Course Schedule - TBD



Summer 2019

Tuition and Fees

3 Graduate Credits from West Chester University

For current tuition rate, please visit the Bursar website.

Please register at least two weeks before the class begins.
If you are not enrolled in a Master's Degree program at West Chester University, learn how to enroll as a nondegree student.

PWP 599-21: “Reading and Writing the World” - Literacy, Place, and Sustainability

Hybrid Course
Face-to-Face Dates:  June 24-28, 2019 Time: 9:00am-4:00pm
Location: WCU
Instructor: Mary Buckelew

Description: Are you interested in learning more about place-based education (PBE) and sustainability (environmental, social justice, economic, personal) and how you can apply these concepts to your own setting? If so, this introductory course is for you. In the process of our own exploration and analyses, we will create multigenre/modal projects on place and sustainability and write proposals for “Take a Stance” pieces on an issue of sustainability – all the while reflecting on implications, applications, and extensions for our own classrooms, schools, communities, and universe.

Sustainability broadly defined encompasses environmental, social, and economic issues and their transaction. The Brundtland Commission defines sustainability as “development which meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” “Place-based education is the process of using the local community and environment to teach concepts across the curriculum.” These lenses are a powerful combination.

PWP 503-30 Strategies for Teaching Writing

Hybrid Course
Face-to-Face Dates:  July 15-18, 2019  Time: 8:00am-4:00pm
Location: Bucks County Intermediate Unit
Instructors: Rita DiCarne and Greg Maigur

Description: Do you want to learn new, fresh, practical strategies for teaching writing? You are invited to spend a week participating in writing activities, exploring your own writing style, and sharing strategies for writing instruction with your peers. In this course you will experience community building, pre-writing techniques, drafting, revising, editing, and publishing activities which you can take directly into your classroom for your students to experience. You will also work with a response group to polish your writing and to take on the role of student as writer-teacher.

PWP 599-31 and 599-32 Grammar Matters, Grades 4-12

Hybrid Course
599-31 Face-to-Face Dates:  July 15-19, 2019 at WCU Time: 8:00am-4:00pm
599-32 Face-to-Face Dates:  July 22-25, 2019 at Bucks County Intermediate Unit Time: 8:00am-4:00pm
Instructors: Jen Greene and Kelly Virgin

Description: This course will help you become more comfortable and confident in grammar instruction. You will have the opportunity to design lessons that embed the teaching of grammar into the writing process. You will learn where to find answers to the more obscure questions about the rules of the English language as well as create and contribute to an online reference library of rules.

PWP 520 Finding Writing Mentors: Students, Teachers, & Texts

Hybrid Course
Face-to-Face Dates:  July 22-26, 2019 Times: 8:00am-4:00pm
Location: WCU
Instructors: Emily Aguilo-Perez and Lorie Epperson 

Welcome to the world of picture books - hundreds of texts in one room for you to examine and enjoy.  The course facilitators share their love of children's literature and passion for writing in a relaxed, highly motivating setting.  Learn how to connect story elements and literary devices to specific activities, use scaffolds to develop students' writing, and create strategic mini-lessons that link rich literature to the teaching of writing.  Expand your knowledge of mentor texts for models of exemplary writing and reader-response activities designed for various purposes, audiences, and genres. Opportunities to meet Common Core Standards for reading, writing, speaking, and listening wherever applicable.

PWP 599: Reading and Writing Argumentative Texts

Hybrid Course
Face-to-Face Dates:  July 29 - August 1 Time:  8:00am - 4:00pm
Location: Bucks County Intermediate Unit
Instructors: Kathy Egan and Chris Kehan

"Our job as readers of nonfiction is to enter into a text recognizing that the author is not offering the truth, but one vision of the truth" (Beers & Probst).  Therefore, our job as teachers is to teach our young readers to discover the different stances authors take about a topic within a text. Once they learn how to interpret the information as a reader, they are better prepared to write by creating their own claims with reasons supported by facts and details.  Strategies for deeper thinking/reasoning about topics that students encounter in their lives will be provided.  Participants will interact as readers with opinion/argumentative texts as they learn what writers of this type of nonfiction need to strengthen their stance and reason with an audience.  Reading to interpret and writing to argue one's claim about a topic/subject will be the focus of this course.

Invitational Writing Institute

The Pennsylvania Writing and Literature Project offers an Invitational Institute in the Teaching of Writing. Participants earn six graduate credits from West Chester University.

Experienced teachers come together to demonstrate and examine their classroom practices, study the latest research about teaching, and develop their own teaching skills. As a result of these activities, teachers are better prepared for their own classrooms and for teaching other teachers.

This teachers-teaching-teachers model is the heart of the Project philosophy.

Teachers who successfully complete an Institute are eligible to teach in PAWLP's summer Youth Programs, present in courses, and provide professional development for local school districts.

An application form, endorsement from a PAWLP Fellow or school district administrator, and interview are required. Applications are considered on a rolling admission basis. For more information or an application please call the PAWLP office at 610-436-2598 or

Pauline Schmidt


Cyndy Pilla


2019 Institute Dates. Total of 16 dates. 6 graduate credits

Spring: Saturdays, May 4 and 18, June 1 from 8 a.m.-1 p.m.
Summer: June 24-28, July 1 and 2, and July 8–12 from 8 a.m.-3 p.m.
Fall: September 28, from 9 a.m.-1:30 p.m.

West Chester University
Main Hall, Room 200
West Chester, PA

Applications received by December 1, 2018 will receive a free bundle of pedagogical texts.
Final application deadline is April 16, 2019.

2019 Writing Institute Application  

2019 Writing Institute Application  

Writing Institute Flyer

NWP Immersion article

Master's Degree Flyer


Master's Degree

Did you know that the Institutes and many of PAWLP's courses apply to the innovative Master of Arts degree in Writing, Teaching, and Criticism?

Developed with Language Arts and Secondary English teachers in mind, this flexible, year-round, professionally oriented program allows students to explore three areas of study in English - rhetoric and composition, pedagogy, and literary studies. The 36 hour program brings together theory and classroom practices in writing and rhetoric, secondary English teaching, and the interpretation of literature and other cultural discourses. The program welcomes students with an interest in exploring the way language, teaching and literature intersect.

The program:

  • Strengthens critical reading, writing, and research skills
  • Places special emphasis on the implications and applications for teaching
  • Offers specialized study in issues of cultural and classroom diversity
  • Enhances knowledge of literature and culture
  • Focuses on how writing, literary studies, and teaching intersect

In addition to the required Teacher as Writer course taught by PAWLP Director Pauline Schmidt, up to four other PWP courses may apply to the twelve-course requirement of the degree.

To enroll, contact the Graduate School at 610-436-2943.

PAWLP Certificates

Earn a PAWLP Certificate!

A Certificate in Writing Instruction is issued by the PA Writing & Literature Project for successful completion of 15 graduate credits of course work in writing instruction through PAWLP/West Chester University. Successful completion of the six-credit Invitational Institute must be included in the 15 credits.

A Certificate in Instructional Strategies for Teaching Writing and Literature may be earned through the successful completion of 15 graduate credits of course work in a combination of writing and literature courses. Successful completion of the six-credit Invitational Institute must be included in the 15 credits.

Holders of the Certificate in Writing Instruction may complete an additional 9 credits, chosen from the following courses, to earn the joint certificate: PWP 510, 512, 513, 520, 521, 522, and 599 under advisement.

Important information about the educational debt, earnings, and completion rates of students who attended this program.

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