The Third Coast Writing Project offers opportunities for continued professional fun, fellowship, learning and growth for participants who have concluded the Invitational Summer Institute. Continuity programs range from advanced institutes that focus on burning issues and strategies in literacy education, to leadership opportunities with TCWP or the networks of the state and/or national writing project, to participation in grant-funded programming, to meeting at potlucks or a local bar or restaurant for the sharing of writing or a TGIF.

Each summer TCWP offers a full menu of advanced-institutes for participants who have completed the TCWP Invitational Institute, and mini-institutes for teachers new to the Third Coast Writing Project.

Co-Directors Share the TCWP Story and Strategies with Colleagues in Eastern Michigan

TCWP Co-Directors Pen Campbell and Corey Harbaugh gave the keynote address at the "Writing for Real" Conference at Eastern Michigan University (Ypsilanti) on October 17. In the address they shared the TCWP story of "Symbiosis at Work and Play". The conference was a program of the Eastern Michigan Writing Project.

Pen Campbell reviews a script written during the Digital Storytelling Advanced Institute, 2008. TCWP has become a national leader in Digital Storytelling and has received seed funding from the National Writing Project to support this initiative that brings together writing, storytelling, and digital media

TCWP Co-Director Jonathan Bush presents WMU President John Dunn with a framed "Midnight Poem" that had mysteriously appeared on Dr. Dunn's door the morning of the Rural Sites Network Conference Opening Dinner, March, 2009.

TCWP teacher Corey Harbaugh (on right) with author and educator Sondra Perl at Harlem's famous Apollo Theater during the 2009 Summer Seminar on Holocaust Education in New York City.

Laura Feffer and her husband Steve Feffer led a workshop for teachers from across the country on teaching script writing and acting based on her success at Allegan (MI) Alternative HS. The workshop has become a favorite at the TCWP Summer Institute.

TCWP Director Ellen Brinkley (left, front) and site leaders Pen Campbell, Lynn Welsh, and Jennifer Conrad enjoy a dinner while at the National Writing Project Annual Meeting in San Antonio, TX, in Nov. 2008.

Eight TCWP teachers worked together to publish the book Home and Other Places, supported by TCWP, NWP, and a grant from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs. The book features the writing of students, teachers, and community members from rural SW Lower Michigan.


Third Coast Writing Project teachers like to have fun with writing and with one another, and spontaneous limericks do both at the same time. The tradition started some years ago that whenever TCWP folks gather in a bar or restaurant, the waiter is given an ample tip that includes an original poem, written on a napkin from the establishment.


This limerick was written on a napkin during a lunch in downtown Kalamazoo at the TCWP Rural Sites Conference Writing Marathon in March, 2009. It reads:

Children are points of light
Some of them just don't burn bright
It's the dim bulbs I like
Kids like Bruno or Spike
Who have vision that go(es) beyond sight.

TCWP Newsletter
In addition to the programs described above, TCWP publishes a newsletter at roughly quarterly intervals. For more information, contact the editors, Pen Campbell at or Dan Holt at

TCWP Continuity Events
Each year TCWP Directors and Teacher Consultants meet occasionally to learn from an invited speaker or workshop presenter or from each other. Some groups have met for weekend reunion retreats, a practice that TCWP plans to continue.

TCWP Leadership
TCWP Teacher Consultants have served in a variety of leadership roles. They lead workshop sessions for teachers in their own and other school districts. They lead conference sessions at state and national conferences. They serve as Returning Fellows and Co-Directors of TCWP. They serve as members of TCWP's Leadership Team and in leadership roles linked to National Writing Project programs.