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College of Liberal Arts
University of Mississippi

Transitioning to College Writing Symposium

October 19, 2016

Teachers of diverse backgrounds and disciplines from Mississippi and surrounding areas will soon be joining UM faculty and high school, community college, and university writing teachers to participate in this year’s Transitioning to College Writing Symposium, which will be held on October 20 and 21, 2016, on The University of Mississippi campus in Oxford, Mississippi.

The College of Liberal Arts joins the School of Education and the Division of Outreach in sponsoring the annual event, which marks its sixth anniversary this year. The symposium is co-hosted each year by the Department of Writing and Rhetoric and the University of Mississippi Writing Project.

Dr. Alice Johnston Myatt, assistant chair of writing and rhetoric and one of the coordinators of the symposia, applauded the collaborative work and support that are the foundation of the event. She said, “Not all school districts have the resources to fund professional development for their teachers; in fact, in some areas, teachers who attend our symposia must not only pay for their own travel, but pay for the substitute who will teach for them during the event. For that reason, we have—and continue to have—a variety of travel grants for teachers in need, and the support we receive from the College of Liberal Arts and other schools and units on our campus makes it possible for us to bring teachers here who might otherwise be unable to come.”

Myatt further noted, “Registration fees are modest, and we waive registration fees for students. We provide attendees with resources they can use once they return to their classrooms, and we are able bring noted scholars in the fields of English, Language Arts, and Writing Studies to share in the activities of the symposium. We have more than 80 people registered for this year’s symposium, and we look forward to an enriching experience for all of us.”

This year’s program is packed with conversation and informative sessions that focus on engaging students in writing and supporting them as they transition to college writing. The symposium, which brings together presenters from secondary and post-secondary writing classrooms, has the theme of “Writing Contexts: Exploring the Continuum of Writing for Life.” The opening session (Thursday, 4:30 pm) features keynote speaker Dr. Beth Boquet (Fairfield University, Connecticut).  In addition to concurrent sessions led by experienced writing faculty, Friday’s program includes plenary workshop sessions led by Dr. Chris Goering (NW Arkansas Writing Project) and Dr. David Jolliffee (Brown Chair in English Literacy, University of Arkansas).

Digital literacies and composition, academic writing, student engagement, and developing a local writing center are some of the topics featured on the program, which is developed from input gathered from a large and diverse group of writing teachers and professors from Mississippi schools and colleges.

CEU credit is available for public school teachers who attend the symposium, and attendees can register online at or by phone at (662) 915-2121. The symposium is open to anyone interested in learning more about writing instruction. Registration remains open until Friday, October 21.

For more information, send an email to, or call 662-915-2121.