Developed in 1978 by Dr. Don Gallehr, The Northern Virginia Writing Project is one of the National Writing Project’s first sites. For over forty years NVWP has worked to improve writing instruction across disciplines in area schools through Summer Institutes for teachers, semester classes taught at the University, professional development programs, and annual Learning Conferences. Two principles frame the Professional Development we offer: in order to teach writing effectively, teachers must be writers themselves, and teachers are the best teachers of other teachers. Through these experiences, we have developed a network of over eight hundred teacher-leaders, who bring their expertise in writing instruction back to their students and colleagues.
In addition to working to improve writing instruction, NVWP aims to nurture and value student and teacher writing. We offer a Young Writers’ Workshop in the summer, which gives children who love to write a workshop experience with their writing. The camp also includes short lessons on different aspects of the writing process, strategies for revision, a variety of genre forms, as students determine what they need; as well as peer and teacher responses to their writing, and, most notably, a true community of writers. We also offer writing and reading groups for teachers and publish selected writing by our T-Ls on our website. We also sponsor the Writers in the Schools program, through which GMU MFA students teach creative writing classes to school children.
NVWP values being a part of the George Mason University English Department and a site of the National Writing Project, which offer resources, research, and innovation in the teaching of writing.