CCTE: Rhetoric 4- The Writing Carnival

Jana Anderson, Director of Writing Center
Ronna Privett, Chair of the English Department
Both are from Lubbock Christian University.
“What do The Chronicles of Narnia and a Magician Have in Common? A First-Year Writing Carnival Experience

This is a live blogging of the session.

Several studies have noted the writing center experience starting at Purdue through Muriel Harris.

At LCU we have an ever-increasing number of first-generation college students and adult commuters.

Writing Center is 1.5 years old at LCU. Began at 2008 when these ladies attended CCTE at UTAustin. Decided to open a Writing Center, using borrowed funds.

UTAustin’s Director of Writing Center stressed importance of making it visible on campus.
“Must be significant centers of student learning.”
Needs events.
“Light up” writing centers and put them on administration’s map (and in the budget).

How do Writing Centers avoid being editing labs? How do they offer a model for public writing?

Kick off event:
The Chronicles of Narnia 24-Hour Reading Marathon

throughout the day and night the audience changed
56 faculty, staff, students read and tweeted, facebooked, and
generated a delightful level of energy- students camped out on the lawn to be there all night
Professors read. Student Government president read. Registrar read and she knows every student’s name. Young children of faculty read.
Professors brought classes.

The Food
Dining service provided fair-type food.
They had a campus picnic.
The students did have to pay for the food, but it was out there and available.

Lots of folks who aren’t usually out there were out talking to students.

Fun & Games
Boggle, Pictionary, Scrabble, etc.
Out on campus for folks to play.

First Annual Writing Contest
Create a Caption Contest
Graffiti Wall on Butcher Paper
Open Mic for poetries or short stories- Students read off their iPhones.

Volunteers got T-shirts.
T-shirts were big hit.
300 submissions for the contests.

Handout with details.

On the back of handout are things we learned that we would do differently.

Next year we are doing The Lord of the Rings.

Scope of involvement:

100s of students who read and walked around and ate turkey legs.
Don’t count those who played board games.
Don’t count those who listened to all the readings and open mic experience.

Showcased the Winners on the National Day of Writing.

Letter writing table on that day.
Free stationery, paper, envelopes, and stamps.
Wall to mark on (paper).

NCTE Blog for the National Day of Writing.

High profile event.
Academic resource entered student life.
Events that build student life help academic programs succeed.

Got more financial support.
Got our own budget beginning in 2011.

Writing Center and Writing Carnival focused on first-year students.

Turning point events:
1. provide a more cohesive learning experience
2. sense of community with shared experiences
3. faculty/staff interaction
4. involve students in university life

We believe this made significant support for retention.

$0 budget.

This event was successful because everyone across the campus worked together.
Tend to isolate on our projects, communal event really helped.
Allowed us to model academic curiousity we want to foster.

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