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San Marcos Writing Project

San Marcos Writing Project

The San Marcos Writing Project (SMWP) is one of 190 sites of the National Writing Project (17 in California), which is a professional development network of teachers whose goal is to improve student-writing achievement by improving the teaching and learning of writing in the nation's schools.

The writing project is a resource for teachers and school districts. During the school year, writing project teachers can also provide professional development workshops for other teachers in their schools and communities. We host Open Institutes around relevant topics for two weeks in the summer or two to three day workshops during the school year. We also host Young Writer's Camps for two weeks in the summer at school sites around North San Diego County for students in grades two through eight.

Resources for Educators during School Closings due to COVID-19

Drop in and Connect:

Weekly: Tuesdays at 4:00 | April 7 through May 19

Join the Call

Watch past calls:


Come and discuss:

  • how you’re feeling
  • what’s on your mind
  • how can we support our students during school closures
  • how we can support each other during closures
  • what you’ve been doing that has worked
  • what you’re doing that hasn’t worked
  • questions and challenges we can discuss together
  • suggestions for work SMWP could provide
  • books you’ve read and recommend
  • share some of your writing

Maybe we’ll even do a little writing and responding together.

Come once, come three times. Come when it works for you.   Know that your writing project community is here for you.

Summer Institute

Invitational Summer Institute: Online

This institute will focus on effective reading and writing strategies in face to face and online classrooms.  Teachers will attend a five-week (four days a week) intensive institute and two half-day follow-up meetings on Saturdays during the following academic year.

  • Date: June 15 to July 16, 2020
  • Time: Monday through Thursday 8:30am-4:00pm
  • Location: Online

More details and RSVP:  Invitational Summer Institute 2020 at CSUSM Flyer and Registration

Advanced Institute: Online

This summer we will focus on problems of practice with a goal of developing strategies and resources that could be shared with our writing project fellows and teachers around San Diego County and Southwest Riverside.  Our aim is for fellows to renew their excitement about and commitment to teaching, writing and teacher leadership.  We will strengthen our teaching of writing in face to face and online environments.

  • Date: July 20 to July 22, 2020
  • Time: 8:30am-4:00pm
  • Location: Online

More details and RSVP:  Advanced Institute 2020 at CSUSM Flyer and Registration

College Essay Writing Seminar: Online

Draft and finalize UC Personal Insight Questions for their Fall 2020 college applications. Students with alternative essay prompts will be able to brainstorm and draft their statements with feedback and editing. Seminar will be led by Jennifer Cerda and Lauren Antonio, both San Marcos Writing Project fellows and AP Language teachers. Registration fees include a notebook, writing materials, access to laptops for revising and finalizing essays, a SMWP t-shirt and all supplies necessary for the workshop.

  • Date: June 15 to June 19, 2020
  • Time 8:30am-1:00pm
  • Location: Online
  • Cost $125 per student*

Thanks to a generous donation from the ASSETs grant, the first 25 registrants will attend the seminar for free!

College Essay Writing Seminar Registration

Young Writers' Camps

Young Writers' Camp

Decision to move to online pending. Details to follow.

Learning Literacy Through the Arts Focus: The San Marcos Writing project invites students entering 1st through 6th grade to participate in a workshop led by Writing Project teachers. Registration fees include a notebook, writing materials and all supplies necessary for the workshop. Please join our Writing Camp that will emphasize on Learning Literacy Through the Arts.

  • Date: July 27 to July 31, 2020
  • Time: Monday through Friday 9:00am-12:00pm
  • Location: Highland Ranch Elementary

More details:  Young Writers' Camp Flyer
Registration:  Young Writers' Camp Registration

Teen Writers' Camp: Cancelled for 2020

Creative and/ or academic writing for students entering grades 6-10. Cancelled for summer 2020.  Look for this camp in summer 2021.

SMWP 20th Anniversary Celebration: Postponed

Celebrate 20 Years of our work together with speaker Jayne Marlink

  • Postponed until Spring or Summer 2021.  Check back here for details

SMWP In the News


Additional Information & Resources


Upcoming Events & Workshops:

Contact Us

Laurie Stowell, SMWP Director

Nancy Pace-Skinner, SMWP Co-Director