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Red Clay Writing Project

Good Things Grow in Red Clay

Announcement

We are celebrating 20 years of inspiring writers, teachers of writing, and social justice education in and beyond Athens, Georgia!

The Red Clay Writing Project, housed in the UGA Mary Frances Early College of Education, opened its doors in 2003 as one of nearly 200 local sites of the National Writing Project . The National Writing Project began in 1974 as a grassroots, progressive education movement to create powerful writing communities for teachers, having an extraordinary impact on the teaching of writing across the United States. Red Clay and the National Writing Project believe that K-12 student writers can be better served by teachers who are writers themselves.

Former RCWP group members

Red Clay Writing Project activities are open to preK-16 teachers interested in developing themselves as writers, writing pedagogy, writing communities, social justice, classroom-based inquiry, and teacher leadership.

All Red Clay Writing Project offerings are designed and implemented through the lenses of teacher leadership, teaching for social justice, and teaching in inquiry-based ways. Whether you love writing, hate writing, or fear writing, the Red Clay Writing Project will immerse you in a powerful, supportive environment where you can explore, experiment, and learn more effective ways of building positive writing experiences for K-16 youth and adults across all content areas.

Make a Gift

Former RCWP group members

Your donation to the Red Clay Writing Project supports teachers who are using their power for equity and justice through literacy and leadership, and youth who are drawn to creative spaces to tell their stories, community stories, and future-making through literacy. Red Clay thanks you for your vote of confidence and financial support.

Donate

Become a Fellow

A Sustained Professional Learning Community

Are you interested in social justice, inquiring into your own teaching practices, and developing your capacity for being a leader through writing, critical literacies, and professional development? If so, we invite you to apply to be a Red Clay Writing Project Fellow.

Applications are due by December 15 every year for the following year’s Fellowship and Summer Institute.

As a Red Clay Fellow you will:

  • Experience a 2-week (8:45 a.m.-4 p.m. daily) Summer Institute in June with a community of fellows
  • Participate in 3-4 weekend gatherings across the fall semester
  • Register for 2 graduate courses* to receive credit for the Summer Institute
  • Receive use of your Institute course books/materials for free
  • Participate in a course-related writing retreat in the fall for free
  • Participate in educational workshops in the fall for free
  • Establish a local community of social justice and inquiry-based educators who use writing in powerful ways across all content areas and grade levels
  • Become connected with the Georgia Writing Project and our work with the GaDOE
  • Have a lifetime connection to the National Writing Project , the longest-running and most successful professional learning network in the U.S. focused on developing teacher leadership
  • Be a part of a network of writing project colleagues from across 200 sites in the country with whom you can connect wherever you visit or move

*If you are a teacher who does not need graduate credit hours and does not plan to pursue graduate credit hours in the future, please contact us about this requirement.

Applications

To apply, please send the following to one of the co-directors:

  • A letter introducing yourself, including your interests in social justice, inquiry, powerful writing, and your teaching experiences. Tell us how you see yourself as a writer and as a teacher of writing and what you would like to work on. The letter can be straight-forward or written in any genre, form, or medium you choose. Teachers with at least one year of teaching experience (in schools, community settings, or wherever you teach!) will be prioritized, so please indicate the number of years you have been teaching.
  • A resume and a statement that you understand the Red Clay Writing Project Institute is a 2-week commitment in the summer with additional weekend commitments in the fall (we will do our best to make the weekend commitments fit with our Fellows’ schedules—but participation through fall is required).

For more information please contact one of our co-directors .

Testimonials

Because of Red Clay, I don’t worry about needing a “teacher’s manual” because my summer in Red Clay taught me how to think and explore and create. Because of Red Clay, I’ve been able to help contribute to professional developments held in my school, academic conferences (local and national), and two published books. Red Clay was a priceless and fundamental part of my education at the University of Georgia.

I chose the Red Clay Writing Project as one of my four “professional growth experiences” required to renew my National Board Certification because it has had such an impact on my personal and professional life.

Red Clay changed the way I see the classroom and the world. Developing a critical lens was crucial for my growth as a human toward social justice. I learned so many classroom protocols through osmosis, just by being a participant, that I use in my practice to this day.

My experience in Red Clay helped me move through one of the most difficult times in my life. I had space and support to write about my life — the joys, sorrows, and possibilities — and to be among an affirming community who made it feel possible to be vulnerable. Stephanie and Hilary did a wonderful job shaping and facilitating a space where we could be creative, build relationships, and think about writing and expression in a beautifully expansive way.

Professional Learning for Educators

Inspiring teachers, transforming literacy teaching, cultivating creativity, and advocating for equity and justice since 2003

We can come to you or you can come to us! ! Check out some possible professional learning scenarios below.

Check out our Saturday Morning Series Workshops

One-Time Professional Learning Contracts

  • Let us know what you want, and we can do it! We will quote you a price based on the time and labor involved, including planning, travel costs and time, meals, etc. The cost can range from $900-$2,000 for a one-time workshop, institute, consultation, etc. with a school or school district.

Contract Level A: $2,500 – A Taste of the Writing Project

  • Up to 10 teachers attend 3 Saturday Morning Workshops of their Choice
  • ½ day mini-institute with up to 10 teachers following one of the Saturday Morning Workshops

Contract Level B: $10,000 – Introduction to the Writing Project

  • ½-day needs-assessment/goals consultation with administration, literacy coaches, teacher leaders
  • 1-day mini-institute with up to 10 teacher leaders joining others from the region
  • Books and supplies provided for the mini-institute
  • 2 days of professional learning embedded within classrooms or grade levels
  • ½-day consultation with up to 10 teacher leaders to lay out an action plan for continued work
  • ½-day consultation with up to 10 teacher leaders to plan a presentation at the Writing Project Conference
  • Up to 10 teacher leaders attend 3 Saturday Morning Workshops of their choice
  • Up to 10 teacher leaders attend Red Clay Writing Project Conference to participate and present what they are doing at their school level

Contract Level C: $20,000 – Building an Awareness and Practice in the Writing Project

  • ½-day needs-assessment/goals consultation with administration, literacy coaches, teacher leaders
  • 1-day mini-institute with up to 15 teacher leaders joining others from the region
  • Books and supplies provided for the mini-institute
  • ½-day needs-assessment/goals consultation with administration, literacy coaches, teacher leaders
  • 5 days of professional learning embedded within classrooms or grade levels
  • 5 after-school meetings facilitated with small groups
  • ½-day consultation with up to 15 teacher leaders to plan a presentation at the Writing Project Conference
  • Up to 15 teacher leaders attend 5 Saturday Morning Workshops of their choice
  • Up to 15 teacher leaders attend Red Clay Writing Project Conference to participate and present what they are doing at their school level

Contract Level D: $30,000 – Writing Project Partner

  • 5-day institute (summer, weekends, or weekdays) for interested faculty, teacher leaders, administrators
  • Books and supplies provided for the institute
  • ½-day needs-assessment/goals consultation with administration, literacy coaches, teacher leaders
  • 1-day mini-institute with up to 20 teacher leaders joining others from the region
  • 5 days of professional learning embedded within classrooms or grade levels
  • 5 after-school meetings facilitated with small groups
  • Up to 20 teacher leaders attend 5 Saturday Morning Workshops of their choice
  • ½-day consultation with up to 20 teacher leaders to plan a presentation at the Writing Project Conference
  • Up to 20 teacher leaders attend Red Clay Writing Project Conference to participate and present what they are doing at their school level
  • Monthly email, phone, or Skype support for administration and teacher leaders for one year

Contract Level E: $50,000 – Writing Project School

  • Up to 25 teacher leaders participate in the 2-week invitational Summer Institute (or equivalent – a 10-day institute experience during the school year, on weekends, etc. as scheduled with the school)
  • Books, supplies, and a small stipend for teachers are provided
  • 1-day needs-assessment/goals consultation with administration, literacy coaches, teacher leaders
  • 1-day mini-institute/workshop with teachers from the school
  • Books and supplies provided for the institute/workshop
  • 10 days of professional learning embedded within classrooms or grade levels
  • 10 after-school meetings facilitated with small groups
  • Up to 25 teacher leaders attend 7 Saturday Morning Workshops of their choice
  • 1 day consultation with up to 25 teacher leaders to plan presentation at the Writing Project Conference
  • Up to 25 teachers attend the Red Clay Writing Project Conference to participate and present what they are doing at their school level
  • 1 day consultation with administration, teacher leaders, literacy coaches, etc. to evaluate the year’s work and make a plan to sustain and enhance work across the summer and next school year
  • Unlimited email, phone, Skype support for administration and teacher leaders for one year

Let Red Clay support you, inspire you, and help your school, your district, or your community-based learning center better meet the needs and interests of your students. Let’s imagine what we can do together!

Camp Red Clay for Youth Writers

Youth writers in grades 3-12 explore, deepen, and challenge their creative practices at Camp Red Clay, a weeklong camp offered through the Red Clay Writing Project during the summer. Writers write about things that are deeply personal and powerful to them through multiple genres and experience the power of writing on a personal level, community level, and as a way to create positive change in the world.

Registration

Camp Red Clay is on a temporary hiatus. We hope to have the camp back up and running soon!

Read a Letter from a Former Red Clay Fellow and Camp Red Clay Teacher

Read a story about Red Clay

Upcoming Events

Requesting event list...

Directors and Staff

Stephanie Jones

Co-director
Josiah Meigs Distinguished Teaching Professor
She/her/hers

Hilary Hughes

Co-director
Associate professor
Educational Theory and Practice
She/her/hers

Dylan Brody

Red Clay Scholar
Doctoral student
Educational Theory and Practice
They/them

Our Story

The National Writing Project began in 1974, starting a powerful movement that has grown across the United States and beyond, to invest sustained time and resources in teachers to grow in creative ways, so they can be powerful literacy educators and leaders.

Our story, here at the Red Clay Writing Project, is entangled with the National Writing Project (NWP) and began a long time before our site was launched in 2003. Bob Fecho, one of the founding directors (with JoBeth Allen) of Red Clay, was a Philadelphia Writing Project Fellow in 1986.

Bob brought his love and passion for teaching writing, teachers, youth, social justice, and the NWP to UGA with him. He and JoBeth applied to create a local site right here in Athens, Georgia, planting the seeds for a rich community of writers, teachers, classroom researchers, and youth in this rich red clay to flourish and spread across the region. Their dream and labor continues to feed this community and their legacy lives on.

Our current co-directors, Stephanie Jones and Hilary Hughes , both came to Georgia from strong NWP backgrounds as well. Stephanie was a part of the Ohio Writing Project in 1995 and Hilary came through the Colorado Writing Project in 2001, both of them passionate and committed to children- and youth-centered writing pedagogies and supporting teachers to grow, lead, and follow their personal and professional dreams.

We are so proud of the legacy of the first 20 years of the Red Clay Writing Project, which includes supporting more than 250 former Fellows who are classroom teachers spending their time with young children, adolescents, and young adults every day; literacy coaches; community educators; art educators; literacy, science, social studies teachers, English as an additional language teachers, foreign language, math, and music teachers; school administrators; activists; district administrators; independent consultants; published writers; university professors; researchers; Georgia Department of Education directors; and advocates for children, youth, families, and educators everywhere.

Red Clay has been a powerful place for writers to get support for taking their writing public. We are deeply proud of our published authors, Fellows, and directors, who have written numerous books, dozens of articles, many newspaper editorial essays, and countless professional learning and classroom-based teaching and learning explorations.

We are also privileged that the DEEP Center Writing Project in Savannah, Georgia is also a part of our legacy. We began a sustained, powerful, and beautiful partnership with the DEEP Center in 2013 and supported them to become the first-ever non-university-based site of the National Writing Project in 2021. The work DEEP does with youth, artist-teachers, and public educators in Savannah is deeply rooted in everything Red Clay believes in:

  • Youth empowerment
  • Critical inquiry
  • Creative expression
  • Advocacy for social justice

Red Clay has become smarter and richer because of our collaboration with DEEP, and we are always excited to collaborate with any organization that serves children, youth, families, and communities in their own best interest.

2023 marks our 20th anniversary celebration and a moment of both reflection and future-dreaming; it’s a time of careful cultivating of the soil and sowing more seeds. Good things have always grown in this red clay, and we’re looking forward to our future harvests.

© University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602
706‑542‑3000