The academic organizations listed here provide stimulus, support, and opportunities for discussion in the field of writing studies. Most hold yearly conferences, and some publish books, journals, or newsletters. Use the links below to get more information about their activities and to sign up for listservs.
- CASDW (Canadian Association for the Study of Discourse and Writing, formerly CATTW): This bilingual Canadian organization focusses on research and practice concerning the postsecondary teaching of writing and the study of discourse. Its annual conference is held as part of the Congress of Humanities and Social Sciences. CASDW publishes a peer-reviewed journal, formerly Technostyle and now The Canadian Journal for Studies in Discourse and Writing. The listserv gives useful information about other conferences and disseminates relevant job postings.
- CASLL (Canadian Association for the Study of Language and Learning): This group of Canadian writing instructors, better known as Inkshed, discusses the intersections among teaching and learning, writing and reading, and theory and practice. Its nickname refers to the exchange of brief handwritten reflective notes at conferences and sometimes in the classroom. The blog / newsletter site publishes news and discussion postings as well as timely articles and reviews. Newsletters from 1982 to 2009 are archived online, and form a valuable historical resource. CASLL also sponsors a small publishing house, and its listserv (CASLL-L) posts job and conference notices. Subscribe by sending a message to
saying “subscribe CASLL-L [your name].”
- CSSR (Canadian Society for the Study of Rhetoric): This organization focusses on scholarship about classical and traditional rhetoric. It often combines conference sessions with CASDW.
- CWCA (Canadian Writing Centres Association): This organization meets as part of the STLHE conference; its very active listserv is a good source of practical advice and information about writing-centre management. To subscribe, go to this site and fill in the form.
- LSAC (Learning Specialists Association of Canada), formerly LASSA: This inclusive group holds a single-day gathering of Eastern members each December at a University of Toronto location.
- STLHE (Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education): This large Canadian association holds yearly conferences that include attention to writing and faculty support. STLHE sponsors teaching awards and publishes books on teaching issues. Its 700-member listserv posts jobs in teaching-support offices.
American and European
- ABC (Association for Business Communication): This group of academics and professionals sponsors several conferences each year and publishes two peer-reviewed journals, the Journal of Business Communication and Communication Quarterly. The members' section of the website offers teaching resources and job postings.
- CCCC (Conference on College Composition and Communication): If you want to attend a huge and stimulating yearly US conference, consider this organization, Calls for proposals are due in April each year; conferences are held in March. They provide the chance to caucus with Canadian colleagues, and the book fair is another attraction.
- NCTE (National Council of Teachers of English) is the parent body of CCCC. It publishes books and journals (such as College English and College Composition and Communication) and issues well-considered position statements (with bibliographies) on topics such as assessment of writing, ethical research practices, class size, workload, and digital literacy.
- Three European organizations reflect new developments in writing instruction outside the US model. Their online discussions and conferences can be stimulating and relevant. The first two organizations hold conferences in alternate years.
- EATAW (European Association for Teachers of Academic Writing): listserv signup
- EWCA (European Writing Centres Association): listserv signup
- WDHE (Writing Development in Higher Education -- UK): search to find this year's conference website.
- IWCA (International Writing Centers Association): The website offers information and resources from US and some Canadian university writing centres; it includes notes on conferences and links to hundreds of online handouts. The organization sponsors WLN: A Journal of Writing Center Scholarship (formerly the Writing Lab Newsletter) and the Writing Center Journal.
- WPA (Council of Writing Program Administrators): A very active group of program leaders that sponsors stimulating listserv discussions of policy issues and issues thoughtful public statements (e.g., Framework for Success in Postsecondary Writing, a set of criteria that includes habits of mind as well as experiences and skills). It publishes a high-quality peer-reviewed journal (WPA Journal, publicly available online), meets as a caucus at CCCC conferences, and holds a yearly summer symposium.