YWP Philosophy

We are teachers who write and writers who teach. We are professionals who seek out other professionals to create an engaged learning community.

We believe in professional collaboration that starts with human connection and challenges us to find and enact the highest potential in our students and ourselves.

We believe in teaching as a community endeavor, not an isolated activity in a single classroom but work made better through conversation, shared writing, and revision much like the act of writing itself.

We believe that writing enriches classrooms, students and teachers and that a rich engagement with writing does more and is more important than simply making individual students better writers. Writing forms communities, offers a multiplicity of perspectives, opens doors, and fosters a creative and diverse approach to ideas and cultures.

More information can be found on YWP's website about the Yellowstone Writing Project.


Photo: Student Reading By StreamPhoto: Student Reading on RockPhoto: Student Reading in Field

The YWP offers the following across the state of Montana:

  • Invitational Summer Institute (ISI)
The Yellowstone Writing Project Invitational Summer Institute is an intensive professional experience through which participating teachers immerse themselves in their own writing and in the study of writing instruction. Teachers who participate in the Summer Institute may earn six graduate credit hours through Montana State University’s Department of English. In addition, they also have opportunities to consult with schools in the Yellowstone Region and to engage in a variety of regional and national professional development activities. They become part of a vibrant community of committed and supportive educators from throughout Montana and also have opportunities to interact with educators on a national level.
  • Advanced Summer Institute (AI)
For those who have completed an Invitational Summer Institute, the Advanced Institute provides participants a chance to reinvigorate their writing and teaching as well as reconnect with other YWP Teacher Consultants during a one-week summer session.
  • Youth Writing Camps
The Yellowstone Writing Project Young Authors Camp is a four-day writing workshop for youth entering grades 5-12 that incorporates walking field trips, writing games, and guidance from professional writing instructors in multiple genres and modes of writing. Campers will write and share writing within a supportive community of peers and licensed educators. Camps are led by YWP teacher consultants.
  • Fire on the Page Conference
The Yellowstone Writing Project hosts a mid-winter conference consisting of writing time, working sessions, and a keynote speaker. Our two main goals are (1) to connect those who teach writing in their classrooms with others from around the state and (2) to refuel teachers in a supportive community.
  • Tailor-Made Professional Development
YWP Teacher Consultants create and offer professional development for school districts and teacher collectives. Contact Allison Wynhoff Olsen & Kirk Branch, YWP Directors, to begin conversations on how we can establish and invigorate writing communities in your schools.

Email: [email protected]

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