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Abstract Submission

Abstract submission is now closed.

Almost fifteen years have passed since Tracy Santa (2009), co-founder of the EWCA, reflected on his experience as a writing center administrator at the American University of Bulgaria, Blagoevgrad, as he struggled to reconcile the advice of US tutor training manuals with the local institutional and cultural contexts in Europe. A year earlier, Elizabeth Boquet and Neal Lerner (2008) examined the outsized influence of Stephen North’s (1984) “The Idea of a Writing Center,” which no longer aligned with writing center research and practice. Five years later, Jackie Grutch McKinney (2013) extended this debate, criticizing the “writing center grand narrative,” namely that writing centers are “cozy homes,” “iconoclastic,” and places that tutor “all students” (pp. 3-4), asking us to examine who these “ideas” of a writing center include and what practices or reimaginings they exclude. Recent studies of first-generation students, speakers of English as another language, and working-class students, for example, show that common writing center practices do not necessarily serve all students equally well (e.g., Bond, 2019; Denny, Nordlof & Salem, 2018; Eckstein, 2019; Salazar 2021; Salem 2016).


What assumptions or narratives are embedded in everyday practices, including the ones your writing center holds dear?


This conference invites participants to re-assess existing narratives that impact on writing center policies and practices and envisage new ideas of what writing centers could become in the future.


Possible questions to explore include but are not limited to the following:


Looking Back to Look Forward


  • Are there “writing center grand narratives” informing the research and practice of European Writing Centers–or specific countries or regions inside Europe or beyond? What are these narratives? Where do they come from? Whom do they serve? And what does a critical engagement with them help us see and reimagine? 

  • How are writing centers or professionals adapting theory from the transnational conversation in writing studies to develop or refine local practice (e.g., Carlsson & Guststafsson 2017; Cleary, Graham, Jeanneau & O’Sullivan 2009; Dreyfürst, Liebetanz & Voigt 2018; Girgensohn & Sennewald 2012; O’Brien, Tighe-Mooney & Farrell 2017; O’Sullivan & Cleary 2012, 2014; O’Sullivan, Tighe-Mooney, Lenihan & Farrell 2017)

  • Linda Adler-Kassner and Elizabeth Wardle define threshold concepts as “concepts critical for continued learning and participation in an area or within a community of practice” (Adler-Kassner and Wardler 2015, p. 2). What is a “threshold concept,” or influential understanding, in writing or writing center practice in your local context that may be unknown–or understood differently–outside of your context or region? What about this understanding is distinct and worth sharing?

  • What is your “idea” of a writing center? And how is it reflected in an innovative practice in your writing center research, tutoring, faculty or staff development, teaching, or institutional work? 

  • How have the internationalization of Anglo-American higher education policies and practices (Donahue 2008, p. 538), the funding of international writing centers by US government entities or universities (Broekhoff, 2014), and/or other regional policies or institutional narratives shaped writing center research or practice in your local context? 

  • To what extent do transnational educational policies and frameworks (e.g., Okuda 2019;  Zajda 2018) or national or transnational professional organizations, inform how your writing center teachers or tutors writing, conducts research, or communicates the “value” of its work? 

  • What is the “genesis” story of your writing center–or a program or initiative within it? What surprising insights can others gain from hearing your story?

  • What surprising or perhaps less widely known disciplinary concept or framework do you find helpful for theorizing writing center research or practice?


Writing Center Futures


  • How are new technologies, like large language models and generative artificial intelligence, changing the stories we will need to tell about the teaching and tutoring of writing? What practices or research are being developed, or need to be developed, in the wake of these changes?

  • What should the future of writing center work–in Europe or in your region or local context–look like? Which theories or principles should inform this work?

  • How are global crises such as climate change, displacement, war, rising social inequality, and inflation affecting writing center practice? What new practices or theoretical approaches are being developed in your center, or need to be developed further, to support students, faculty, and/or ourselves on our campuses?

  • How is scholarship in translingualism, critical race theory, gender studies, or disability studies  informing writing center practices or narratives now and in the future? 

  • How is your writing center supporting student or faculty wellbeing amidst the rising incidence of student and faculty mental health challenges and the growing economic precarity of students in Europe and elsewhere? What theoretical models or practices have proven useful?

  • How have you worked to decolonize your writing center? What are you learning? What new futures are you working towards?

  • Which theoretical, disciplinary, or group perspectives are currently missing or underrepresented in writing center theory or practice in Europe or your region? What does including this perspective help us see?

These are only some possible questions. Other questions appropriate to the theme are encouraged.


We will be accepting submissions for the conference in early Dec, 2023. 


Submission Details:


Your abstract should correspond to the following criteria:

  • 250-300 words

  • an informative title

  • information on the chosen type of session (individual presentation, panel, roundtable workshop, multimodal gallery presentation, pecha kucha, or special interest group)

  • information on the chosen strand/subtopic

  • list of relevant scholarly sources

  • the names and e-mail-addresses of the contributors

  • English is the preferred language of the conference, but in the interest of inclusivity, the EWCA welcomes those would feel more comfortable presenting in another language.

Important Dates: The final deadline for the submission of abstracts is February 19, 2024 at 17:00 (Irish Standard Time). You will be informed about the acceptance of your contribution by late February. 


Submissions Types:


  • Performance: a creative performance employing visual, aural, and/or gestural modes that comments on or provides an example of how writing center work reflects and/or engages in multiplicities. 

  • Individual Presentation (20 minutes): an individual scholarly presentation that the conference planners will combine with 2 other individual presentations in a session focused on a common theme.

  • Panel (90 minutes): 3 thematically linked sessions proposed all together as a panel

  • Roundtable (90 minutes): a conversation about a topic aligned with the conference theme and focusing questions that feature participants with different approaches or perspectives. 

  • Workshop (90 minutes): a workshop that engages participants in active learning around an issue related to the conference theme.

  • Multimodal Gallery Submission: posters, comics, photos, video essays, podcasts, etc., that will be displayed at the conference and shared on the conference app. 

  • Pecha Kucha (5 minutes): a five-minute presentation highlighting an innovative practice or research insight. 

  • Special Interest Group (SIG): a focused conversation about a specific topic or affinity group related to writing center work.

  • Work-in-Progress: a piece that is preliminary that you’d like feedback on from other writing center scholars


Categories: You’ll be asked to choose at least one of the following categories if your proposal is accepted.


  • Administration

  • Assessment 

  • Collaboration(s)

  • DEI/Social Justice

  • ESOL/Multilingual tutoring/Translingual tutoring

  • Methods

  • Theory

  • Tutor Education/Training

  • Tutoring Graduate Students

  • Tutoring Undergraduate Students


  • Writing Fellows/Embedded tutoring


If you have any queries with regards to your submission, please contact:
If you have any qeuries with regards to accessing the portal, please contact:

Works Cited


Bond, C. (2019). “I Need Help on Many Things Please”: A Case Study Analysis of First-Generation College Students’ Use of the Writing Center. The Writing Center Journal, 37(2), 161–194. 

Boquet, E. H., & Lerner, N. (2008). After" The idea of a writing center". College English, 71(2), 170-189.

Denny, H., Nordlof, J., & Salem, L. (2018). “Tell me exactly what it was that I was doing that was so bad”: Understanding the Needs and Expectations of Working-Class Students in Writing Centers. The Writing Center Journal, 37(1), 67–100. 

Donahue, T. (2008). Cautionary tales: Ideals and realities in Twenty-First-Century higher education. Pedagogy: Critical Approaches to Teaching Literature, Language, Composition, and Culture, 8(3), 537-553.

Donahue, C. (2016) The ‘Trans’ in Transnational-Translingual: Rhetorical and Linguistic Flexibility as New Norms. Composition studies. 44 (1), 147–150.

Eckstein, G. (2019). Directiveness in the Center: L1, L2, and Generation 1.5 Expectations and Experiences. The Writing Center Journal, 37(2), 61–92. 

Salazar, J. J. (2021). The Meaningful and Significant Impact of Writing Center Visits on College Writing Performance. The Writing Center Journal, 39(1/2), 55–96. 

Salem, L. (2016). Decisions...Decisions: Who Chooses to Use the Writing Center? The Writing Center Journal, 35(2), 147–171. 

Santa, T. (2009). Writing center tutor training: What is transferable across academic cultures. Zeitschrift Schreiben, 22(7), 1-6.

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