Department of Writing and Rhetoric

O'Dowd Hall, Room 378
586 Pioneer Drive
Rochester, MI 48309-4482
(location map)
(248) 370-2746
fax: (248) 370-2748
wrt@oakland.edu

meadow-brook-writing-project

The Meadow Brook Writing Project (MBWP) is a partnership between Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan, and local schools, including Detroit Public Schools, Macomb County schools, Oakland Community College and the Public School Academies of Oakland University. MBWP offers professional development opportunities for teachers and aims to improve student writing at all levels and in all subjects. The Meadow Brook Writing Project is a site of the National Writing Project and is affiliated with the Urban Sites Network.

Oakland University’s highest priority in providing exemplary academic, athletic and social programs for youth is protecting the health, safety and welfare of all participants. To achieve this critically important goal, carefully screened and highly trained personnel enforce protocols designed to ensure safe conduct and supportive interaction between youth and program leaders. To learn more about OU's youth protection efforts, visit  oakland.edu/youth .
Youth
Writing Workshops
All ½ day Saturday workshops are $20.00 and will be held on the Oakland University Campus.  Register and pay for the workshops online. For more information, contact Rebecca Rivard at  rivard2@oakland.edu
Grades 2-5
Registration/Payment Page
Mystery Writing    
September 15, 2012 from 12:00-2:00   
Oakland Center, room 125 
Would you like to be an author of your own mystery story? The secrets of mystery writing will be revealed while you create your own mystery story to take home. Crime scene investigating experiments will also be conducted as part of our exploration.    

Ghost Story Writing
October 13, 2012 from 12:00-2:00        
Meadow Brook Mansion 
Are you ready for some supernatural fun? Learn how to create a spooky atmosphere in writing – from the mundane to the extraordinary. We will reveal the elements necessary to conjure a story that will enchant or frighten. Skits and mysterious experiments will enhance our experience.

Historical Fiction
November 10, 2012 from 12:00-2:00      
Meadow Brook Mansion 
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live in the past?  We will be touring the historic Meadowbrook mansion, America's castle, and discussing the tools a writer of historical fiction needs to make a riveting tale.  

Poetry
January 12, 2013 from 12:00-2:00   
Oakland Center, room 125 
Poetry means so many different things to so many children; we hope to share the infinite possibilities of words in this workshop. We will be exploring the Oakland University campus with scavenger hunts for treasured words, Reader’s Theater, and a grand performance of our original works.

Science Fiction 
February 9, 2013 from 12:00-2:00  
Oakland Center,  125
Robots? Outer space? Future Technologies? Or maybe a future where school does not exist? We will delve into the “literature of ideas” in this writing genre that uses today’s scientific studies to predict our future – with a strong dose of imaginative speculation. Reader’s theater, along with a beaker of mythology will serve to inspire us.  Students will take home their own "lava" bottle!

Comic Book and Anime Writing
March 16, 2013  12:00-2:00
Oakland Center 125
Are you Otaku? Do you love a great comic book? The history, artwork and especially the writing elements of anime and comic book creations will be explored and you will take your own graphic novel home.

Multi-Modal Composing
April 13, 2013 from 12:00-2:00        
Kresge Library, 4th Floor e-LIS Office 

Composing on the computer!!  Combine still images, voice, music, and video in this interactive computer based creation.  You will be able to share, via the internet, your story with friends and family.

Grades 6-8 
Registration/Payment Page

Horror/ Gothic Writing    
October 13, 2012 from 12:00-2:00
Meadow Brook Mansion
What better place to write a horror story than an almost century old castle, with  secret stairways, hidden doors, and 110 rooms with their original furnishings?  We will tour the mansion to build inspiration, then gather in the original library, to the tune of ghostly organ music, to write and share our stories...if you dare!

Science Fiction Writing
November 10, 2011 from 12:00-2:00    
Oakland Center, room 125  
Are you interested in a future where school does not exist?  We will delve into the “literature of ideas” in this writing genre that uses today’s scientific studies to predict our future – with a strong dose of imaginative speculation. Writer's will explore how mythology and scientific discovery can combine to create fascinating fiction, that could one day be reality.  Each participant will take home, along with their writings, their own polymer collection.

Fantasy Writing

January 12, 2013  from 12:00-2:00          
Oakland Center, 126     
Whether you like magic, shapeshifters, mythology, heroic epics, fairies or just magical realism – this is the workshop for you! We will transmogrify the elements of Fantasy into relevant tales you will create and take home. Visual and oral inspiration will aid in world building, culture and race creation, questing, and the important thread of plot.

Comic Book Writing

February 9, 2013 from 12:00-2:00  
Oakland Center,  room 126
Are you Otaku? Do you love a great comic book? The history, artwork and especially the writing elements of anime and comic book creations will be explored and you will take your own graphic novel home.

Mystery Writing

March 16, 2013 from  12:00-2:00   
Meadowbrook Mansion  
We will investigate a who-dunnit at America's castle using crime scene investigation experiments.  We will then take those clues in to the garden terrace to discuss the secrets of mystery writing and mysteries of the era of the Dodge family, while you create your own mystery story to take home.

Multimodal Writing

April 13, 2013 from 12:00-2:00
Kresge Library 4th Floor Elis  
Compose a mind blowing narrative on the computer!  You will combine still images, music, and video in a final tale that you can share immediately with friends and family via the internet!
Youth
Writing Camps

The Meadow Brook Writing Project is hosting summer writing camps in “America’s Castle,” the Meadow Brook mansion. Discover secret staircases, amazing playhouses, and writer's workshops at one of America’s grandest architectural structures. Young authors will interact with award-winning, specially-trained experts in the field of writing. Collaborative teaching teams consist of K-12 writing teachers and Oakland University faculty from the Department of Writing and Rhetoric. All are alumni of Meadow Brook Writing Project's Summer Institute, an intensive writer's workshop for master teachers involved in the National Writing Project. All camp teachers are involved in continuing education through the NWP conferences, publications, and teacher-training workshops.

Every day young writers will tour the historic house museum and world-class gardens to nurture, polish, and ultimately publish their original works. Published works include both written and digital presentation. Register for the camps online. 

Scholarships available for siblings of children battling life-threatening illnesses: The Elsa and Ingrid Scholarship for Young Authors and Artists 

Camp Director: Rebecca Rivard

Camp Facilitators: Cassandra Joss, Christina Hall, Laura Gabrion, Matthew Brown, and Shaun Moore.

Camp A 
Grades 3-5 AND
Grades 6-8
June 17-21, 2013
9 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Grades 3-5: Developing authors will tour the mansion and gardens with professional instructors and docents, and workshop with fellow writers in their age group. Different genres of prose and poetry will be explored using mentor texts in historical fiction, fantasy, folklore and biographical origins. One day of camp will be spent at OU rendering one of their works into an orally narrated digital movie that will be uploaded to YouTube. Presentations of one polished work will be conducted at the close of the last day of that week’s camp. $225

Grades 6-8: Maturing authors will tour the mansion and gardens with professional instructors and docents, and workshop with fellow writers in their age group. Students will be engaged in poetry and prose in genres such as gothic, fantasy, historical and personal narrative. One day of camp will be spent at OU rendering one of their works into an orally narrated digital movie that will be uploaded to YouTube. Presentations of one polished work will be conducted at the close of the last day of that week’s camp. $225
Camp B
Grades K-2 AND Grades 3-5
June 24-28, 2013
9 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Grades K-2: Emerging authors will tour the mansion and gardens with professional instructors and docents, and workshop with fellow writers in their age group. Students will be guided using shared reading, read-alouds, shared writing, narrative writing, poetry and literacy stations. Presentations of one polished work will be conducted at the close of the last day of that week’s camp. $225

Grades 3-5: Developing authors will tour the mansion and gardens with professional instructors and docents, and workshop with fellow writers in their age group. Different genres of prose and poetry will be explored using mentor texts in historical fiction, fantasy, folklore and biographical origins. One day of camp will be spent at OU rendering one
of their works into an orally narrated digital movie that will be uploaded to YouTube. Presentations of one polished work will be conducted at the close of the last day of that week’s camp. $225
Camp C
Grades 3-5 AND Grades 6-8
July 8-12, 2013
9 am - 1pm
Grades 3-5: Developing authors will tour the mansion and gardens with professional instructors and docents, and workshop with fellow writers in their age group. Different genres of prose and poetry will be explored using mentor texts in historical fiction, fantasy, folklore and biographical origins. One day of camp will be spent at OU rendering one
of their works into an orally narrated digital movie that will be uploaded to YouTube. Presentations of one polished work will be conducted at the close of the last day of that week’s camp. $225

Grades 6-8: Maturing authors will tour the mansion and gardens with professional instructors and docents, and workshop with fellow writers in their age group. Students will be engaged in poetry and prose in genres such as gothic, fantasy, historical and personal narrative. One day of camp will be spent at OU rendering one of their works into an orally narrated digital movie that will be uploaded to YouTube. Presentations of one polished work will be conducted at the close of the last day of that week’s camp. $225
Camp D
Grades K-2 AND
Grades 3-5
July 15-19, 2013
9 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Grades K-2: Emerging authors will tour the mansion and gardens with professional instructors and docents, and workshop with fellow writers in their age group. Students will be guided using shared reading, read-alouds, shared writing, narrative writing, poetry and literacy stations. Presentations of one polished work will be conducted at the close of the last day of that week’s camp. $225

Grades 3-5:
 Developing authors will tour the mansion and gardens with professional instructors and docents, and workshop with fellow writers in their age group. Different
genres of prose and poetry will be explored using mentor texts in historical fiction, fantasy, folklore and biographical origins. One day of camp will be spent at OU rendering one of their works into an orally narrated digital movie that will be uploaded to YouTube. Presentations of one polished work will be conducted at the close of the last day of that
week’s camp. $225
Camp E
Grades 6-8 AND Grades 9-12
July 22-26, 2013
9 a.m. - 1 p.m. 
Grades 6-8: Maturing authors will tour the mansion and gardens with professional instructors and docents, and workshop with fellow writers in their age group. Students will be engaged in poetry and prose in genres such as gothic, fantasy, historical and personal narrative. One day of camp will be spent at OU rendering one of their works into an orally narrated digital movie that will be uploaded to YouTube. Presentations of one polished work will be conducted at the close of the last day of that week’s camp. $225

Grades 9-12: Young authors will tour the mansion and gardens with professional instructors and docents, and workshop with fellow writers in their age group. Advanced writing opportunities will include challenging poetry and prose in genres such as gothic, fantasy, historical and fan fiction, along with narrative reflections. One day of camp will be spent at OU rendering one of their works into an orally narrated digital movie that will be uploaded to YouTube. Presentations of one polished work will be conducted at the close of the last day of that week’s camp. $225
Camp F
Grades 3-5
July 29- August 2, 2013
9 a.m. - 1 p.m. 
Grades 3-5: Developing authors will tour the mansion and gardens with professional instructors and docents, and workshop with fellow writers in their age group. Different genres of prose and poetry will be explored using mentor texts in historical fiction, fantasy, folklore and biographical origins. One day of camp will be spent at OU rendering one of their works into an orally narrated digital movie that will be uploaded to YouTube. Presentations of one polished work will be conducted at the close of the last day of that week’s camp. $225
Camp G
Grades 6-8 AND
Grades 9-12
August 5-9, 2013
9 a.m. - 1 p.m. 
Grades 6-8: Maturing authors will tour the mansion and gardens with professional instructors and docents, and workshop with fellow writers in their age group. Students will be engaged in poetry and prose in genres such as gothic, fantasy, historical and personal narrative. One day of camp will be spent at OU rendering one of their works into an orally narrated digital movie that will be uploaded to YouTube. Presentations of one polished work will be conducted at the close of the last day of that week’s camp. $225

Grades 9-12: Young authors will tour the mansion and gardens with professional instructors and docents, and workshop with fellow writers in their age group. Advanced writing opportunities will include challenging poetry and prose in genres such as gothic, fantasy, historical and fan fiction, along with narrative reflections. One day of camp will be spent at OU rendering one of their works into an orally narrated digital movie that will be uploaded to YouTube. Presentations of one polished work will be conducted at the close of the last day of that week’s camp. $225 

The fee includes Youth Writing Camp T-shirt and daily entrance to Meadow Brook Hall and Gardens.

Register for 2012 Youth Writing Camps online.

Summer Institute
The Meadow Brook Writing Project (MBWP) is now accepting applications and nominations for participation in its invitational summer institute for teachers to be held at Oakland University July 8 to July 31, 2013 from 9 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. each day, Mondays through Fridays.

The MBWP is part of the National Writing Project, a network of over 200 sites nationwide dedicated to improving writing, literacy and teaching in schools, K through 16.

The institute provides a community of teachers with an opportunity to support each other with innovative ideas and practices to take back to classrooms. Participants in the Meadow Brook Writing Project Summer Institute join an existing network that will continue to influence teaching and learning long into the future.  

Watch Kathleen and Mary discuss the Invitational Summer Institute


Each participant:

  • develops a demonstration project to share with colleagues;
  • practices writing freely in various personal and professional modes;
  • reflects on his or her own writing and teaching practices;
  • participates in a reading inquiry group;
  • develops critical skills as teachers, theorists and writers;
  • promotes conversation about writing across grade levels and disciplines;
  • prepares for a leadership role as a consultant and counselor to other teachers.

Philosophy
The Meadow Brook Writing Project does not advocate any set formulas, pre-packaged plans or quick-fix remedies. Our philosophy includes the following points:

  • Teachers are the key to improving education, and the best teachers of teachers are other teachers.
  • Knowledge about teaching writing results from an interaction between theory and practice.
  • Meaningful change happens over time.
  • Teachers of writing must write.
  • The teaching, learning and practice of writing are vital to a democratic society.

The institute is limited to 18 participants, including teachers representing a broad demographic spectrum and across grade levels. We also welcome teachers outside language arts who encourage writing-to-learn in their subjects. The cost of the institute is $1500 for three graduate credits in Writing and Rhetoric or $750 to audit.

Leaders
The director of the Meadow Brook Writing Project and instructor of record for the summer institute is Marshall Kitchens, associate professor and chair of the Department of Writing and Rhetoric at Oakland University. 

Daily leadership is provided by Mary Cox and Kathleen Reddy-Butkovich. Cox, co-director of the Meadow Brook Writing Project, taught at Renaissance High School in Detroit, where her students routinely scored well above the state average on the MEAP. She is a fellow of the former Detroit Writing Project and has occupied leadership roles in the state and national councils of teachers of English. Reddy-Butkovichm, also a co-director of the MBWP, is the Curriculum Coordinator for English Language Arts and Social Studies at Plymouth-Canton Community Schools and is a past fellow of the Meadow Brook Writing Project 2001 Summer Invitational Institute.

More Information

For more information, contact Marshall Kitchens at (248) 370-4151, Mary Cox at (313) 824-4778 or Kathleen Reddy-Butkovich at (248) 540-7963. Send other e-mail inquiries to mbwp@oakland.edu.

Complete the application form online. 

Email: mbwp@oakland.edu

Fax: (248) 370-4208 (attn. Marshall Kitchens)
mbwp@oakland.edu

Marshall Kitchens, Director
Meadow Brook Writing Project
Oakland University
Rochester, MI 48309-4401

Circle of Writers
The Circle of Writers will celebrate our achievements for the past ten years by publishing a new book. We already have a working title!  A Decade in the Company of Writers will be an anthology of yesterday and today, selected works from your Summer Institute’s edition of  In the Company of Writers and your contributions of new and recent creative, scholarly, and professional work, inquiry and reflective writings: To celebrate ourselves, our profession, our writing, the Meadow Brook Writing Project, and the National Writing Project.

Who are we ?…   We are you! The Meadow Brook Writing Project Circle of Writers continues the exchange of ideas and the interactions we shared during our Summer Institutes. A few times a year, we gather informally to continue our personal and professional writing in the collaborative spirit of teachers writing with teachers, and friends writing with friends.

What we do have fun, socialize, and write!  We have no annual dues and meetings are free. Usually, someone leads us in a writing prompt or activity that we can enjoy for ourselves or use in our classrooms. Some of us bring our personal or professional pieces of works in progress. Sometimes we attend or sponsor special events, embark upon nature or cultural excursions, or invite guest speakers from inside and outside of the Meadow Brook Writing Project. Sometimes we invite family, friends, and colleagues. 

Contact Kathy Lawson for more information kslawson@oakland.edu.