Graphic with Howe Writing Center logo and multi-colored repeating triangular pattern for top border. Text reads: "Looking for your WRITE community? Become an HWC consultant." Graphic with Howe Writing Center logo and multi-colored repeating triangular pattern for top border. Text reads: "Looking for your WRITE community? Become an HWC consultant."

Welcome!

We’re so glad you’re interested in learning more about the Howe Writing Center and the role of student writing consultants.

The Howe Writing Center is part of the Howe Center for Writing Excellence, which provides both Miami faculty and students with writing-related programs and support. The specific mission of the Howe Writing Center is to support Miami student writers through one-to-one consultations, writing-related workshops and events, and programming focused on writing for specific genres, fields, and contexts.

As an HWC consultant, you’ll:

  • Join a community of like-minded students who enjoy helping others
  • Develop important dialogic and communication skills
  • Explore current theories about how writing, reading, and learning work
  • Learn to use varied technologies for supporting writers and investigating writing
  • Collaborate with diverse students, both domestic and international

Watch HWC Director Dr. Lizzie Hutton and consultants Salma, David, Martin, and Adrienne tell you what working at the Howe is all about.

In this webpage you will find short overviews of some of our initiatives and programs, the training that our consultants receive, and the consulting and research opportunities we offer. We’ve also highlighted (in red) some of our guiding principles about writing—which apply as much to ourselves as to the writers we support.

Once you've read through all that important information, you’ll find a link to apply to join our team.

Finally, a note on the HWC’s current online status. The year 2020 presented a host of unprecedented challenges to our learning, teaching, and consulting. The HWC, however, has adapted extremely well to these challenges, thanks in large part to our consultants’ strong sense of community and commitment to our mission.

Training courses in the spring will be equally adaptable, communal-minded, and committed. In our training course, we would like as many consultants-in-training as possible to be available for occasional in-person discussions, observations, or mock consultations. But we also recognize that the in-person availability of consultants-in-training will be variable, depending on their different circumstances. We will design our Spring 2021 training course with all of this in mind.

Please don’t hesitate to ask us any questions you have.

Sincerely,



Dr. Lizzie Hutton

Director, Howe Writing Center
huttoneb@miamioh.edu 


ENG 481/581 & Ongoing Professional Development

Are you nervous that you won’t know how to consult, or to talk with writers about their writing? Don’t be! We provide consultants with lots of training, support, and mentoring.

In the spring term, all undergraduate consultants-in-training will take ENG 481/581: Writing Center Theory and Practice, and they start consulting on their own with writers mid-way through the course. 481/581 is a 3-credit course that also fulfills Miami’s Experiential Learning requirement. This course teaches you the questions to ask in consultations, effective strategies for all kinds of consulting situations, and how to help writers navigate the writing conventions of various academic and professional genres.

In this training course will:

  • Observe and learn from experienced consultants
  • Practice in the safety of the classroom before consulting “on the floor”
  • Read, write, and reflect on your own and others’ reading, writing, and consulting practices
  • Develop valuable interpersonal skills and strategies for supporting writers
  • Learn to consult in multiple modes, in-person and online


Writing is social and rhetorical, and informed by prior experience



Upon successful completion of training, you’ll be officially hired and can begin working in the HWC. During normal times, we work in four locations: King Library, Peabody Hall, Gross Center, and the Farmer School of Business. To protect students’ health, we’ve spent fall semester offering exclusively written online and live online consultations.

As a consultant, you’ll work with writers from a range of disciplines, including your own. You'll also continue to teach and learn from your consultant peers in partnership meetings and twice-monthly professional development seminars, in which consultants lead discussions, explore consulting questions, and collaboratively reflect about their evolving writing center practices and projects.

Every term you will have the opportunity to receive formative feedback on your consulting, through self-assessments, peer-to-peer assessments, and assessments from staff.



Reflection is an important part of improving as a writer


Research, Programming, & Outreach

As a consultant, you’ll have opportunities to engage in research, programming, and outreach. These projects focus on better understanding writing practices and Miami writers, and supporting Miami writers beyond one-to-one writing center consultations. Through these programs, we strive to:

  • Learn more about how writing acts in and on the world
  • Develop ethical and professional practices for writing and collaborating across differences
  • Read, write, and reflect on your own and others’ reading, writing, and consulting practices
  • Contribute to campus-wide initiatives that foster a critically-aware writing culture

In addition, HWC consultants are frequently asked to visit classrooms, speak on panels, and otherwise help to educate Miami students about the varied support we can offer.



Writing is not just something we do, but something we study



At the HWC, consultants have the opportunity to participate in Special Interest Groups, or SIGs. SIGs allow HWC consultants to engage in writing-center related and approved research, programming, outreach, and/or resource design, and SIGs ensure that consultants are paid for the time they spend doing so. Our current SIGs include a Creative Writing SIG and a Social Media SIG. Our SIGs run creative writing contests and weekly writing group meetups, plan our spring banquet and help with recruitment efforts, and organize social media initiatives and takeovers. Consultants are always welcome to propose new SIGs, as well, and we’re currently in the midst of creating a Social Justice SIG.

Finally, the HWC is strongly committed to supporting varied writing-center related research projects, led by both graduate and undergraduate consultants. HWC staff will serve as mentors for this research, and the HWC can fund travel to regional and national writing center conferences. Over the years, HWC consultants have consistently presented their original research at the National Conference of Peer Tutoring in Writing and the International Writing Center Association’s annual conference.



All writers have more to learn


Applying to be a Consultant

Does this sound like a good job for you? Aside from the above, here are a few other specifics to consider before you submit your application:

  • All consultants must complete ENG 481 before consulting
  • Once working as paid consultants, consultants must commit to working a minimum of 6 hours/week consulting
  • Once working as paid consultants, all consultants must commit to participating in our twice-monthly professional development seminars, our partnership program, and self and peer-to-peer assessments (all of which are paid)
  • Once working as paid consultants, all consultants must commit to a set consulting schedule each semester, and are responsible for finding coverage from fellow consultants if they can’t make a shift

Please be aware that these positions are competitive. The more detailed your application, and the more you engage with the information you learned at the Open House and in this booklet, and especially our guiding principles (highlighted throughout this page in red), the better a sense we will get of your suitability for this program.

If you’ve decided that being a consultant is a good fit for you, you’ll need to submit an application and Statement of Interest by November 6th 2020


Apply Now


HWC staff will review all application materials during the week of November 9th. Soon thereafter, we’ll contact selected applicants to invite them to enroll in ENG 481.



Writing enacts values, conventions, and identities


Contact Information

Please feel free to contact one of us if you have follow up questions.


Dr. Lizzie Hutton

Director, Howe Writing Center
huttoneb@miamioh.edu 




Kate Francis 

Manager, Howe Writing Center
francik@miamioh.edu 


Anita Long

Graduate Assistant Director, Howe Writing Center
houseam2@miamioh.edu 




Danielle Hart

Graduate Assistant Director, Howe Writing Center
hartdm2@miamioh.edu 



Helping learners improve as writers is a shared responsibility