In 2009, the Celebration of Student Writing was an inaugural event in which over 600 English 101 students showcased art installations inspired by their English coursework to the UNM community. The event was a huge success and has grown with each subsequent year. Last year’s Celebration of Student Writing filled all three ballrooms of the SUB, with 814 students from English 101 and English 102. This year, the Celebration of Student Writing is open to all classes that promote the research and writing of first-year students.

You can see the video of our pilot 2009 CSW here.

But why celebrate student writing?

It is our belief, as instructors of first-year writing and members of the Writing Across Communities movement, that students deserve the opportunity to showcase their work in a public forum. While many resources are directed toward upper-class and graduate students, the Celebration sends a message to first-year and beginning students that their voices, ideas, and research will be valued throughout their time at UNM. In addition, the Celebration promotes civic literacy shared among communities. It seeks to create public spaces in which conversation, debate, and learning is encouraged, and it helps to create opportunities for conversation that defies institutional and disciplinary boundaries: between students, instructors, and administrators. It demonstrates a willingness on the part of the people “in charge” to listen to and engage with the students who are often the most marginalized.

This blog serves as a resource for instructors and students alike who are either participating in the Celebration of Student Writing or who are interested in knowing more about the Celebration. There are pictures from previous events, handouts on how to incorporate the CSW into the classroom (from sequence design to extra credit assignments), and links to CSWs across the nation.

We invite you to peruse our blog, get ideas, share ideas — and celebrate student writing!

If you would like to know more, please email us at We would love to hear from you!

Many thanks to Linda Adler-Kassner for inspiring us to bring the CSW to our campus. Additionally, we heartily thank our 2010 sponsors and partners, the Dean of Students’ Office, CAPS (Center for Academic Program Support), Writing Across Communities/Curriculum (WAC), and the English department.