Well, it certainly has been a tumultuous and painful year. As we begin 2021, we hope this year is kinder to us all. Despite all the tragedies we face nationally and globally, we believe that every small act of kindness, every intentional (especially when inconvenient) effort towards equality and justice, every beautiful poem or powerful expression, and every student whose mind is expanded through compassionate teaching and tutoring will move us closer to progress and peace.
During all the turmoil of 2020, we found joy working on the blog and connecting with our colleagues around the world. What an inspiration to meet and learn about our colleagues who are innovating creative solutions to operating writing centers during a pandemic, who are carefully thinking through best practices for online tutoring, who are critiquing established and entrenched linguistic expectations and adopting or developing writing center pedagogies that fit the kairotic moment in their local contexts.
We are excited to continue this work and to build relationships across borders as we collectively serve our students and grow a generation of writers and thinkers that can tackle some of the most profound and nuanced challenges we have faced.
To that end, we have an exciting new feature coming up on the blog this semester – the Connecting Writing Centers Across Borders Podcast! This semester, we interview our wonderful WLN journal editors, Ted Roggenbuck and Karen Johnson, and Laura Greenfield, Asao Inoue, Elizabeth Kleinfeld, and others. We hope you’ll find these conversations as inspiring as we did.
This year, we also hope to expand our global spotlights section to include writing centers from East and South-East Asia and Central and South America. Of course, we welcome pieces from all over the world as we try to fill out our map of writing centers worldwide.
We are also eager to receive more voices from our tutors both in North American and international contexts. Our tutors’ voices are essential to understanding writing center pedagogy, student experiences, and how we might rethink some of the established orthodoxies in writing center settings. If you are interested in contributing a tutor voices piece, please visit our tutor voices page on the blog website.
Finally, we will continue to collect updates and announcements relevant to writing center spaces including calls for proposals, upcoming conferences, upcoming webinars, etc. We cull posts from the various international writing center listservs to offer you a space that coheres all the exciting and important news and events that are taking place around the world. We invite you to take special note of WLN’s call for ideas for Digital Edited Collections and/or special issues of the WLN journal.
May we all practice slowing down this year, or as Laura Micciche put it, let’s enact “slow agency.” May we consider what care-work in writing centers and writing programs means and what it looks like in our current fraught climate. May we continue to advocate for linguistic justice and anti-racist ways of being and doing. May we cultivate civil discourse in our classrooms, writing programs, media, and homes.
We have work to do. Let’s get to it, slowly and mindfully,
Anna Habib, Esther Namubiru, Weijia Li.
 Micciche, L (2011). “For slow agency.” Writing Program Administration, 35, (1).