What a fabulous talk my co-presenters and I had yesterday with those who attended our presentation at IWCA, and it was wonderful to reconnect with my colleagues at The University of Mississippi. We talked about TutorCon, a peer tutoring conference I founded in 2011 in my capacity as Regional Writing Centers Coordinator at The University of Mississippi. The conference was created to meet the unique needs of our writing centers; the three centers were scattered across the state, and the conference helped the writing center tutors and administrators stay connected and collaborative across that distance. That first year was so small – there were ten of us in one big room, talking about the work we do and how we can do it even better. The conference was so successful that we decided to do it again. And again. Over the course of the next three years, TutorCon grew and the community expanded each year to include other tutoring units on campus, a local community college, and a high school writing center in the area. This year, TutorCon has teamed up with MSWCA conference (with the help of our SWCA state rep Brad Campbell), so now tutors from all across the state will come together for TutorCon.
Since I’ve moved on from my position at Ole Miss to pursue a PhD at Ohio State, J. Rauch, writing center director at UM-Desoto, has taken over my post as TutorCon planning chair in collaboration with Brad Campbell, the main campus writing center director at Ole Miss. Accompanied by peer tutor Taylor Brack, who attended the very first TutorCon, Rauch and I argue that though planning a conference is work, it’s feasible and valuable for most writing center situations. In our presentation, we provide a rough guide for making it happen. If you missed the talk (or if you attended and want to access the Prezi again), you can find the Prezi below.