Writing Consultant Preparation

While many universities require new consultants to take a class on writing center theory and practice, UMB writing consultants instead take part in pre-semester preparation involving readings & discussions, followed by regular small cohort meetings throughout the year. In keeping with our anti-oppression mission, new consultants in 2023 will also join the Baltimore Writing Center Project (BWCP). Consultant-participants in the BWCP attend online bi-monthly discussion sessions and complete a final community-based project. All training time is paid.

Writing Center professional development focuses on embodying the role of a peer writing consultant by critically reflecting on the relationships among text, language, and power in writing practice and education. How do we write in a contemporary world shaped by multiple global crises? What does it mean to create, organize, and communicate knowledge and community in these circumstances? How do we respond through writing center practices?

This is messy, difficult, exciting work. The rigorous preparation will enrich your work, preparing you to challenge racializing language ideologies with clients, in your own writing, and with future colleagues or students in any discipline. By joining this team, you will contribute to an interprofessional conversation that is expanding the traditional boundaries of what writing center work is and can be. 

Writing Consultants in Their Own Words: Parth

Compare/Contrast: BWCP & All-Consultant Cohorts

Baltimore Writing Center Project (BWCP)

  • Collaborate with other peer writing consultants from Baltimore-area universities on strategies for applying critical perspectives to writing center practice
  • Build and sustain a network of care and support for this work
  • Explore implications of these approaches for health sciences and human services writers and for (inter)professional practice
  • All first-year consultants participate in the BWCP for 4-6 hours/month


Shared Theory and Work

  • Make racializing language ideologies visible
  • Interrogate rhetorics of deficiency, shifting to rhetorics of choice and agency
  • Critically examine our positions, performances, and subjectivities while investigating power relations and our roles in them
  • Cultivate active listening, criticality, and enthusiasm for these approaches

All-Consultant Cohorts

  • Practice applying theory in 1:1 synchronous and asynchronous consultations
  • Learn how to talk with clients about audience expectations, including standardization and attitudes about language “correctness”
  • Develop strategies for using WC web resources to help clients make informed choices and achieve their goals for any type of project
  • All-consultant cohort discussions and trainings involve 2-3 days of training in August or September and 3-4 hours of continuing education every month

Next: Ready to apply to work with the Writing Center? Click here!