Although conferences appear to be informal conversations, they are in fact highly principled teaching interactions designed to move writers along learning pathways. Used strategically, conferences can be powerful interventions that address individual writing needs. Carl Anderson’s Strategic Writing Conferences is a curriculum resource and diagnostic guide for writing teachers looking to use conferences to move young writers another step forward. These conferences will enhance your current writing curriculum and help you confer with greater purpose and clarity.


Three conference books present 100 conferences organized around the writing process—prewriting, drafting, revising.

  • The conferences in Topics focus on the prewriting, or rehearsal, stage of the writing process. Conferences focus on how to find topics to write about, explore topics in a writer’s notebook, and select and develop topics before drafting.
  • The conferences in Drafts focus on the drafting stage of the writing process. Conferences focus on how to identify an audience for a piece of writing, plan drafts, and craft writing in narrative, fiction, and nonfiction genres.
  • The conferences in Finished Projects focus on the revising and editing stages of the writing process. Conferences focus on revision and editing strategies, as well as rules of grammar and mechanics.

The Teacher’s Guide outlines the principles that shape Carl’s approach to conferring and provides tools for diagnosing common writing problems and identifying the best conferences for moving students forward.

Two Carl on Camera DVDs provide video-based professional development support.
  1. On Introducing Strategic Writing Conferences Carl explains the elements of an effective conference, conferring concepts, and ways to assess young writers.
  2. On Modeling Strategic Writing Conferences 11 full-length conferences let you eaves drop on Carl as he confers with students at various stages of the writing process.
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