Writing centers become inextricable parts of the community that surrounds them. Community ties allow writing centers the chance to nurture a love for writing outside of the confines of a university classroom. This column aims to explore the ways in which writing center tutors have the ability to cultivate practices of writing through engaging in community collaboration. The Utah State Writing Center has created a community collaboration known as Helicon West. Helicon West is an event in which members from the University and community have a chance to listen to writing as well as share their own during open mic reading. This column utilizes Helicon West as a framework for understanding both why campus collaboration is critical for writing centers and how writing centers can implement collaboration. The first section of the column delves into the responsibility writing centers have to encourage writing practices. The section then gives several examples of the ways in which collaboration benefits writing centers such as making the writing process more approachable and helping students realize writing isn’t solely academic. The other primary section of the piece centers around the ways in which writing centers can implement community collaboration. Collaboration may seem like a daunting task; however, writing center tutors are bestowed with a plethora of resources from peers, colleagues, the university, and the community. The example of the origin and purpose of Helicon West is implemented to give a concrete example of effective collaboration. Overall community collaborations are a writing centers chance to expand a love for writing from a university to an entire community.
Anderton, Riley, "“All Right Stop, Collaborate, and Listen”: A Writing Center’s Role in Community Collaboration" (2019). Tutor's Column. Paper 36.