Invitational Summer Institute

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ISI 2022: Reset, Rejuvenate, Reimagine

Our 2022 Invitational Summer Institute theme is Reset, Rejuvenate, and Reimagine.  We firmly believe that teachers must practice self care and that writing offers an opportunity to nourish and inspire both educators and students.  


Reset: Writing for Self

The goal of the Invitational Summer Institute is to support teachers in developing their personal identities as writers so that they can best support students in their classroom with developing their own unique writing identities.  We will spend a significant amount of time writing for ourselves in the ISI.


Rejuvenate: Writing for Joy

We believe that writing should be a joyful experience.  Many students (and teachers) are intimidated by writing and view it as a chore.  We aim to explore approaches to writing that are fun, creative, and more fulfilling.  Ultimately, writing should engage the reader and we want to support teachers in crafting writing experiences for students in which they produce meaningful work that we are excited to read.


Reimagine: Diverse Approaches to Writing

Much focus has been put on diversifying texts that students consume in the classroom and ultimately we would like to also emphasize diversifying writing forms that students compose. SJAWP has invited authors of diverse texts to offer writing classes throughout ISI and engage in conversation with our educators regarding diversifying texts and writing forms in the classroom. Author visits TBA.​


This year we are excited to host authors of diverse texts to our Invitational Summer Institute.  Each author will teach a 60-90 minute writing class for participants and engage in conversation with our educators regarding diversifying texts and writing forms in the classroom. 


Misa Sugiura’s ancestors include a poet, a priestess, a samurai, and a stowaway. Her first novel It’s Not Like It’s A Secret, won the Asian Pacific Islander American Librarians’ Association’s Award for Young Adult Literature; her highly acclaimed second novel, This Time Will Be Different, made the Best of 2019 lists of YALSA, Kirkus Reviews, the New York Public Library, and the Chicago Public Library. Her short story, “Where I’m From” appears in Come On In, a young adult anthology of stories about immigration. Her latest book, Love & Other Natural Disasters has been praised by the American Library Association as "hilariously awkward" and "honestly poignant."


Class: In-Person

Misa Sugiura


Maia Kobabe is a nonbinary, queer author and illustrator from the Bay Area, California. Eir first full length book, GENDER QUEER: A MEMOIR, was published in May 2019. Maia's short comics have been published by The New Yorker, The Nib, The Washington Post and in many print anthologies including THE SECRET LOVES OF GEEKS, FASTER THAN LIGHT Y'ALL, GOTHIC TALES OF HAUNTED LOVE, ADVANCED DEATH SAVES, BE GAY, DO COMICS and THE MOST IMPORTANT COMIC BOOK ON EARTH. Before setting out to work freelance full-time, e worked for over ten years in libraries. Eir work is heavily influenced by fairy tales, homesickness, and the search for identity.

Class: In-Person /  Zoom

Maia Kobabe


Matt de la Peña is the New York Times Bestselling, Newbery Medal-winning author of seven young adult novels (including Mexican WhiteBoy, We Were Here, and Superman: Dawnbreaker) and six picture books (including Milo Imagines the World and Last Stop on Market Street). In 2016 he was awarded the NCTE Intellectual Freedom Award. Matt received his MFA in creative writing from San Diego State University and his BA from the University of the Pacific where he attended school on a full basketball scholarship. In 2019 Matt was given an honorary doctorate from UOP. He teaches creative writing and visits schools and colleges throughout the country.

Class: Zoom

Matt de la Peña

Program Overview

Who: K-12 Teachers across all subject areas

What: Invitational Summer Institute 2022: Reset, Rejuvenate, Reimagine

Each day of the institute is composed of personal writing time, demonstration lessons taught by the facilitators and participants, and afternoon writing groups.  Mornings in the institute focus on writing instruction.  In the institute, teachers will take turns leading a writing lesson for the group.  Everyone participates in the hands-on lesson and gives feedback to the presenter.  By the end of the institute, you will have experienced twenty unique presentations, containing many possibilities and approaches to writing instruction for you to incorporate into your own practice.

The afternoons will be spent in writing classes with our visiting authors and in small group writing sessions led by an experienced facilitator.  After debriefing the morning experiences, the writing begins. Writers may develop their personal writing or may use prompts the facilitator offers.  Your afternoon group will give feedback on your writing and support you in developing your own demonstration presentation.

When: July 5, 2022 - July 21, 2022


9am - 3pm with 1 hour break for lunch

Week 1: Tuesday, July 5 - Friday, July 8, 2022

Week 2: Monday, July 11 - Thursday, July 14, 2022

Week 3: Monday, July 18 - Thursday July 21, 2022

Orientation: Saturday, May 21 (time TBD)

Where: San Jose State University (In-Person)


Invest in yourself! SJAWP’s approach to Professional Development is to offer writing classes for teachers designed by teachers.  In three weeks time, in addition to earning college credit, you can become a teacher consultant with SJAWP.  As a teacher consultant, you may be invited to present at Saturday Seminars, to lead professional development in schools, or to teach students in our summer programs.

Cost: Free!

All teachers will have the option to receive a stipend for purchasing up to 3 units from San Jose State University. This will fulfill expectations to progress along teachers’ salary schedule.

There is no charge for the ISI. Funding is provided through grants from the California and National Writing Projects and by income provided by other San Jose Area Writing Project programs.

Weeks at a Glance

Week 1: Reset: Writing for Self Care
  • Writing for Self: Morning Writing Exercises

  • Facilitating Teacher Writing Lesson Demonstration 

  • Participating Teacher Writing Lesson Demonstration 

  • Afternoon Writing Groups

  • Afternoon Writing Classes with Professional Authors

Week 2: Rejuvenate: Writing for Joy
  • Writing for Joy: Morning Writing Exercises

  • Participating Teacher Writing Lesson Demonstration 

  • Afternoon Writing Groups

  • Mocktail Literary Happy Hour + Open Mic Sessions

Week 3: Reimagine - A New Canon of Writers
  • Diverse Approaches to Writing: Morning Writing Exercises

  • Participating Teacher Writing Lesson Demonstration 

  • Afternoon Writing Groups

  • Presentation of Writing Portfolios/Closing Celebration

meet the directors


Jane Gilmore is an Associate Director of the San Jose Area Writing Project who co-directs the Teen Writers Institute and directs the Novel Writing Certificate Program.  She is a teacher at Lynbrook High School with over a dozen years of experience both in the classroom and leading professional development for teachers.  She has a Masters in Education and two teaching credentials (in English and Social Studies) from the University of California at Santa Barbara and a Certificate in Novel Writing from Stanford University Continuing Studies.  Aside from working on her own manuscripts Jane’s favorite endeavor is supporting students in developing their own unique writing identities and creative talents.  More likely than not your students have played her original creative writing games at a Saturday Seminar and she looks forward to helping nourish and flourish the careers of some of our brightest young writers.

Jane Gilmore


Keysone Manithep is an Associate Director of the San Jose Area Writing Project. She has taught Writing Workshop and Creative Writing during the summer through SJAWP and has led workshops and seminars for teachers at San Jose State University. Currently, she teaches 4th grade at Millbrook Elementary School and this marks her 18th year.

 She received her MA in Education as part of the LACES (Literacy Across the Curriculum for an Equitable Society) Program at San Jose State University along with a Reading Specialist credential. She earned a teaching credential from San Francisco State University and BA in Anthropology from UC Santa Cruz. Keysone loves helping students find their writing voices and meaningful stories from their own lives.

She aspires to live by the wise words of Kurt Vonnegut:
“Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven's sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possibly can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something.”

Keysone Manithep

Frequently Asked Questions

How does a teacher apply for the program?

Teachers can access the online application here. Please note that the application requires teachers to share a description of a sample lesson that they may want to present at ISI and to provide a letter of reference from an administrator.

Why do teachers need to tell us about a lesson they might want to teach in ISI?

All participating teachers will present a 75 minute lesson on writing in order to share their expertise and to receive feedback from our community of dedicated professionals.  We understand that 75 minutes may seem daunting but ample support will be given to all! This practice is beneficial to all participants (including the facilitators) as we walk away with several lessons we can modify to use in our classrooms right away as well as strengthening our individual teaching crafts.  We ask our teachers to assume a learning stance and sit in the role of students in order to reflect upon best teaching practices and to connect with our own identities as writers.  Our program is dependent upon a community of dedicated teachers/learners who can connect with other educators in deep and meaningful ways.

Will coaching be offered for demonstration lessons?

All participants will receive at least two coaching sessions with our facilitators in order to best prepare for their lesson.  Our facilitators are knowledgeable coaches who will do all that they can to bring out the best in each participant.

What is the time commitment of the Invitation Summer Institute?

There will be an orientation approximately one month prior to the beginning of ISI.  Our program runs for three weeks in July from 9am-3pm.  In order to promote balance and self-care we will work for four days each week and take three day weekends to rejuvenate in between sessions.

How many teachers will participate in the Invitational Summer Institute?

ISI is designed for a small cohort of teachers of up to 16 participants.  We provide a more intimate setting in order to promote strong social connections and collaboration.  Our teachers frequently leave with lifelong friendships!


I just found out about the Invitational Summer Institute.  Can I still apply?

We will accept applications through May.  If a teacher is interested in participating after the application deadline passes, they should reach out to the directors listed below.

Who should I contact with additional questions about the program?

Please refer any inquiries to Jane Gilmore or Keysone Manithep, Associate Directors of SJAWP in charge of the Invitational Summer Institute. Jane’s email is and Keysone’s is

COVID Information: As per San Jose State University’s current COVID policy, unless you have an approved medical or religious exemption, anyone using SJSU campus facilities must be fully vaccinated as defined by the California State University’s vaccination policy.