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PNWCA Conference Postponed Due to COVID-19

Dear colleagues, 

After extensive conversation and consideration of various options, the Pacific Northwest Writing Centers Association Executive Board has made the difficult decision to postpone the 2020 PNWCA Conference, scheduled for April 10-11 at the University of Washington, Bothell, due to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) public health emergency in Washington State. It is not an exaggeration to say that the situation evolves by the hour and at this time public officials and health experts in King County are counseling organizations and employers to cancel gatherings of more than 10 people. 

In addition to the health of our colleagues and our community, we are also most concerned with providing high-quality professional development opportunities for the region. While we considered online options, we determined that the best course of action, especially for the experience of our peer tutors, is to postpone the conference until next spring 2021.

Honoring the work and desires of our conference team, we intend to continue with the same exciting CFP and theme. The location and date of the conference will be determined in the coming months, but it will certainly take place in spring 2021. Stay tuned to the listservs for updates coming soon.

In light of this disappointment, the board would like to extend the following invitations: 

  1. If you proposed a session for this year’s conference, our conference team will be in touch soon as to acceptance details on your proposal. We invite you to hold on to your proposals so you may use them, if you choose, to resubmit for next year since we’ll be using the same CFP and theme.
  2. We would like to offer seed money to any micro-local gathering, whether focused for directors, peer tutors, or both. The board typically offers seed money of $300 per micro-local gathering and we would like to distribute a good number of these small grants in 2020. Please reach out to board president, Amanda Hill, and treasurer, Dennis Bennett, for further information or to request seed money for a gathering. This seed money can be used to support face-to-face, web-based, or hybrid gatherings. 

Important information you may need: 

If you booked a hotel room:
Please cancel directly with the hotel. Contact information can be found on the Conference Accommodations page of our website. The hotels have varying cancellation policies, but you should not incur penalties cancelling this far in advance.

If you have already registered for the conference: 

We are in the process of refunding all those who have registered. Refunds will be issued through PayPal. Please look for email correspondence from our treasurer, Dennis Bennett, with further details. 

If you have booked a flight: 

Please follow up with your airline or booking agency about cancellation. 

If you proposed a session for the conference:

Look for an email from our conference team within the next two weeks with details about your acceptance. We are energized by the scholarship and professional development presenters were preparing and sincerely hope to see you in 2021 when we’re able to gather around this theme.

The PNWCA board would like to thank our conference organizing team for the many hours of work they’ve put in realizing their conference vision and for their continued dedication to our Pacific Northwest writing centers community. Please know that while the final decision to postpone rested with the board, we listened carefully to the wisdom and guidance of our conference team as we reached our decision. Our thanks goes out to Erik Echols, Kim Sharp, Brooklyn Walter, and Vanessa Petroj.

While we are all saddened by the need to make this decision, we believe it is the right one to ensure the safety and health of our communities and ensure the highest quality professional development opportunities. We look forward to seeing many of you in micro-gatherings this year and again at our conference in 2021. 

With warm regards, 

The Pacific Northwest Writing Centers Association Board

Amanda Hill, President
Christopher Ervin, Vice-President
Dennis Bennett, Treasurer
Rachel Norman, Secretary
Jared Odd, Member-at-Large
Karen Rosenberg, Past Conference Chair