2023 Conference

Registration for the 2023 Annual Conference is now open!

Join us at the Sheraton Virginia Beach Oceanfront on October 6-7, 2023!


“…writing is sanctuary; it is the art of discovering a safe space in which to be.”

-Dr. Joanne V. Gabbin

As our world continues to shift and become more complicated, it is necessary that we find a safe space to nurture our students. As Gabbin reminds, writing challenges us with the art of discovering who we can be despite the noise within our society that so often disrupts our sense of knowing. The text we read allows us to share in the stories of others. As we encounter people, places, and experiences, we learn more about ourselves. Writing continues to be a response to reading.

For this call, we are seeking proposals that embrace the power of writing and reading as a connection to ourselves, first as individuals and then as society. How can we encourage our students to find meaning through writing? Is the relationship between reading and writing a way to see who we are and can become? What is it that we learn about ourselves as we process our thoughts? Is it possible to make meaning of the world as we become readers and writers? What ways of knowing and becoming have we found as teachers of literacy?

The purpose of writing can often be seen as required skill development. Yet, the power it has to connect us to ourselves and others is often overlooked. With practice and instruction, we believe that writing provides students with a tool to not only express themselves but to shape their ability to imagine possibilities.

*Submission deadline:  June 30, 2023

2022 Conference

2021 Conference

This year’s conference focused on empowering and honoring student voices.  We were excited to be joined by our keynote speaker, Julia Torres! Her keynote address about how to inspire students to learn inspired every attendee at VATE’s 2021 Fall Conference. If you missed it, see what Julia is doing for our profession in her biography below. Consider pre-ordering her latest book, Liven Up Your Library.     

JULIA E. TORRES is a veteran language arts teacher and librarian in Denver Public schools.  She is a teacher/activist committed to education as a practice of freedom, her practice is grounded in the work of empowering students to use Language Arts to fuel transformative resistance and social progress. Julia has been awarded the 2020 NCTE Colorado Affiliate Teacher of Excellence award chosen as a 2020 Library Journal Mover and Shaker, and serves educators as a member of the ALAN (Assembly on Literature for Adolescents of NCTE) Board of Directors, Educolor Collective Steering Committee member, Book Love Foundation Board Member and Co-founder of #DisruptTexts. Through her work with The Educator Collaborative, and other organizations, Julia facilitates workshops and professional conversations about anti-bias/anti-racist education, social justice, and culturally sustaining pedagogies in Language Arts, as well as digital literacy and librarianship. Her work has been featured in several publications including NCTE’s Council Chronicle, NPR, AlJazeera’s The Stream, PBS Education, KQED’s MindShift, NY Times Learning Network, The Chicago Tribune, ASCD’s Education Update, Rethinking Schools, School Library Journal, and many more.

Thank you to our Conference Sponsors
2020 Mini-Conference

Last fall we hit the refresh button and learned how to implement strategies to ensure justice and equity for ALL of our students. If you missed the conference, no worries!  Click on the links below to watch the breakout sessions and the phenomenal keynote workshop by Lorena Germán, founder of #DisruptTexts and chair of NCTE’s Committee Against Racism and Bias in the Teaching of English. 

Keynote by Lorena Germán: Building an Anti Bias and Anti Racist ELA Curriculum

English Teachers’ Top 5 Activities for Distance Learning by Dr. Ross Collin

Female Athletes in Media by Dr. Katie Dredger

Equity and Access: Using Social Justice to Advocate for Students With Dyslexia by Dr. Mary Tackett, Dr. Paige Hayes Horst, and Dr. Donna Fogelsong

I Can No Longer Be Silent by Dr. Camilla Ferebee, Crystal Pope, and Michelle Roberts

Writing Conferences: Inviting Students into the Feedback Conversation by Adrian Nester and Jennifer Stuckey,

Lorena Germán is a Dominican American educator working with middle and high school students in Austin, Texas. Her Master’s degree is from Middlebury College’s Bread Loaf School of English. Lorena has been published by NCTE, ASCD, Heinemann, National Writing Project, EdWeek, and featured in The New York Times, Embracing Equity, and others. Most recently, she co-edited the anthology, Speaking for Ourselves and self-published The Anti Racist Teacher: Reading Instruction Workbook. She’s proudly a two-time nationally awarded teacher. Lorena is Co-Founder of the Multicultural Classroom, as well as Co-Founder of #DisruptTexts, and also Chair of NCTE’s Committee Against Racism and Bias in the Teaching of English.