Summer Leadership Institute (SLI) 2020

The Tampa Bay Area Writing Project will be hosting its Summer Leadership Institute at the University of South Florida (USF) Tampa campus in summer 2020.

During the SLI, teachers gather to write and share their writing, to share and discuss their teaching, and to reflect deeply on the craft of writing/teaching.

This year, the Summer Leadership Institute will meet for three weeks, from June 15 to July 2, 9am-4pm (not including weekends).

For more details, and to apply for the SLI, please use the following form:

TBAWP SLI Application 2020 PDF

 To register for the SLI for graduate credit

(LAE 6923/6793), please click here.

To register for the SLI via our online store,

please click here.



Fall Conference 2019 – Adult Writers Contest With HunnyBee Lit

Special Contest for High Schoolers, College Students & Adults

All Write Ahead contests are due by midnight of Friday October 25th. One entry per conference participant. Register for conference before submitting. Contests are also available for elementary and middle school students.

Downloadable Version of Contest Information

In Collaboration with HunnyBee Lit, we are proud to announce that this fresh voice on the literary scene has opened a special submissions window for their second issue and our second annual conference.

Hunnybee is looking for small forms with a big buzz. We want your sticky and sweet, and how it makes meaning in your own hive-heart. Dive deep and make us think, cry, and excite our minds with new learning about yourself and others. It takes hard work to pack a bunch that’s short, sweet, and to the point and Hunnybee can’t wait to see what you’ve got.

Issue 2 will be a themed issue, so make sure to stick with this for the contest! The theme of Issue 2 is Hive, so send us your word magic centered around homes and hives. We are so excited to put this together for all of you and we can’t wait to see the works you submit. But remember, prose pieces have to be under 1,000 words! 

For more information visit

Email entries directly to and include “TBYW Contest” in the subject line.

Email with questions.

Invitational Leadership Institute (ILI) 2019

The Tampa Bay Area Writing Project will be hosting its Invitational Leadership Institute at the University of South Florida’s Tampa campus in the summer of 2019.  The Invitational Leadership Institute will meet on May 18th and the two weeks between June 10th – June 21st.

To register and purchase your ticket, click here

The following PDF provides more detail on the Institute and how to apply:

TBAWP ILI Application 2019 PDF


AHA! Writers – Advanced Institute 2018 with BeaLu Books


TBAWP and BeaLu Books have teamed up to offer the AHA! Writers Advanced Summer Institute. During the AHA! Writers Institute, you will write a 16-page nonfiction leveled reader book to be published by BeaLu Books in their AHA! Reader Collection.

Experienced children’s book authors and editors will lead the institute and work with you as you write your nonfiction leveled reader. While the books will be written for children in grades K-3, teachers/writers from all levels and from all subject areas are invited and encouraged to participate in this unique opportunity.

Come, experience writing a book from start to finish, collaborate with like minds, AND become a published author!

For more information of about costs, book topics, what you will be responsible, and the answers to many other questions, see the FAQs.


 When and where will the AHA Institute meet?

AHA will meet in the College of Education at USF from 9:00 – 4:00, July 16 – July 20.

Can I attend if I haven’t attended a TBAWP Summer Institute (ILI) before?

This opportunity is only open to TCs. Check the TBAWP website for opportunities to participate in ILI at a dramatically reduced rate. If you attend ILI this summer you are welcome to register for the AHA Institute.

How much does the AHA! Writers Institute cost?

The cost for this week long institute is $100. The registration information is located on the TBAWP website. All TCs attending the institute are given a scholarship from BeaLu Books to cover the remainder of the cost of the institute. The scholarship is paid directly to TBAWP and is based on the average writing-for-hire rates for a 16-page leveled reader manuscript.

Will I get to choose the topic I write about?

Yes! You will submit topic your top three choices for topics and then we will work together to select your topic.

What is a Leveled Reader?

Leveled readers are books written to provide just the right amount of supports and challenges to children learning to read. There are many different forms of leveled readers on the market, many of which have a formulaic feel to them. The team at BeaLu Books takes a different approach to our leveled reader collections. Our books are not formulaic. We strive for each book to feel like a stand-alone title, and not part of a reading program. Our goal is to provide leveled readers that engage young readers, while providing them the support and challenges that will help them grow as a reader. If you want to learn more about leveled readers an excellent resource is, Leveled Books: Matching Books to Readers for Effective Teaching, by Iren C. Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell.

Will I have to write using a controlled vocabulary?

No! And we want you to use writing craft. In fact, we insist you use writing craft. Kelli and Precious will guide you in finding what works for the grade level you are writing for.

Will I have a set word count?

Yes. Word counts are based on the grade level you are writing for. For books in the AHA! Readers collection, the word counts will range from 150-1000 words. (Don’t be fooled. The 150 word book is often the hardest one to write.)

Will I be responsible for the layout of the book, the pictures, and the graphics?

No. Writers are responsible for the title, manuscript (with pagination and descriptions for possible photos, graphics, and illustrations), captions, glossary words, index, author’s bio, and possibly some before or after reading questions. The photos and design work will be done by the design team at BeaLu Books. [A sample manuscript is provided.]

Will I have a contract for my work?

Yes. You will sign a writing-for-hire contract. In writing-for-hire, there are no royalties involved. You are paid to write a specific book for a publisher. In this case, your pay is your scholarship to participate in the AHA! Writers Institute. The publisher holds the rights to the book.

Do I have to complete my manuscript during the institute?

No. You will be given a deadline to have your manuscript delivered to BeaLu Books. Once final manuscripts are turned in, our editors will edit them. If they have any questions or the manuscript needs revisions, they will get back to you. Once the manuscript is approved as final, it goes to our design department. When they have finished a first proof, a PDF of your book will be sent to you for caption writing and review. This is when your writing starts looking like a book!

Can I use a pen name?

Yes. If you want to use a pen name you can. We do ask that all authors provide a picture of themselves to go with their bio in the back of their book. But even here you can get creative, you can use a childhood photo, etc.

What will I need to bring to the institute?

You will want to have a laptop or table that you can access the Internet from and also write on. All manuscripts are submitted electronically as Word documents.