Blog

Pre-conference reminders

Make sure you’re conference-ready.

Social media

For a sneak-peak at planning activities or for informational tidbits about the conference, follow @m_w_c_a on Twitter and use #mwca2013 to tag your tweets.

Audio for your presentation

We need to know ASAP if you or your group will need a PA system for your presentation. Each room will be equipped with a projector and screen, but only two rooms will have audio capabilities with their projectors. Email Rachel Holtz (r-holtz[at]neiu.edu) immediately if you need audio for your presentation.

MWCA membership

For those of you who usually sign up for institutional memberships, please make sure to renew those soon. Visit the MWCA homepage for more.

Hotel reservations

Please book your hotel room at the Holiday Inn in Skokie, IL as soon as you can. We still have rooms available in the block, but the hotel does have a capacity. To ensure that you have a room, please book your rooms today.

Conference registration deadlines

Our early-bird registration deadline is 11:59pm on Friday, 20 September 2013. Student early-bird rate is $90, and the professional rate is $175. The breakfasts and lunches on Friday, 18 October and Saturday, 19 October are included in your registration costs. You can indicate your food allergies and dietary preferences when you register for the conference on the MWCA Profile.

Paying your registration fees

In past years, it’s been common for conference attenders to pay their bills when they arrive at the conference. This year, MWCA needs to pay our conference and AV bills before the conference itself, so if you can manage payment of your registration by Oct. 1, that would help us considerably.

This year our members can use Paypal to pay for their memberships and conference registrations–(how cool is that?!). You will be given instructions on how to pay via check and how to use Paypal once you’ve registered for the conference and/or ordered membership through the Profile. When you pay with Paypal, please do not forget to fill out the Name of Participant (for conference registration) or Name of Institution (for membership), especially if you’re paying for someone else’s registration. Please do not pay for registration or membership without first visiting the Profile and signing up there.

A final note on Paypal: Making payments via Paypal is not an automatic process, meaning your Paypal payment will not automatically link to the MWCA Profile once you click submit. A human (the MWCA Treasurer) receives an email of a Paypal payment, and she then processes the payment in the Profile; she can usually process these payments within 48 hours. Please keep this in mind, as there may be a lag between the time that you submit a payment and the time when she links the payment to your order in the Profile. If you encounter any problems, please contact her via email at treasurer[at]midwestwritingcenters.org.

Pre-conference workshops and retreat

In keeping with MWCA conference tradition, we are offering some amazing pre-conference workshops in the afternoon on Thursday, 17 October 2013. Each workshop is $25, and you can sign up for them when you register for the conference. You can read more about them here.

For those of you who are craving a more relaxing and meditative pre-conference experience, you should sign up for the Pre-conference Writing Retreat at the Chicago Botanic Gardens on Thursday, 17 October in the afternoon. The cost is $15, which includes transportation to and from the gardens. Please click here for more information about the writing retreat. Don’t miss out on these excellent and exciting opportunities. Sign up for the pre-conference workshops or the pre-conference writing retreat today!

Public transit passes

While you’re signing up for membership/registration/workshops/retreats, you should also sign up for a 3-day CTA transit pass for $20 that can be used to pay for unlimited bus rides and elevated/subway train rides.

We prefer that you buy your CTA passes in advance: the deadline to buy your CTA pass is Tuesday, 1 October 2013. Just click the box for CTA pass on MWCA Profile when you register for the conference. Since MWCA is pre-ordering CTA passes, you will not be able to buy CTA passes through MWCA once you arrive for the conference. You also have the option of buying it yourself on the CTA website, and from there you can also choose to purchase a 7-day pass, if you’re sticking around longer. Extended passes are also available at most of Chicago’s convenience and grocery stores.

Flying to Chicago

We were able to secure a 5% discount on airfare to Chicago ORD (O’Hare International Airport) on American Airlines for our MWCA members who live far from Chicago. The code is 92H3AL.

Conference grants and scholarships

We are also excited to announce that we have two opportunities for conference attendees to apply for travel grants and awards. The first one is our traditional MWCA Scholarship and Travel Grant, which includes a registration waiver and $300 to defray travel costs (open to professionals and students). The other opportunity is the MWCA Newcomers Award,which is a need-based registration lottery for first-time conference goers who are writing center administrators and professional staff attending the 2013 MWCA Regional Conference in Skokie, Illinois. The award includes a registration scholarship. The deadline is Monday, September 9, 2013 for both the travel grant and the newcomers award. Apply for them today!