TPR Letter from the Professional Editor

Genie Nicole Giaimo on behalf of the TPR Editorial Team

We open this issue with a few updates from TPR. Lately, TPR has been focused on providing resources to make our journal run more smoothly. Since January 2023, we have streamlined our submission process, developed textual and audio resources for both our reviewers and our authors, improved our site security and its functioning, and published several high quality issues of the journal. Very soon, we will add another special/focus issue—on AI—to our excellent ones on linguistic justice and writing center commonplaces. 

Here, however, we share a new initiative that came from a combination of factors that would have had us publishing four book reviews in our fall issue. Instead, we are happy to present a summer reading list, of sorts, for writing center practitioners. For those with a little more time on their hands, this is a chance to catch-up on some of the books that have been recently published in our field. 

Of late, writing center research has been gaining recognition in the broader field of Rhetoric and Composition. Here, we highlight the books we have reviewed over the past year including Rebecca Hallman Martini’s 2022 book Disrupting the Center: A Partnership Approach to Writing Across the University (reviewed by TPR last spring), which won the 2024 CCCC Advancement of Knowledge Award; it is the first writing center-focused study to be awarded this honor. Travis Webster’s 2021 Queerly Centered LGBTQA Writing Center Directors Navigate the Workplace (also reviewed by TPR last spring), which was awarded both the 2022 IWCA Outstanding Book Award and the 2023 CCCC Lavender Rhetorics Award for Excellence in Queer Scholarship. CounterStories from the Writing Center, edited by Wonderful Faison & Frankie Condon (2022) (reviewed by TPR in our spring 2024 issue), which won the 2023 IWCA book award.  Additionally, Genie Nicole Giaimo’s Unwell Writing Centers: Searching for Wellness in Neoliberal Educational Institutions and Beyond, which was reviewed by TPR in fall 2023 (note, Genie is the Professional editor of TPR).  

In this issue, we share five new book reviews including Failing Sideways Queer Possibilities for Writing Assessment by Stephanie West-Puckett, Nicole I. Caswell & William P. Banks (reviewed by Dr. Yvonne R. Lee), which was awarded the 2024 CCCC Lavender Rhetorics Award for Excellence in Queer Scholarship, a 2024 CCCC Outstanding Book Award Honorable Mention and a 2024 CCCC Advancement of Knowledge Award Honorable Mention.

Dr. Sherry Wynn Perdue and Red Douglas review Sensemaking for Writing Programs and Writing Centers, edited by Rita Malenczyk (2023), which is a book many years in the making. The book brings new frameworks to our administrative work, which is both necessary and painstaking work. 

Writing Centers and Racial Justice: A Guidebook for Critical Praxis edited by Talisha Haltiwanger Morrison and Deidre Anne Evans Garriott (2023) (reviewed by PhD candidate Neal Liu) helps us to enact racial justice in our writing centers and educational spaces. It also builds on decades of “largely theoretical” work, as the authors note, to bring our field more praxis-oriented approaches to this necessary work. 

In writing studies, Mary Helen Truglia reviews Reconstructing Response to Student Writing: A National Study from Across the Curriculum by Dan Melzer (2023). A book that focuses on alternative and comprehensive assessment processes, as well as empowering student engagement in such processes, this book uses a comprehensive dataset to provide updated best practices for providing writing feedback to students.  

And, finally, Dr. Amanda Presswood reviews Childfree and Happy: Transforming the Rhetoric of Women’s Reproductive Choices, by Courtney Adams Wooten (2023), which is a timely rhetorical study that challenges orthodoxies in women reproductive decisions and uses story to validate some women’s decisions to remain childfree. 

While not all of us in the writing center world have tenure track positions—indeed, the majority of us inhabit more marginal and non-tenure track, contract positions—summer is traditionally a time of closure; where one academic year ends and preparations for another year begin. We at TPR hope that our summer book review issue encourages writing center workers to slow down and take time to read around in the wide variety of scholarship that has been published in writing center studies and the broader field of writing and rhetoric, over the last year. We also want to thank Utah State UP for providing free copies of these and other texts to our journal and, of course, thank you to all of our reviewers for taking the time to read and write about these books and to the authors who spent years developing these projects. 

We wish you all rest and restoration this summer.