After eight years, we finally pulled the plug on something known as the iAnthology Network. Hosted on Ning, it was created for National Writing Project teachers to connect, to write, to share in a closed space. We had weekly writing prompts, photo prompts, book groups and more. We were not part of the official NWP umbrella. More of an unofficial space.
In recent years, participation in the site dropped and became a trickle and my Western Massachusetts Writing Project and our sister site, Hudson Valley Writing Project, decided not to fund the Ning anymore. The National Writing Project funded the launch and supported the iAnthology for the first few years with small grants. The whole structure and original design of the iAnthology was based on something that was known as the eAnthology, which was a summer writing space for teachers going through their Summer Institutes.
My friend, Bonnie Kaplan, and I worked closely together to launch the iAnthology — I remember us both thinking, will anyone sign up? — and we guided it through the years, working to give more ownership to members (we had a large list of folks who volunteered to host writing prompts every week).
When it was active, it was wonderful.
But it was time.
Most social networks eventually fade as part of the natural arc of participation over time. With us, Facebook and Twitter and other social spaces began to fill in where there was once a gap.
Still, we celebrate that 800-plus teachers with National Writing Project affiliation were able to find a writing home for a bit that kept them connected. If you were part of the iAnthology, thank you. I hope we stay connected and that you keep writing your heart out.
This infographic captures some of the iAnthology: