Powerful thinking and writing are inseparable.


WriteBoston was founded in 2002 by Mayor Menino with the goal of ensuring that all Boston students develop into skillful, sophisticated, academic writers. Since its founding, WriteBoston has expanded to serve students, schools, districts, and educational organizations across Massachusetts while holding onto our core beliefs: that student voice matters, and skillful writing is a gatekeeper to college success and career readiness. At its heart, we see the ability to communicate effectively as an essential issue of social justice.

We believe that through collaboration with committed partners—particularly dedicated schools, districts, and educators—and through partnership with youth writers themselves, we are able to elevate the core writing skills of and provide authentic audience and opportunity for Massachusetts’s youth.

WriteBoston promotes deep learning through writing. We offer training and coaching for teachers, along with writing opportunities for students, built on the premise that powerful thinking and writing are inseparable.

WriteBoston believes that writing is essential to student achievement. We believe all young people can be flexible, thoughtful communicators and problem solvers when writing is embedded in daily learning.

In 2002, former Mayor Thomas Menino and faculty at Harvard University’s School of Education saw a problem. Low student scores on the English portion of the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) suggested that Boston Public School students weren’t writing.

Jake Murray and Rick Weissbourd from the Harvard Children’s Initiative created the initial outline for WriteBoston and hired our first employee: Betty Southwick, who served the organization as Executive Director for 14 years.

In those early years, WriteBoston brought critical attention to youth writing. We coached teachers in three schools, sponsored teen poetry slams, and organized author visits to classrooms. Over time, the depth of our work increased. Our professional development spread to more schools. In collaboration with The Boston Globe, we launched the Teens in Print newspaper. To directly support students in the writing process, we developed student writing centers across area high schools. Steadily, we grew our instructional support to teachers and administrators.

Over a decade later, we have developed an effective coaching model, published over 1,250 young people, and provided direct writing support to thousands more. Today, we provide high-quality professional development in writing instruction to middle and high school teachers from district, charter, independent and technical-vocational schools in Massachusetts, as well as an array of professional development services for districts and educational organizations.

As new Common Core State Standards place significantly greater emphasis on student writing skills, WriteBoston is uniquely qualified to work with educators across subject areas to transform student writing. Working with more than 30 educational partners since 2002, WriteBoston has significantly improved teacher practice and student achievement through high-quality, customized professional development for educators and programming for students.

Over 15,000 teachers and students have strengthened their skills with WriteBoston.
Read about our impact.

Our Work

We offer training and coaching for educators, along with writing opportunities for students, built on the premise that powerful thinking and writing are inseparable.

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Our Partners

We work alongside teachers, literacy coaches, principals, district leaders, and youth development professionals to meet the literacy needs of students.

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Our Impact

Since 2002, we have strengthened the skills of over 15,000 educators and students.

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