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How We Write

A Podcast About How We Write…Anything!

Literacy Files/Sponsored By Social Media, Season 2, Episode 3

In this episode, we resume our series The Literacy Files, where students from the University Writing Center’s 2022 Writing Center Internship class discuss how various kinds of sponsorship affected their development as writers. Their understanding of sponsorship was shaped by an essay from 1998 entitled “Sponsors of Literacy,” where Deborah Brandt defines sponsors as “agents, local or distant, concrete or abstract, who enable, support, teach, model, as well as recruit, regulate, suppress, or withhold literacy–and gain advantage by it in some way” (Brandt 166). Students drew from that definition to write their own literacy narratives, and then formed groups to see what they could learn from sharing them with each other.In this episode, Writing Center interns Grace, Celeste and Britney explore how growing up with social media shaped their development as writers.

Here are some of the sources they consulted for their research:

Brandt, Deborah. “Sponsors of Literacy.” College Composition and Communication, vol. 49, no.2, 1998, pp. 165–185. JSTOR, JSTOR,

Dailey, Kate. “The Allure of an Old-Fashioned Pen Pal.” BBC News, 4 Mar. 2014, Accessed 3 Mar. 2022.

Layfield, Allison. “Effects of Multicultural Education on Small Presses and Commercial Publishing: A Case Study of the House on Mango Street.” Children’s Literature in Education, vol. 52, no. 2, 2020, pp. 217–30. Crossref,

Morain, Michael. “Anne Frank’s Iowa Pen Pal and Other Stories from World War II.” Iowa History, Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, 23 Aug. 2017, Accessed 3 Mar. 2022

Oelze, Micah. “#HashtagPedagogies: Improving Literacy and Course Relevance through Social Media Metaphors.” Change, vol. 51, no. 6, Nov. 2019, pp. 8–16.

“Pen Pal Day – June 1.” National Today, 1 June 2021, Accessed 3 Mar. 2022.

Roach, Audra K., and Jessica J. Beck. “Before Coffee, Facebook: New Literacy Learning for 21st Century Teachers.” Language Arts, vol. 89, no. 4, National Council of Teachers of English, 2012, pp. 244–55,

Previously on the Podcast

An Ecological View of Writing Centers

The Work of Writing Centers: Trish Roberts-Miller

Season 2, Episode 2: Literacy Files/To Live or Not Live Up to Expectations

Season 2, Ep. 1: Literacy Files/Humbling Experiences and Influential Teachers

Episode 8: Dr. Monique Pikus How We Write Assessment

Episode 7: Elena Weinberg

Episode 6: Trish Roberts-Miller
Public Train Wrecks

Episode 5: J Wells
How She Writes Beyond 4 Walls

Episode 4: Rupert Reyes
How The Show Must Go On.

Episode 3: Michele Solberg
How We Write the Songs.

Episode 2: Marc Musick
How We Take U-Turns.

Episode 1: Cody Melcher
How We Laugh.