Conference Overview

About the Conference

The MidSouth Reading and Writing Conference brings together nationally recognized literacy researchers, practitioners and authors to offer professional development opportunities for K-16 audiences—teachers, ESL teachers, literacy coaches and specialists, administrators, media specialists and teacher educators. The presenters cover a wide range of relevant topics that include reading and writing in content areas, literacy instructional strategies, technology, children’s and young adult literature, reading and writing process, and culturally responsive pedagogy.

Professional Development Credit: 12 hours

When: Thursday, June 22 & Friday, June 23

Where: George Washington Carver High School - Birmingham, AL


Early Bird (before May 20th): $125
Standard: $150
One Day: $75
Group of 10+ teachers: $100 per teacher
Student (Undergraduate & Pre-Service teachers only): $50
Presenter: $75

Lodging: DoubleTree by Hilton
808 20th Street South
Birmingham, AL 35205
Code: C-ECI


Who Should Attend?

  • Pre-School Teachers

  • Elementary & Middle School Teachers

  • Reading & Curriculum Coaches

  • Principals

  • University Students


Online registration is now closed. Please contact Kelly Hill by email at for on-site registration information

Share your expertise.
Present at MidSouth!

The proposals deadline was March 30th.


Westin at Uptown
2221 Richard Arrington Jr Blvd. North
Birmingham, AL 35203

$139/night plus tax
Make reservation by May 30.

Book Room

Extend your conference experience by downloading session materials.

Why Attend Mid-South?
  • Affordable Cost of Attendance

  • Earn Continuing Education Credit

  • Meet Literacy Experts and Renowned Authors

  • Connect with Other Literacy Enthusiasts

  • Shop Outstanding Vendors

  • Learn New Literacy Strategies

Keynote Speaker Publications

  • Nonfiction Mentor Texts
  • Mentor Texts
  • Separate is Never Equal
  • I Read It, But I Don't Get It
  • Lemonade Sun and Other Summer Poems
What Previous Attendees Say
  • "Plenty of relevant, interesting sessions from which to choose."

  • "Lots of books available to buy! The high school was a great location."

  • "Everyone was nice and helpful if you needed help! A great experience!"

  • "The facilities were fantastic. Great variety of sessions for various grade levels."

  • "Everything was very well organized. There were no long lines to sign in. The lunch was excellent."

  • "The presenters were highly knowledgeable, engaging, and progressive. They presented the information in a way that made me want to create connections with my students in order to better their comprehension."

  • "The sessions were excellent, as much of the information was new and the presenters had real life situations that they used to explain their rationale."

About Our Keynote Speakers
  • Lynne Dorfman

    Lynne Dorfman

    Lynne Dorfman currently works as an educational consultant. For more than 30 years she taught in Upper Moreland School District in many capacities, most recently as a literacy coach. She is a Co-director of the Pennsylvania Writing and Literature Project and a 1989 Writing Project fellow. Lynne has a B.A. in Elementary Education from Beaver College, an M.A. in Elementary Education from Bloomsburg University, and a Doctoral Degree in Educational Leadership from Immaculata University. Lynne also holds a Reading Specialist Certification from La Salle University. She is active in the Keystone State Reading Association and is on the board of the Chester County Reading Association. She also is President-Elect of the Eta Chapter of Alpha Delta Kappa.

    Lynne describes her approach to professional development as hands on and interactive, using the gradual release of responsibility model. "Very practical and user-friendly--let's take it right back to the classroom."

    Her latest book is a collaborative work with her colleague, Diane Dougherty. It targets grades K-6 and demonstrates how to embed grammar and mechanics instruction throughout the day. "We think that grammar matters, but we don't believe in workbooks and isolated lessons. We think the teaching of grammar should be both explicit and implicit. Every day teachers need to tuck in grammar and mechanics wherever and whenever it is applicable. That means your modeling or discussion might occur in social studies as easily as it might occur in writing and reading workshop."

    Lynne co-authored three books with friend and colleague, Rose Cappelli. "We based everything on classroom samples and our work with children."

    Twitter: @lynnerdorfman

    Select Publications

  • Rebecca Dotlich

    Rebecca Kai Dotlich

    Rebecca Kai Dotlich grew up in the Midwest exploring trails by the creek, reading comic books, making paper dolls and building snow forts. She was a good student in school, but by far not a perfect one. Even though she was mesmerized with reading and words from a young age, anything to do with math was, and still is, challenging.

    She attended Indiana University where she studied creative writing, art history and anthropology while she worked in the student library typing index cards for the card catalog. After college she held many jobs; working in a department store, for a real estate firm, a state representative, and in public relations. After her children were born she decided that writing for children would be her life’s work, although that took many years to achieve.

    Rebecca is a children’s poet and picture book author of titles such as What Can A Crane Pick Up? which received a starred review from Publishers Weekly, What is Science? (an AAAS Subaru SB&F prize finalist), Bella and Bean (an SCBWI Golden Kite Honor) and Grumbles From The Forest; Fairy Tale Voices with a Twist (co-authored with Jane Yolen.) She gives poetry workshops, visits classrooms across the country, and speaks at conferences, retreats, libraries and schools to teachers, aspiring writers and students of all ages.

    Her books have received the Gold Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Award as well as a Bank Street College of Education Best Book of the year, and her work has been featured on Reading Rainbow and the PBS children’s show Between the Lions.

    She lives in the Midwest with her husband and her four young grandchildren live nearby.

    Website: Twitter: @rebeccakai

    Select Publications

  • Duncan Tonatiuh

    Duncan Tonatiuh

    Duncan Tonatiuh (toh-nah-tee-YOU) is the author-illustrator of The Princess and the Warrior, Funny Bones, Separate Is Never Equal, Pancho Rabbit and the Coyote, Diego Rivera: His World and Ours and Dear Primo. He is the illustrator of Esquivel! and Salsa. His books have received multiple accolades, among them the Pura Belpré Medal, the Sibert Medal, The Tomás Rivera Mexican-American Children's Book Award, The Américas Award, the Jane Addams Children's Book Award and the New York Times Best Illustrated Children's Book Award.

    Duncan Tonatiuh is both Mexican and American. He grew up in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico and graduated from Parsons School of Design in New York City. His artwork is inspired by Pre-Columbian art, particularly that of the Mixtec codex. His aim is to create images and stories that honor the past, but that are relevant to people, specially children, nowadays.

    Website: Twitter: @duncantonatiuhFacebook:

    Selected Publications

  • Cris Tovani

    Cris Tovani

    Cris Tovani, a native of Colorado, taught elementary school for ten years before becoming a high school reading specialist and English teacher. A nationally known consultant, she chooses to continue teaching high school students full-time. She has also worked for many years as a staff developer for the Denver-based Public Education and Business Coalition (PEBC). Her book I Read It, But I Don't Get It has helped thousands of teachers nationwide improve their instruction in reading comprehension.

    "I think my draw to teaching and professional development is this challenge, to figure out what kids need and then how to help them 'get better' at whatever it is they are trying to learn.

    "So often teachers are relegated to the back row when it comes to making instructional decisions. It is such an exciting time to be a teacher because of the challenges we face and the opportunities we have to affect the future. We are losing way too many kids. This means that professional development has to be purposeful so that students and teachers alike can meet today's demands."


    Selected Publications

Conference Schedule

Thursday, June 22

8:00-8:30 Registration
8:30-8:45 Welcome & Awards
8:45-10:00 Keynote | Lynne Dorfman
10:15-11:30 Concurrent Sessions (75 minute)
11:30-12:30 Lunch
12:45-1:40 Concurrent Sessions (55 minute)
1:55-2:55 Keynote | Duncan Tonatiuh
2:55-3:00 Closing

Friday, June 23

8:00-8:30 Registration
8:30-8:45 Welcome & Awards
8:45-10:00 Keynote | Cris Tovani
10:15-11:30 Concurrent Sessions (75 minute)
11:30-12:30 Lunch
12:45-1:40 Concurrent Sessions (55 minute)
1:55-2:55 Keynote | Rebecca Kai Dotlich
2:55-3:00 Closing
Getting to the Conference