The inaugural National Writing Project Midwest Conference kicked off with a writing marathon through the beautiful and historic campus of the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Dr. Susan Martens, director of the Prairie Lands Writing Project, explained the history of the writing marathon (which goes back to New Orleans in 1993) before conference participants broke into small groups and headed out for an afternoon of walking and writing. Some headed up State Street to the Capitol Building, some strolled downhill toward Lake Mendota, and a few explored the campus’s history of peaceful protests. One small group even headed out to the , where the Greater Madison Writing Project holds its summer institutes. Greater Madison Writing Project Teacher Consultants led the small groups by providing prompts and facilitating time to share with others. In true writing marathon fashion, listeners were only allowed to thank the writer; no other feedback is offered during marathons.