Scott Whiddon

Professor of Writing, Rhetoric, and Communication; Director of the Writing Center

Scott Whiddon wears many hats at Transylvania. He teaches a number of first-year and special topics courses, including such student favorites as Writing for/with Nonprofits and Writing for Writing’s Sake. He is also director of the university’s Writing Center.

But no matter which hat he’s wearing or with whom he’s working, Whiddon is, in the end, a writing coach.

“Many students think that people are born writers — that it’s a natural ability. And maybe there’s some truth to that. But what most beginning writers need is honest yet supportive feedback — someone to play the role of audience, to ask questions, to help shape and contour the prose,” he says.

As a strong advocate of the recursive nature of writing, Whiddon works to help students master each stage of the writing process. He also believes in giving them plenty of opportunities to practice the craft.

I give students opportunities to see themselves as writers, especially in situations in which they are outside the safe confines of a classroom.

“I fully expect my students to take risks with their writing. But, at the same time, I expect them to embrace the joy of writing,” he says.

Outside the classroom — and inside, too — Whiddon has a strong interest in music. He regularly performs at local and regional festivals with a variety of projects; he has also taken part in film and theater collaborations.

Academic History

Ph.D., English/Writing and Culture, Louisiana State University, 2006
M.A., English, McNeese State University, 1999
M.F.A., Creative Writing, McNeese State University, 1999
B.A., English, Winthrop University, 1996

Courses Taught at Transy

First Year Seminar
First Year Research Seminar
Introduction to Classical Rhetoric
Readings in Rhetorical Criticism
Writing Center Theory and Practice
Various Special Topics in Writing Studies

Areas of Research

Writing center theory/practice
Composition studies
The literature of confinement
Rhetorical theory/genre studies


Southeastern Writing Center Achievement Award, 2022

Invited keynote speaker, South Central Writing Center Association, 2021

Invited keynote speaker, Small Liberal Arts College Writing Program Administrators, 2018

Martinson Award for Excellence in Small Liberal Arts College Writing Program Administration, 2018

Invited scholarly presentations and/or pedagogy workshops at Berea College, Colorado College, Winthrop University

Bingham Award for Teaching

Kenan/Jones Research Grant

International Writing Center Summer Scholarship Award, 2013

Dartmouth Summer Seminar for Composition Research, 2011

2012 Southeastern Writing Center Association / Christine Cozzens Research and Initiative Grant

Recent Publications

“How Course-Embedded Consultants and Faculty Perceive the Benefits of Course-Embedded Writing Consultant Programs.” (with Drs. Julia Bleakney, Russell Carpenter, Kevin Dvorak, and Paula Rosinski). WLN: A Journal of Writing Center Scholarship, vol. 44, no. 7-8, 2020.

Understanding What Certifications Mean for Writing Centers: Analyzing a Pilot Program via a Regional Organization.” (with Dr. Russell Carpenter and Courtnie Morin). How We Teach Writing Tutors: A WLN Digital Edited Collection. Eds. Karen Johnson and Ted Roggenbuck, 2019. <>. (Nominated for IWCA Best Article Award/2019-20)

“Liner Notes: Exploring our Disciplinary Practices via “’Write It Like Disaster’: A Compilation of Music Made by Writing Center Staffers, Professionals, and Allies.’” With Dr. Stacia Watkins and Brad Walker (Communications Specialist, Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, UCLA). Southern Discourse in the Center, Fall 2016, pp. 10-31.

Invited Guest Editor (with Dr Russell Carpenter and Dr. Kevin Dvorak), Praxis: A Writing Center Journal. Special Double Issue on Course-Embedded Support in Writing Centers 12.1 (2012)

More than 40 national-level research presentations and invited workshops

Performance Opportunities

Contributed research and original music for the documentary film Rothstein’s First Assignment, directed by Richard Knox Robinson, 2011.

Former music director, Harry Dean Stanton Festival

Coordinator/performer for various Habitat for Humanity fundraisers

Invited performer at Burns/Belfry Museum, Oxford, Miss.; Carson McCullers Center, Columbus, Ga., and other national venues