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Graduate School

Graduate Student Writing Retreat

Dates: May 19-22 and 26-27, 2020
Times: vary by day; view the full retreat schedule
Location: Writing Center

Application Deadline: March 18, 2020, at 5:00pm CST

Retreat Description and Goals

The Writing Center is hosting its annual Graduate Student Writing Retreat this May, with sponsorship from the English Department and the Graduate School.

The Retreat’s purpose is two-fold. First, graduate students across disciplines will be given time and space to write in a supportive atmosphere, amongst other writers. A second goal is to promote effective writing practices and to boost the dissertation- and thesis-writing process, thereby reducing time to graduation. All master's and doctoral students working on a significant writing project (dissertation, thesis, article for publication) are welcome to apply.

Participants should expect to write for six hours each day of the Retreat. Participants should also expect to briefly reflect on their goals and progress with their peers and to meet in short conferences with Writing Center staff. The Retreat will also offer workshops on topics such as citation management and writing strategies.

Coffee and light breakfast snacks will be provided each day, and bagels will be provided for lunch on the first and last day.

Participants will be required to complete a post-retreat survey on the final day.

Important Note: This Retreat's purpose is writing; participants will not have their work edited and proofread by Center staff, and the Retreat's purpose is not grammatical training. Rather, participants will show up with the materials necessary to write amongst peers and make significant progress on their projects.

Participant Testimonials

Here's what previous participants had to say about the Retreat.

  • "The retreat provided a great atmosphere for those looking to make significant progress on their dissertation. I was pleasantly surprised at how much I was able to accomplish throughout the week."

  • "It's a great way... to invest in your writing."

  • "It was helpful and nice to be in an environment that was solely devoted to just getting writing done. Having a system of accountability is really helpful."

  • "The retreat allowed us to step out of our normal busy lives, which offer plenty of excuses to not commit full days toward dissertating."

  • "The retreat program helped me to become focused on my dissertation. I was assigned to a group to discuss my daily progress with other students. It was very helpful that all of us in that group were working on our dissertations and had similar goals."

Eligibility Criteria

Graduate students must meet the following criteria to be eligible for participation in the retreat:

  • If selected for participation, you MUST commit to being present for the ENTIRETY of the Retreat; we take this policy seriously! Absences affect the community of the writing group and are distracting to participants. Accepted applicants must sign a Retreat Contract, confirming their availability for the entirety of each day, including morning check-ins with peers, all writing sessions, and completion of the post-Retreat survey on the final day. If you have other commitments, however small, that would require you to miss any potion of the Retreat, you are not eligible to participate. 

  • Your major professor or co-major professor must consent to your participation in the Retreat, by completing the Advisor Consent Form. If selected for participation, issues with attendance/participation will be send to your major professor. 

  • You must be working on a significant writing project (thesis, dissertation, article for publication). You must have completed source collection, collected data/completed your proposed work, and be ready to concentrate solely on writing during the Retreat. The stage of writing you are at might differ depending on your discipline. As Internet use is prohibited during the Retreat, you should be at a stage where you can write from the data or research you have already collected. You should use time outside of Retreat hours to collect additional source materials or to analyze additional data, if needed.

  • You should be in a position to spend the Retreat writing. Center staff do not teach editing during the Retreat and will not be able to edit/proofread documents for participants.

  • You must be in good academic standing with your graduate program.

  • If selected to participate, you must submit a $50 non-refundable fee (by check or cash) prior to the start of the Retreat. This fee supports administrative and staff costs. You are encouraged to talk with your advisor or graduate program director about sponsorship for the program; several past participants have had the Retreat fee sponsored by their graduate program.

  • If you participated in a prior Retreat, you are eligible to apply for this one.

If you have questions about your eligibility, please contact Dr. Cydney Alexis (calexis@ksu.edu) at the Writing Center prior to completing the application form.

Required Application Materials
Writing Retreat Application Form
Advisor Consent Form (Word, PDF)

The Advisor Consent Form must be completed and submitted by the advisor to Dr. Megan Miller via one of the following methods:

  • email to mmmiller@ksu.edu
  • OR deliver or send via campus mail to the Graduate School, ATTN: Megan Miller, 113-119 Eisenhower Hall

Application Deadline: March 18, 2020, at 5:00pm CST

If you have questions about completing the application, please contact Dr. Megan Miller (mmmiller@ksu.edu, 785-532-6191) at the Graduate School.

Participant Selection

A committee appointed by the Graduate School will select 15-20 individuals to participate in the Retreat. The committee will aim to select participants that represent a broad set of disciplines. Applicants will be notified of their acceptance no later than April 3, and their $50 nonrefundable fee will be due by 12:00pm on Friday, April 24. Applicants who fail to submit payment by this date will be notified of their withdrawal from the Retreat, and the committee will then offer that spot to an individual on the waiting list.