February 10, 2020
Writing Center, Graduate School announce Graduate Student Writing Retreat for May intersession
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 twofold. First, graduate students across the 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.
The Writing Retreat will take place over five days, with a two-hour orientation on an additional day. Please visit the Writing Retreat webpage for a complete schedule. 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. The retreat will also offer daily workshops on topics such as citation management and writing strategies. With support from its sponsors, the retreat will provide coffee and light breakfast snacks each day and bagels for lunch on the first and last day. Participants will be required to complete a post-retreat survey on the final day of the retreat.
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.
Feedback from previous participants:
- "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."
Certain requirements must be met to participate:
- Applicants 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. Those accepted must sign a Retreat Contract indicating 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 an applicant has other commitments, however small, that would require them to miss any portion of the retreat, they are not eligible to participate.
- Applicants must be working on a significant writing project — thesis, dissertation, article for publication.
- Applicants must have completed source collection, collected data/completed their proposed work, and be ready to concentrate solely on writing during the retreat. The stage of writing an applicant is at might differ depending on their discipline. As Internet use is prohibited during the retreat, by the time of the retreat, applicants should be at a point where they can write from the data or research they have already collected.
- Applicants should be those who are 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.
- The graduate student's advisor must consent to the student's participation in the retreat, by completing an Advisor Consent Form. Issues with attendance/participation will be sent to the participant's advisor.
- Applicants must be in good standing with their programs.
- Applicants who are accepted to participate in the retreat must submit their $50 retreat fee by noon on Friday, April 24. We encourage applicants to talk with their advisors about sponsorship for the program; several past applicants have had the retreat fee sponsored by their programs.
- Participants who have completed prior retreats are eligible to re-apply.
Deadlines and participant selection
Visit the Writing Retreat webpage to access the application and related materials. Applications are due at 5 p.m. March 18. A committee appointed by the Graduate School will select 15-20 individuals to participate in the retreat. The committee aims to select participants who represent a broad set of disciplines. These applicants will be those who are prepared to use the time to write, rather than to research or to solicit proofreading/editing of their writing.
Applicants will be notified of their acceptance no later than Friday, April 3, and their $50 nonrefundable fee will be due by noon on Friday, April 24.