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K-State Today

March 12, 2018

Writing Center, Graduate School announce Graduate Student Writing Retreat for May intersession

Submitted by Cydney Alexis

The Writing Center will host its annual Graduate Student Writing Retreat May 14-18 and 21-25, 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, among 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 last for two weeks, but take place in the morning — from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the first and last day of the retreat, and 8:30 a.m. to noon on the other eight days. Participants should expect to write for three 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. With support from our sponsors, the retreat will provide coffee and light snacks on the first day, access to coffee and hot water throughout the retreat, and pizza and cake on the final day at an end-of-retreat celebration.

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 in order to participate:

  • Applicants must commit to being present for the entirety of the retreat; we take this policy very 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 from 8:45-9 a.m.; an end-of-retreat pizza and cake celebration; and completion of a survey. Participants must complete the survey before leaving on May 25. If you have other commitments, however small, that would require you to miss any portion of the retreat, you are not eligible to participate.
  • Applicants must be working on a significant writing project — e.g., 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 you are at might differ depending on your discipline. As internet use is prohibited during the retreat, you should be at a point where you can write from the data or research you have already collected.
  • The graduate student's advisor must consent to the student's participation in the retreat by completing an advisor consent form. A report on the student's participation, including a summary of attendance, will be sent to the advisor at the end of the retreat.
  • Applicants must be in good standing with their programs.
  • Applicants who are accepted to participate in the retreat must submit their check — or a cash payment — by noon on Wednesday, April 25.
  • Participants who have completed prior retreats are eligible to re-apply.
  • Visit the Writing Retreat webpage to access the application and related materials. Applications are due at 5 p.m. Friday, April 6. 

A committee appointed by the Graduate School will select 15 individuals to participate in the retreat. The committee aims to select participants that represent all of K-State’s academic units and a broad set of disciplines. Applicants will be notified of their acceptance no later than April 17, and their $50 nonrefundable fee will be due by noon on Wednesday, April 25.

If you have questions about the retreat, please contact Cydney Alexis at calexis@k-state.edu. If you have questions about the application process, please contact Megan Miller at mmmiller@k-state.edu.