Writing Retreats: What are they and how do they work?

By Education Incubator Communications Intern Priyankha Khindri

This week here at the Education Incubator we are hosting a Writing Retreat, facilitated by Lewis Winks. This is the second writing retreat of the year and whilst we are all excited for the two-day event for those of us who have never attended one before it begs the question: what is a writing retreat? 

For most of us retreats are often associated with religion or spirituality and are a period of time people use to take a break from their daily lives to develop their religious or spiritual practice. A writing retreat is a similar concept for writers, academic or otherwise, to carve out time in their calendars away from their day to day lives to focus on their writing. Most retreats involve periods of time dedicated to writing, often in silence, with breaks for checking in with fellow participants to discuss their progress. By being free from distractions and having the presence of other writers many people find that writing retreats are highly productive and motivating environments to be in. In order to make the most of a writing retreat, facilitators will encourage participants to set goals such as completing a certain number of pages of a draft or finishing an article. Whilst sitting in silence and writing may seem intimidating and perhaps even counterintuitive the benefits of writing retreats for academics are well documented from increased output of academic papers to an improved sense of community amongst the academics

To read more about the benefits of writing retreats feel free to browse our small informal reading list below: 

Writing retreat as structured intervention: margin or mainstream?

Rowena Murray and Mary Newton https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/07294360903154126?needAccess=true

The Writing Retreat: A High-Yield Clinical Faculty Development Opportunity in Academic Writing

Christian T. Cable, Debra Boyer, Colleen Y. Colbert, Edward W. Boyer https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3693698/  

6 Benefits of Academic Writing Retreats 

Anna Clemens https://www.annaclemens.com/blog/benefits-academic-writing-retreats

Incubator Uncategorized Writing Retreat

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The University of Exeter’s Education Incubator scheme. Promoting pedagogic innovation and collaboration with an aim to enhance learning across the University and beyond.

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