Writing, in all its different forms, constitutes a central activity in the professional lives of faculty. As Wendy Laura Belcher, author of thepopular book Writing Your Journal Article in Twelve Weeks: A Guide to Academic Publishing Success observes, writing groups are useful "not only to scholars interested in producing more and better publications but also to busy faculty members who would, simply, like to be happier.”
To help faculty boost their own writing productivity, reflect on the connection between their writing lives and their writing pedagogy, and share the joys and tribulations of writing, the Writing Director supports three types of scholarly writing group programs for faculty: peer review writing groups, Scholarly Writers’ Accountability Groups (SWAGs), and writing retreats.
Peer review groups bring together faculty writers who read and comment on each other’s work. These groups can be interdisciplinary or consist of members from related fields. Each group decides on its own procedural rules: how often to meet, how many pages will be presented for comment, what types of feedback will be provided, etc.
Scholarly Writers’ Accountability Groups (SWAGs) provide faculty colleagues with practical, tactical support to make scholarship a priority in the context of their professional and personal obligations. Members of these groups do not read and comment on each other’s work. Instead, they help one another set concrete objectives for scholarly production, devise clear strategies and timelines for meeting these goals, and remain accountable to accomplishing the tasks and benchmarks that have been identified.
Often (lovingly) described as “writing boot camps” or “hunker downs,”
writing retreats help faculty “get in the mood” and focus singularly on their writing. The retreats can run for one or more days. Faculty get together and commit to writing in a common space for a certain number of hours with no external distractions. A typical writing retreat begins with faculty writing for 3 hours, then getting together over lunch to talk about their writing, and then writing for a few more hours.
Faculty who are interested in joining a writing group should contact Zornitsa Keremidchieva, Director of Writing, via email or phone: 651-696-6637.