A Write Space: A six week writing programme
Welcome to A Write Space
Established 6th May 2021 and we haven't missed a week yet! We have members who have completed or achieved promotions, fellowships, papers, citations, doctorates, books, articles, conference presentations and many many more outputs from this dedicated group and we are thoroughly delighted for you all!
But as well as the output, the discovery of ourselves as writers and the emerging identity we are discovering under the layers of student focussed activity is hugely rewarding. We are academic writers and we are part of community of like minded peers supporting and encouraging each other and it is without doubt the highlight of my week. We look forward to working with you all, new or old, regular or intermittent members over the next year too.
This space is open for you and moulded by you into the joyous thing that it is, please do share its existence with anyone who you think would benefit from it. We have also grown internationally with two additional write spaces created by members for their own institutions, its a worldwide write space. Thank you all.
Click the link on the right to sign up to the mailing list and you will be contacted when new dates are released. There is no obligation to come to all 6 sessions, it is very much a resource available for you when you need it, the community is friendly and supportive, a warm welcome awaits you.
Participants' success so far have included conference acceptances, paper acceptances, appreciation of our own hard work, opportunities for reflection, overcoming writing difficulties and doubts, making progress, sharing with colleagues the turbulent writing journey, special issues, book contracts and finding the academic community they need to succeed... join the party!
This writing programme intentionally sets aside two hours a week for six weeks so that a significant piece of work can move from being an exciting and important idea to being written. It deliberately pushes against the urge to just check emails, or catch up on admin. It may be a paper, proposal, promotion application, HEA fellowship application or business cases.
You might even feel guilty prioritising this but you know you kind of should, you wouldn't interrupt a teaching session to answer an email, and yet it may have been years since you began that writing task, accepting all interruptions as the priority. If the thoughts in this video resonate with you, join us! You'll be in good company.
Who should attend?
Open to all Warwick Staff teaching or research focused, particularly those who may have put their writing on the back burner whilst they did other 'more important' things. External colleagues welcomed. Please sign up to the mailing list to receive your calendar invite.
Background and Motivation for the Programme:
Writing is a central part of academic life. Academics write to propose new projects, to secure funding, and to share their findings (ref. 1). They also write to explore their own ideas, to critique the ideas of others, and to vent their frustrations. As a feature of academic life, writing has been described as fundamental, crucial, and core (Aitchison & Guerin, 2014; Maher et al., 2008; Weller, 2011).
Despite this, writing “continues to be marginalized and squeezed out of the everyday academic practices of researchers and academics” (Aitchison & Guerin, 2014, p4) as the neoliberal values of productivity, efficiency, and competition come to govern the contemporary university (Mountz et al., in press). The struggle to find time to write is compounded by a lack of explicit writing training for academics (Starke-Meyerring, 2014), leaving many (if not all) academics with what MacLeod and colleagues (2012) have called writing-related anxiety.
In this context, writing groups have emerged as an effort to dedicate time to writing, develop writing skills, provide guidance and support, and resist the neoliberal view of writing as a product rather than a process (Aitchinson & Guerin, 2014; Aitchison & Lee, 2006; Lee & Boud, 2010; Mountz et al., in press).
These groups seek to provide a community of practice (Wenger & Snyder, 2000) for academic writers, bringing individuals together with the aim of generating knowledge, learning from the experience of others, fostering intellectual and social leadership, and enabling people at different stages to “learn, grow confidence, and start to see themselves a legitimate researchers” (Ng & Permberton, 2013, p1536).
In particular, academic writing groups are communities that seek to foster the development of meaningful academic writing practices and identities (Lee & Boud, 2010).
Research on academic writing groups has shown that they are effective in: making the process of writing visible and explicit; enabling participants to quarantine time and space for writing; reducing fear and anxiety; providing emotional and social support; and improving both the quantity and the quality of written outputs (Haas, 2014; Kozar & Lum, 2015; Lee & Boud, 2010; MacLeod, Steckley & Murray, 2012; Maher et al., 2008; Murray & Newtown, 2009; Mussell, 2012; Price, Coffey & Nethery, 2015).
Writing Groups in the Digital Age: A Case Study Analysis of Shut Up & Write Tuesdays (pages 249-269)
Siobhan T. O'Dwyer, Sharon L. McDonough, Rebecca Jefferson, Jennifer Ann Goff, Michelle Redman-MacLaren
'Research 2.0 and the Impact of Digital Technologies on Scholarly Inquiry (Advances in Knowledge Acquisition, Transfer, and Management)' 2016 Antonella Esposito (Editor)
Based on the 'Writespace' and 'Thirdspace' Programmes by Kate Carruthers Thomas (BCU, SHRE).
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Leadership and Management Development