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A Write Space: A six week writing programme

Overview:

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 sessions to answer an email and yet it may have been years since you began that writing task.

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 particularly those who have extended a deadline or writing on the back burner whilst they did other 'more important' things

Agenda

09:30 - 09:45

Statement of Intent - in MSTeams space

09:45 - 10:10

Pomodoro

10:10 - 10:15

Rest and Refocus - private

10:15 - 10:40

Pomodoro

10:40 - 10:55

Cuppa and Cake - in MSTeams space

10:55 - 11:20

Pomodoro

11:20 - 11:30

Regroup and Review - in MSTeams space

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).

References:

Reference 1: 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

in 'Research 2.0 and the Impact of Digital Technologies on Scholarly Inquiry (Advances in Knowledge Acquisition, Transfer, and Management)' 2016 Antonella Esposito (Editor) https://www.igi-global.com/chapter/writing-groups-in-the-digital-age/167447

Based on the 'Writespace' and 'Thirdspace' Programmes by Kate Carruthers Thomas (BCU, SHRE).

Book a Place
Register your Interest

Workshop Details:

Date:
Every Thursday for 6 weeks commencing on 21st October and concluding on 25th November 2021.

Time:
09.30 - 11.30

Venue:
MS Teams
(Once you have booked a place you will be added to a teams working space).

Any questions?

Kate Mawson
Centre for Teaching Education

Mairi Macintyre
Warwick Manufacturing Group

Jane Cooper
Organisational Development