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Writing consistently, come snow, rain, sun or clouds!

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

This winter, while the temperature has plummeted, soared, fallen, settled, and shifted again, 13 faculty have been engaged in supported writing practice. It all started in January, when six faculty braved subzero wind chill to gather in The Writing Commons for a “Kick-Start” faculty writing retreat, designed and facilitated by Dr. David Martins, director of the University Writing Program. The retreat was intended to create a productive, warm environment for faculty to focus on writing, and included individual writing sessions, goal setting, directed writing activities, and individual consultations.

During the spring semester, two groups of other faculty also met in two different writing support groups. In the “accountability” group, faculty have been meeting regularly – face to face and virtually – to keep each other motivated, engaged, and productive on their individual writing projects. In the “response” group, faculty representing four different fields have met to share drafts and provide feedback on each other’s drafts.

When participants were asked what they appreciated about the writing support activities, they wrote:

  • I liked the discussion with peers about their reflections on how writing is going, and in particular sharing tips with how to get more writing in per day
  • The reading exercise really helped me get my head around my own writing style.
  • [Offer these retreats and writing groups] more frequently.
  • The intimacy of the small group seemed to promote a greater sense of sharing allowing us to feel comfortable and relax to accomplish the goals of the retreat.

The all-day retreat and writing support groups have been sponsored by the University Writing Program and Faculty Career Development, a unit within the Innovative Learning Institute (ILI), and will be offered again. For more information, contact David at