By Claire Aitchison, Susan Carter and Cally Guerin

It’s a convention at this time of year to reflect on what has happened over the past 12 months and thank those who have helped make all that happen – a convention of which we heartily approve as part of the season’s celebrations. This is our 50th post for the year, and we’ve covered all sorts of topics, received lots of comments on them, and seen our readership continue to grow.

Twelve of our posts this year have been contributed by guest authors:

  • Cassily Charles
  • Merilyn Childs
  • Robert Desjardins
  • James Hartley and Guillaume Cabanac
  • Shannon Madden and Jerry Stinnett
  • Lilia Mantai
  • Sioux McKenna
  • Susan Mowbray
  • Sue Starfield
  • Arnold Wentzel
  • Abigail Winter and Susan Gasson
  • Amanda Wolf

We are grateful to these authors for sharing their knowledge and insights about doctoral writing. As supervisors, academic developers, writing teachers or literacy advisors, many of these contributors have generously detailed their practices, tips and resources for supporting the development of doctoral writing. Along with the voices of students and researchers, these kinds of contributions are building a community of practice and creating a permanently accessible knowledge pool/ resource bank. This exchange of practice is something we are keen to continue. If other readers have ideas about topics to write about, please get in touch – we are always keen to hear from you and a new year lies ahead in need of fresh new posts. We three savour the blog as a place to mull over ideas, try out new ones, and shake down our thoughts about doctoral writing. Readers may also find this a satisfying way to contribute.

We have had the good fortune this year to benefit from the digital skills of John Wei in Auckland who revamped our website. Posts are now organised under six broad categories, which we believe will help readers find material more easily. The blog is now better designed to read on a mobile phone (we picture readers on the bus or waiting for the train while reading our posts). Or possibly furtively checking the site in a boring situation where a post on doctoral writing is the most interesting option going…

This year we were able to share time, ideas and passion with some of our members at the Doctoral Writing SIG in April during the Quality in Postgraduate Research Conference (QPR). It was at this conference in 2012 where the idea for the blog began, and the conference is still our home, the SIG our good old friends. Hopefully we’ll see these academic friends again, as well as some new faces, at the next meeting in 2018.

In the meantime, we wish you all a happy and peaceful festive season, whether that is in a frosty, snowy winter or a hot and humid summer. May you all enjoy some relaxation over the holidays as you gather your strength for the year ahead. Thanks for sharing this year and its journeys with us, and we’ll be back again in mid January.

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