Happy New Year! We are glad to be back to start the year by rounding off our successful series on Writing Events. If you are planning your year ahead, consider reviewing earlier posts – and stay tuned for our final set of stories on all manner of writing groups, retreats and boot camps. We are sure you will be inspired anew.
This beautiful contribution comes from Robert B. Desjardins, PhD, a graduate writing advisor with the Student Success Centre at the University of Alberta.
Early last year, I appealed to members of the Consortium on Graduate Communication for advice on an event that others had refined and we hadn’t yet attempted: a midterm, mid-winter writing retreat for writers who are struggling through their theses.
The request wasn’t unusual; these days, colleges large and small are experimenting with boot camps. However, it carried a special urgency for our graduate students. Living in the most northerly major city in North America – at 53.5 degrees latitude,
Edmonton endures 4:30 p.m. sunsets and freezing temperatures through the first months of the year – they face a midwinter climate that saps their creative energy.
Colleagues from around the world were generous with their answers. They told stories – some encouraging, some cautionary – and shared articles, event diaries and scholarly bibliographies. Armed with their insights, and supported by our Graduate Students’ Association, we set out to organize a weekend retreat for nearly 30 graduate researchers in a range of disciplines. Continue reading