By Mary Jane Curry and Jayne C. Lammers (Warner Graduate School of Education, University of Rochester, US)
This, our last post on large group writing events, comes from associate professors Mary Jane Curry (Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison) and Jayne C. Lammers (Ph.D. from Arizona State University), at the University of Rochester’s Warner School of Education and Human Development. Mary Jane is director of Warner’s Writing Support Services and her research focuses on academic writing and publishing by multilingual scholars and graduate students. Jayne is director of Secondary English teacher preparation and she researches adolescents’ writing, particularly that which is shared in online communities.
Many of the recent posts on social writing events have highlighted the benefits of writing together—not necessarily collaboratively—but usually in the same time and space. We share this view, and here we discuss the evolution and management of the week-long writing camps we offer for faculty colleagues and doctoral students in our graduate school of education. For the past few years, these camps have taken place in January before spring term and in June to set a strong course for summer writing. We call them ‘writing camps’ rather than ‘boot camps’, not only to avoid a military metaphor, but also to evoke the idea of a structured but pleasurable social experience of doing academic writing.
These camps began in 2011 with a two-day writing retreat offered to faculty members and advanced graduate students designed along the lines of Rowena Murray’s (2015) social writing events. For the first few, shorter retreats, we used a structure in which up to 20 participants alternated individual writing time with discussing writing with a partner and with taking breaks. Continue reading