A Shared Cabin in the Woods
The Presence and Presents of Writing in Residential Academic Writing Retreats
In this paper, we investigated a model of academic development based upon a recurring residential academic writing retreat combining individual writing times, workshops, work-in-progress groups and one-on-one consultations with shared meals and informal gatherings in a natural environment. Using a case study research approach, we analysed data accumulated from seven annual residential writing retreats for education scholars. Participants included 39 academics, administrative staff, senior doctoral students and community partners from multiple institutions. We found evidence that the retreats enhanced participants’ knowledge of writing and publishing processes, advanced their academic careers, built scholarly capacity at their institutions and strengthened writing pedagogy. The data indicated that the presence of writing and writers at the residential academic writing retreats generated presents (i.e., gifts) for the participants. The presence of writing time, writing goals and writing activities in the company of other writers were key to the retreat pedagogy. Participants appreciated gifts of time and physical space and described giving and receiving peer feedback and emotional support as forms of gift exchange within the community. The resulting writing strategies, competencies and identities provided the gift of sustainability. The analysis confirmed that this ongoing, immersive, cross-institutional, cross-rank, institutionally funded model of academic development was effective and responsive to the needs of individual scholars.
Aitchison, C. and Lee, A. (2006). Research writing: Problems and pedagogies. Teaching in Higher Education 11: 265-278. https://doi.org/10.1080/13562510600680574
Badenhorst, C. M., McLeod, H., Vaandering, D., Li, X., Joy, R., Penney, S., Pickett, S., and Hesson, J. (2016). The journey between there and here: Stories of a faculty writing group. Canadian Journal of Education 39 (1): 1-26. Retrieved on 15 February 2019 from http://www.cje-rce.ca
Belcher, W. L. (2009). Reflections on ten years of teaching writing for publication to graduate students and junior faculty. Journal of Scholarly Publishing 40: 185-200. https://doi.org/10.3138/jsp.40.2.184
Boice, R. (1990). Professors as Writers: A Self-Help Guide to Productive Writing. Stillwater, OK: New Forums.
Bommarito, D. V. (2015). Collaborative research writing as mentoring in a US English doctoral program. Journal of Writing Research 8: 267-299. https://doi.org/10.17239/jowr-2016.08.02.04
Brown, R. (1994/1995). Write right first time. Literati Newsline. Retrieved on 15 February 2019 from http://web.archive.org/web/19971014014626/http:/www.mcb.co.uk/literati/write.htm
Burgess, A. and Ivanič, R. (2010). Writing and being written: Issues of identity across timescales. Written Communication 27: 228-255. https://doi.org/10.1177/0741088310363447
Castle, J. and Keane, M. (2016). Five writing development strategies to help academics flourish as writers. South African Journal of Higher Education 30: 73-93. https://doi.org/10.20853/30-6-721
Creswell, J. W. and Poth, C. (2018). Qualitative Inquiry and Research Design: Choosing Among Five Approaches (4th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Dobozy, E. (2012). Learning in Higher Education symposia: A new professional development model for university educators. Issues in Educational Research 22: 228-245. Retrieved on 15 February 2019 from http://www.iier.org.au
Fairclough, N. (1992). Discourse and Social Change. Cambridge: Polity Press.
Fairclough, N. (2003). Analyzing Discourse and Text: Textual Analysis for Social Research. London: Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9780203697078
Grant, B. (2008). Academic Writing Retreats: A Facilitator's Guide. Milperra: Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia.
Grant, B. and Knowles, S. (2000). Flights of imagination: Academic women be(com)ing writers. International Journal for Academic Development 5: 6-19. https://doi.org/10.1080/136014400410060
Grant, M. J., Munro, W., McIsaac, J. and Hill, S. (2010). Cross-disciplinary writers' group stimulates fresh approaches to scholarly communication: A reflective case study within a higher education institution in the North West of England. New Review of Academic Librarianship 16: 44-64. https://doi.org/10.1080/13614533.2010.509481
Hayes, J. R. and Flower, L. S. (1980). Identifying the organization of writing processes. In L. Gregg and E. R. Steinberg (Eds), Cognitive Processes in Writing, 3-30. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
Healey, M. J. and Matthews, K. E. (2017). Learning together through international collaborative writing groups. Teaching & Learning Inquiry: The ISSOTL Journal 5: 1-6. https://doi.org/10.20343/teachlearninqu.5.1.2
Ivanič, R. (1998). Writing and Identity: The Discoursal Construction of Identity in Academic Writing. Philadelphia, PA: John Benjamins. https://doi.org/10.1075/swll.5
Jones, D. R. (2018). A proposed systems model for socializing the graduate writer. Studies in Higher Education 43: 173-189. https://doi.org/10.1080/03075079.2016.1160276
Kamler, B. (2008). Rethinking doctoral publication practices: Writing from and beyond the thesis. Studies in Higher Education 33: 283-294. https://doi.org/10.1080/03075070802049236
Kamler, B. and Thomson, P. (2011). Working with literatures. In B. Somekh and C. Lewin (Eds), Theory and Methods in Social Research (2nd ed.) 16-24. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Kornhaber, R., Cross, M., Betihavas, V. and Bridgman, H. (2016). The benefits and challenges of academic writing retreats: An integrative review. Higher Education Research and Development 35: 1210-1227. https://doi.org/10.1080/07294360.2016.1144572
Kostouli, T. (2009). A sociocultural framework: Writing as social practice. In R. Beard, D. Myhill, J. Riley, and M. Nystrand (Eds), The Sage Handbook of Writing Development, 98-115. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. https://doi.org/10.4135/9780857021069.n7
Lave, J. and Wenger, E. (1991). Situated Learning: Legitimate Peripheral Participation. New York: Cambridge University Press. https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511815355
Lee, A. and Boud, D. (2003). Writing groups, change and academic identity: Research development as local practice. Studies in Higher Education 28: 187-200. https://doi.org/10.1080/0307507032000058109
Lillis, T. M. (2001). Student Writing: Access, Regulation, Desire. New York: Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9780203186268
MacLeod, I., Steckley, L. and Murray, R. (2012). Time is not enough: Promoting strategic engagement with writing for publication. Studies in Higher Education 37: 641-654. https://doi.org/10.1080/03075079.2010.527934
MacQueen, K. M., McLellan-Lemal, E., Bartholow, K., and Milstein, B. (2008). Team-based codebook development: Structure, process, and agreement. In G. Guest and K. M. MacQueen (Eds), Handbook for Team-Based Qualitative Research, 119-135. Plymouth: Altamira.
Marquis, E., Healey, M., and Vine, M. (2016). Fostering collaborative teaching and learning scholarship through an international writing group initiative. Higher Education Research & Development 35: 531-544. https://doi.org/10.1080/07294360.2015.1107886
McGinn, M. K., Shields, C., Manley-Casimir, M., Grundy, A. L., and Fenton, N. E. (2005). Living ethics: A narrative of collaboration and belonging in a research team. Reflective Practice 6: 551-567. https://doi.org/10.1080/14623940500300772
McGinn, M. K., Ratković, S., Martinovic, D., and McQuirter-Scott, R. (2019). Creating, supporting, and sustaining a community of academic writing practice through annual residential academic writing retreats. In N. Simmons and A. Singh (Eds), Critical Collaboration Communities, 136-148. Rotterdam: Sense Publishers. https://doi.org/10.1163/9789004410985_011
Moore, S. (2003). Writers' retreats for academics: Exploring and increasing the motivation to write. Journal of Further and Higher Education 27: 334-342. https://doi.org/10.1080/0309877032000098734
Murray, R. (2013). Writing for Academic Journals (3rd ed.). New York: Open University Press.
Murray, R. (2015). Writing in Social Spaces. A Social Processes Approach to Academic Writing. Abingdon: Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315755427
Murray, R. and Newton, M. (2009). Writing retreat as structured intervention: Margin or mainstream? Higher Education Research and Development 28: 541-553. https://doi.org/10.1080/07294360903154126
Norris, N. (1997). Error, bias and validity in qualitative research. Educational Action Research, 5: 172-176. https://doi.org/10.1080/09650799700200020
Paltridge, B. (2016). Writing retreats as writing pedagogy. Writing & Pedagogy 8: 199-213. https://doi.org/10.1558/wap.v8i1.27634
Paré, A., Starke-Meyerring, D., and McAlpine, L. (2011). Knowledge and identity work in the supervision of doctoral student writing: Shaping rhetorical subjects. In D. Starke-Meyerring, A. Paré, N. Artemeva, M. Horne, and L. Yousoubova (Eds), Writing (in) Knowledge Societies, 215-236. Anderson, SC: Parlor Press.
Ploisawaschai, S. (2015). The development of authorial identity among senior academic scholars on the trajectory of professorship (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved on 15 February 2019 from https://ore.exeter.ac.uk/repository/handle/10871/19812
Saldaña, J. (2016). The Coding Manual for Qualitative Researchers (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Singh, R. J. (2012). Promoting writing for research: The 'writing retreat' model. South African Journal of Higher Education 26: 66-76.
Thomson, P. (2015, September 9). Text work/identity work [Blog post]. Retrieved on 15 February 2019 from https://patthomson.net/2015/09/09/text-workidentity-work/
Wegener, C., Meier, N., and Ingerslev, K. (2016). Borrowing brainpower - sharing insecurities: Lessons learned from a doctoral peer group. Studies in Higher Education 41: 1092-1105. https://doi.org/10.1080/03075079.2014.966671
Wynne, C., Guo, Y. J., and Wang, S. C. (2014). Writing anxiety groups: A creative approach for graduate students. Journal of Creativity in Mental Health 9: 366-379. https://doi.org/10.1080/15401383.2014.902343
Yin, R. K. (2003). Applications of Case Study Research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
© Equinox Publishing Ltd.
For information regarding our Open Access policy, click here.