The Academic Workshop Program organizes two or three writing groups for faculty scholars each semester. The groups of about 5-6 members meet every two weeks to discuss writing projects and offer suggestions.
The purpose of the writing group program is to make writing easier and more efficient for the participants and improve the quality of the writing projects workshopped in the groups.
The writing groups are intended to follow a “cooperative model” emphasizing supportive suggestions for improving written work through new ideas, solutions for potential problems and new areas of research.
The writing groups help members by providing:
- opportunities to set goals and monitor progress
- routine “soft” nonthreatening deadlines—for exchanging documents and discussion meetings—which can help keep writing projects scheduled on calendars
- regular feedback from the group members on the presentation and substance of arguments
- a support group of encouraging colleagues engaged in the same challenging project of producing scholarship for publication
- information on writing methods (such as brief daily writing sessions, the Flowers paradigm, strategies for goal setting and monitoring progress) and a forum for discussing methods
- new opportunities to foster scholarly relationships with colleagues
At each meeting, two members are typically in the “spotlight” for discussion and feedback. Materials on writing methods are also circulated for discussion to encourage ongoing experimentation with writing strategies.
The atmosphere of the writing group is kept informal and supportive. The ultimate goal of the group is to foster constructive conversations about scholarship in which members feel comfortable exploring new ways to improve their work.