Skip Nav

Dissertation Writing Retreat

University of Louisville Writing Center

❶To apply, participants must submit the following items to writing louisville.

Just like the horse whisperer – but with more pages

Top Destinations

Some of these writers had just begun writing, some were in the middle of their writing projects, and others were getting close to completing their dissertations. Regardless of where they were in the process, all the participants made progress on their dissertations and left with a set of writing strategies that would help them maintain their momentum on their projects. The University Writing Center consultants who work during the retreat are experienced writing teachers who are also PhD students currently working on their dissertations.

Each participant in the retreat will be paired with the same consultant for the entire week. The retreat will take place in the University Writing Center in the Ekstrom Library and will include lunch and snacks. There is no fee for participating. Participants must be willing to attend the entire week. Applications are due by April 1st. To apply, participants must submit the following items to writing louisville.

A letter written by the writer stating his or her reason for applying for the Retreat and goals for the week. Any documents related to the dissertation i. I thought I was being extravagant!! Yes, lots of great ideas here already about how people have designed their own thesis writing retreats. Notwithstanding the obvious obstacle of cost, it can be useful — provided the place you are retreating to has the desk space you require.

Is it a dining, kitchen or work table? Is there room to spread out? A distant relative had to cancel a non-refundable time share booking during the last year of my PhD, and I nervously took up the offer. It was for a one bedroom apartment in a Paris suburb. It was bland but well equipped and furnished.

I occupied the dining room table with my laptop and spread post it notes across the walls as I progressed from raw interview transcripts to fully coded and categorised theories. I looked at what felt like hundreds of apartments in Manhattan before I found one in my price range with any kind of table at all!

It was my only criteria really, as well as some decent light. Fortunately I found one but it took a lot of hunting around. I spent 5 weeks in Europe at around the 3 year period in my thesis. I was still trying to come to terms with some of the data I was analysing, and bring my argument together really coherently.

The trip involved visiting a few other people, but it also involved a couple of weeks of just writing quietly by myself in the French country-side no less. Those 5 weeks turned out to be very important — and not just because of the people that I met. I finally had some quiet time completely to myself and got to come to terms with some bit features of my analysis.

I love the fact that there is a scientific justification. I have empirical evidence too — I spent 15 days at a resort in Malaysia with my family. The deal was I could write in the mornings only until I got more reading and writing done in those 15 days than I did in the three months prior.

It totally got me back on track in terms of wordcount and content. Yes, I think that in keeping with the empirical method there should be a post about how fabulously productive, and fabulous, New York was! My partner had a two-week teaching gig in Palma de Majorca a couple of years ago, so I tagged along. I worked while she and her colleague were at the Uni, then when they returned to the apartment in mid-afternoon we would go sightseeing.

I completely re-arranged my thesis in those two weeks — a huge job. But, as I work full-time and normally have to fit my thesis in around my work, my writing retreats have mostly consisted of a week or two weeks working on my PhD every day at home — often half of a chunk of annual leave. Thanks for the great post Kylie! I appreciate you sharing your plans for New York.

I have often thought a secluded place in the Australian bush would be where I would go to get some chunky PhD writing done I am a farm girl after all! The idea of a reward such as a visit to an art gallery or some music after reaching my word target is inspiring- I am off to make some plans! Glad you enjoyed it! I think the location really depends on how you work.

For me it needs a bit of buzz. But I think I would miss my family and do too much site seeing. Yes, the lure of that fantastic city will rely on some grand self control on my part. Luckily for me this is not my first time there or I would find it a big struggle. I think knowing that will get me through. I wrote an article in Berlin—slept in, wrote for 4 hours which is all the time you can really generate text in a day anyway from about 11am, and then Kaffee und Kuchen, bier, mehr bier… art, cute shops, cocktails, dinner, conversation.

It was incredibly productive, and yet I still felt utterly refreshed and energised at the end. I could invite literary friends for extended holidays so they could relax, write, and generally get away from the usual distracting daily duties. Then life intervened, we sold the acreage, and another dream evaporated. My point is that many of you in the future could have the opportunity to gift other intelligent people with time and space to get away from the demands of their daily routines, get energized, and Create.

After you have acquired a stable of humble or stately vacation homes around the planet, that is. Such a wonderfully generous idea! I LOVE this idea. This does sound lovely, but in the meantime, what about house swaps between thesis-writing PhD students? Sounds like a great idea to me! Yes, yes, yes Kylie! Thanks for this post and generating the comments.

Perhaps you could write a follow up post on how your retreat turns out. When are you in NYC? Maybe two little twin posts with our experiences? That would be fun. A bit like an insitu ethnography on the whole city writing retreat idea. Sounds like a great excuse to travel! Thesis or not, I believe this will really help any type of writing…. But I also find just going out to a cafe to write can help.

Not always the same cafe. Not always the same time of day or night. I have my own retreat fantasy, though I take a different approach to going to one of these exciting, relaxing and culturally enlightening places. To me, Oslo Norway is perfect for academic writing.

Unless I am very unlucky, the weather will be terrible and well suited to writing indoors. It is guaranteed to be awfully expensive alcohol, coffee, any dining , leaving very little to do other than writing.

As a bonus, the academics are very professional and helpful, yet also come across as unfriendly with little interest in small-talk, which is an added bonus for fewer social distractions. In my view, the above is generalisable to anywhere in Northern Europe.

Main Topics

Privacy Policy

The Dissertation Writing Retreat is organized by the University Writing Center with support from the School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies. The retreat will take place in the University Writing Center in the Ekstrom Library and will include lunch and snacks.

Privacy FAQs

Dissertation Writers’ Retreats. Fall Dissertation Writers’ Retreat. October , a.m. – p.m. Sponsored by the Graduate School and. the College of Arts and Science Dean’s Office.

About Our Ads

Each May Term, fifteen dissertation writers from across the University gather in 15 Nicholson Hall for three weeks of concentrated dissertation-writing time in a supportive group setting. This year's retreat will be held Mondays through Thursdays, May 21 through June 7 . At Retreat, the Writing Center, Success Factors collections, and Dissertation Research collection writers comprehensive resources writers information literacy and management, and critical thinking, ranging from conceptualization of a problem to publication of a final manuscript.

Cookie Info

Dissertation Writing Retreat The Dissertation Writing Retreat provides participants with space, time, and encouragement to make progress on their doctoral dissertations in the company of other retreat is made possible with the resources and support of the Graduate School, Sheridan Center, and Libraries, and is lead by the Associate Director of the Writing Center, Stacy Kastner. The Dissertation Writing Retreat (DWR) is a 3-day intensive writing session held in Fall and Spring semesters.