Details and resources

A typical QMUL writing retreat is non-residential and runs for one or two full days at a venue in the east end of London, close to QMUL; we hold approximately two retreats every year for staff, ten for postgraduate students, and others for both post- and undergraduate students arranged in conjunction with their departments. A reading retreat tends to be a single day or a morning or afternoon.

Participants come prepared with a project that they want to work on (an article, a chapter, a proposal, for example) and write for designated periods of time in the company of others; each day is scheduled around a series of 1-2 hour writing or reading sessions and goal setting activities or short writing tasks to help participants focus on what they want to achieve and to assess what is manageable within the given time. There is no explicit teaching but plenty of opportunity to discuss issues that participants experience around writing and reading, and the way they relate. For more information on our retreats, or if you would like to attend one or arrange one for your colleagues or students, please contact any member of Thinking Writing. You can also view the schedule for forthcoming retreats on our events page.

Typically our retreats are limited to QMUL staff and students, but we we welcome participants external to the college if there is space. If  wish to attend or would like to speak to us about arranging one at your institution, please contact us directly.

For more information on the theory and practice of writing retreats we recommend the following articles:

  • Moore, S. (2003) ‘Writers Retreats for Academics: exploring and increasing the motivation to write’. Journal of Further and Higher Education 27 (30) 333-342
  • Murray, R. (2008) ‘Writer’s retreat: reshaping academic practices’. Educational Developments 9.2, 14-16
  • Murray, R., and Newton, M. (2009) ‘Writing Retreat as Structured in Intervention: Margin or Mainstream?’. Higher Education Research and Development 28 (5), 541-553

Writing retreat resources: download an example of a writing retreat schedule, a list of possible short writing tasks  and a short reference list.

Reading retreat resources: take a look at our reading retreat reading and writing tasks, a reading retreat example schedule, and some strategies for considering texts.

Documents downloadable from this page: