Coming up



PhD research writing development opportunities

Upcoming Events

Throughout the year we hold many different events for PhD students and staff. This page will be updated as and when these events are available to book. 

If you would like more information on how our events run, what to expect and how to prepare, take a look at our 'What is a Thinking Writing retreat like.docx' document.

Our retreats section also has further information on the thinking behind our events and what to consider if you're planning your own retreat.

Our retreats tend to be fully booked. However, if any single event doesn't reach half capacity, we may have to cancel it. In this event, we would refund your booking fee and aim to let you know a week in advance.

Our events are open to QMUL and non-QMUL PhD students from any discipline.


Thesis Boot Camp — Tuesday 2nd - Thursday 4th April 2019  APPLICATIONS NOW OPEN!

Drop and give me 20,000 words!

  • Are you a PhD researcher struggling with the writing battle?

  • Do you put off writing tasks with creative procrastination?

  • Are you finding the writing journey isolating and exhausing?

Thinking Writing has just what you need — the QMUL Thesis Boot Camp! Dedicated solely to getting words fown on paper (or a computer screen), this program is designed to help doctoral students get over that final hurdle, or to kick-start their writing if it has stalled. The goal for this wekeend is to help you generate words, and make progress on your thesis.

Sign up to join other PhD researchers in a no-excuses, no-time-for-procrastination, intensive writing retreat. Not for the faint hearted, Thesis Boot Camp recruits will battle through PhD blues, writer's block and thesis fatigue to achieve significant progress on their manuscript.

Introductory sessions will include motivational talks, goal-setting and strategies for writing quickly and well. Support staff will be on hand and catering will be provided to ensure an encouraging, distraction-free environment. Attendees will be required to complete pre-program planning activities and to commit to their own tangible aims for the two and a half days, such as completing a thesis chapter, draft or similar.

Are you up for the challenge?

Thesis Boot Camp is aimed at mid/late-stage PhD researchers. Applications will open on Wednesday 6th February and will close at 17:00 on Monday 25th February.

You can read more information about Thesis Boot Camp here. Apply using the Application form here.



1 Ticket Left!: Thinking Writing PhD Writing Retreat — Friday 22nd February 2019

An additional PhD Writing Retreat, added due to high demand. This retreat is a great opportunity to get away from campus and focus on a section of your thesis or a conference paper. The day will mostly be comprised of quiet writing time, with some discussion sessions throughout the day to reflect on how its going and sharing ideas on how to improve your writing method. There will also be opportunities for one-to-one help from the Thinking Writing facilitator.
This is a full-day retreat which takes place on campus and includes a vegetarian lunch and refreshments.


SOLD OUT: Thinking Writing PhD Writing retreat – Friday 8th March 2019

Open to first timers as well as those who have attended one of our retreats before, this writing retreat is a whole day event held off-campus which:
• gives participants a chance to work on their writing in a supportive atmosphere, 
• offers strategies to help with problems around writing research and increase productivity, and
• has optional 1-2-1 consultations with a facilitator to discuss individual’s work.
This is a full-day retreat which takes place off campus and includes a vegetarian lunch and refreshments.

Thinking Writing PhD Writing retreat – Wednesday 20th March 2019

Ideal for writers at all stages of their research, this single-day writing retreat aims to give participants the time and space to get away from everyday pressures, and to make progress on a writing project such as a thesis chapter(s) or conference paper. Another aim is to help you become more aware of your processes around writing and use this knowledge to help you work more productively.

This is a full-day retreat which takes place off campus and includes a vegetarian lunch and refreshments.


Skills Points

PhD students can accrue Skills Points for attending Thinking Writing retreats or one-to-one tutorials with the Writing and Study Guidance service. For the former, please select activity “Reading/Writing retreat” with the correct number of days (the options are half, 1 or 2 days). For the latter, please select “Learning Development 1-2-1 tutorial” from the drop-down menu for ‘Type’. If you’re unsure of how to claim these activities, there is a step-by-step guide under the Help tab on the Skills Points System website.

Writing Group

If you like the company of others when you write, you may want to sign up for our Writing Group - a group of PhD students who meet regularly in our rooms in the Mile End Library to sit down and write together. The group is non-facilitated, so no staff are present and it is up to participants how the sessions are run. If you would like to know more and/or sign up, email us ( 


If you have any questions about our events, please contact Kelly Peake or Heather Campbell