Since 2015, Academic Writing Month has culminated in a three-day writing retreat. We are delighted to offer this program again, but book in early, it is very popular and spaces are limited! (Read about Jason Murphy’s experience of attending the retreat.)
If you would like to make significant progress on your academic writing, with like-minded colleagues, then this month-long festival of writing is for you. Academic Writing Month has been developed for all researchers at all levels (including graduate researchers), at every campus and externally.
What is AcWriMo at La Trobe?
La Trobe University's Academic Writing Month (#LTUacwrimo, for short) is a month-long academic write-a-thon that takes place each November.
Academic Writing Month is part of a global program, based on the month-long, amazing, global AcWriMo activity that's taken place since 2011. The concept was created by Charlotte Frost, founder of @PhD2published. (She explains how to get the most out of AcWriMo in this blog post). If you aren’t sure about whether AcWriMo is for you, you might find this blog by the Thesis Whisperer useful: Why I changed my mind about #acwrimo.
During November, we’ll be working together to:
- Think about how we write,
- Form a valuable support network for our writing practice,
- Build better habits for the future, and
- Make progress towards our writing goals!
There are 6 basic steps:
1. Decide on your goal. You might count words, hours put in, or projects achieved – it’s up to you. Make it a goal that challenges you, as you have a whole focused month and a lot of support!
Think about making the goal SMART: aim for ‘I will carve out 2 hours a week to write’ or ‘I will spend 30 hours a day, and complete 250 new words in that time, Mon-Friday, Nov 1-21’, rather than ‘I will finish a chapter in November’.
To help you develop towards your goal we will be offering:
- A weekly newsletter with advice, encouragement and news in your inbox, every Monday. Sign up here.
- Blog posts about writing strategies and experiences from La Trobe colleagues here on RED Alert every Tuesday.
- Workshop: Adventures in Writing, 1 November (Bundoora) with award winning writer and teacher Emeritus Professor Richard Broome.
- Research Integrity Forum — Authorship and Publishing panel 16 November (Bundoora and VC), led by some of the university’s research leaders, including DVC (Research) Professor Keith Nugent.
- Workshops: Super Writing Circle (Bendigo) and Reading and Writing for Research (Bundoora).
If you loved the accountability spreadsheet, it will be back.
3. Draft a strategy. Now is the time to think about any reading or experiments you need to get finished, and to block time out in your diary for November to actually spend time writing. Writing groups can be a really helpful way to achieve this (as Priscilla Ennals, Carmel Hobbs and Ingrid Wilson found, in their AcWriMo blog post.).
To help you, book these joint writing sessions in your diary now:
- On every campus: Come along to weekly Shut Up and Write sessions.
- Special combined All Campus Shut Up and Write session on 8 November 9.30am -12 noon. Join the Shut Up and Write groups based at every campus, and connected by video conference. (Rooms are listed on the LTUacwrimo web page.)
- Writing Retreat 27-29 November. Put aside three days’ time and space to focus on an individual writing project in a supportive environment, at the John Scott Meeting House. Includes quiet writing spaces, pomodoros, writing workshops, yoga, fully catered. (Read about the retreat and book your place on our RED Retreat web page).UPDATE: Retreat is now fully booked--email the RED team to secure a place on the waiting list.
- Mildura: Daily Shut Up and Write Monday-Thursday 9-12 (includes workshops on Endnote, grants and a campus collective research project). (Contact Evelien Spelten)
- Shepparton: Writing Retreat 13 November (Contact Claire Quilliam)
- Albury-Woodonga: ‘Magpies and cable-ties’ research productivity strategy for spring: Working towards a research productive November, a structured program of research-protective activities. (Contact Jennifer Jones).
5. Keep up the momentum. Keep going for the full month. If you fail to meet your goals one day, get sick, or have to deal with an emergency, don’t give up. Also, don’t get complacent when you’ve had a great first week. AcWriMo is a marathon not a sprint, and the hare and the tortoise, both have a chance to get over the finishing line!
6. Declare your results. Tell us about your achievements via the #LTUacwrimo Twitter hashtag, come along to our closing celebration on 30 November, or find your own way to celebrate your successes.
And don’t stop there! While LTUacwrimo only lasts for a month, think about what strategies, support networks or techniques worked for you, and plan to integrate them into December, January, and the academic year ahead.
You can read all the posts from the last 5 years about AcWriMo. Learn what worked for La Trobe researchers and benefit from their experience and advice as you make your own writing goals for this year!