November is La Trobe's Academic Writing Month (#LTUAcWriMo)

Photo by Luz Saldaña | Unsplash

Given all of its interruptions, 2020 has been a difficult year for many academic writers. Many of us have faced disruptions to our habits, taken on new responsibilities or have made adjustments to our writing goals. Others of us might have found solace in the rich array of shut up and write groups that sprang up throughout the year, or have crept to our desks with the hope of getting lost in the page. Whatever our experience with writing in 2020, the year is not over yet! That means there is still time to hunker down with like-minded colleagues, soak up some good writing vibes, and make progress with our writing goals.

Since 2013, La Trobe's RED team has coordinated an Academic Writing Month program (or AcWriMo for short) in partnership with our friends across La Trobe campuses and with contributions from many colleagues from within La Trobe. While we know that researchers write all year round, during November we curate a special suite of opportunities for learning about, planning for, and doing academic writing. 

This year’s LTUAcWriMo kicks off on Monday 2 November with a special launch event 'Lessons from writing my thesis: Reflections from the other side' (10:30am - 12pm). Our program runs all the way through to the end of the month with our two day Turning your thesis into a book panel, masterclass and workshop. 

Between these dates there will be a fabulous assortment of special events (including workshops, panels, master classes, a photography competition, and online writing retreats) that focus attention on academic writing for La Trobe researchers. 

Here is a snapshot of our busy month ahead:

AcWriMo Launch event: Lessons from writing my thesis: Reflections from the other side
Join La Trobe folks who have recently finished their theses and Pro Vice-Chancellor (Graduate and Global Research) Professor Chris Pakes for a discussion on what lessons we learn in the final months of thesis writing and how we can take them forward with us beyond the thesis journey. Monday 2 November 10:30am-12pm. 

AcWriMo tweetchats
On Friday 30 October get your AcWriMo off on the right foot by connecting with fellow La Trobe researchers to set goals and share strategies together! This is available online through Twitter. Join us (@LTUResearchers) between 10 - 11 am on Twitter using the hashtag #LTUAcWriMo. We will also have a final tweetchat at the end of AcWriMo on Monday November 30 (10-11am). 

AcWriMo writing retreats
Since 2015, Academic Writing Month has involved writing retreats held across multiple campuses. This popular program enables you to work on your individual writing goals in a supportive environment. With the support of our colleagues across the university, we are excited to offer two writing retreats this year!

  • RED Online Writing Retreat - Wednesday 4 till Friday 6 November - Book now 
  • Albury-Wodonga Online Writing Retreat - 16-18 November. Book now

Blogging Your Research Intensive.
Learning to blog effectively brings together many great benefits such as knowing how to write in an engaging manner for broader audiences, focused networking, participating in (and leading!) conversations around your areas of expertise, and clarity around your research purpose. This intensive is comprised of 3 workshops across 3 days (from 12:30-2:30pm each day). We take you through the basics of blogging and features hands-on blog writing, planning, and the chance to discuss your ideas with experts and peers. The final workshop in the intensive looks at what happens after you have started a blog and want to share your content more widely. You’ll be helping us finalise and publish a blogpost in this session! 9-11 November 2020Book now

Journal editors – what they like and why they do what they do
Writing and publishing journal papers can be a big part of research life, and it can be frustrating to encounter the (inevitable!) rejections or major revisions. This panel of editors from a diverse range of disciplines will discuss their experiences at the helms of scholarly journals, what they like to see from submissions, what it means to do this editorial work, and why they chose to take it up. Gain some great insight and tips for a smoother publication process! 17 November, 10 - 11:30am. Book now

Turning your thesis into a book: Panel, Masterclass and Workshop (26-27 November 2020)
Books are a mainstay of research communication across a range of disciplines, but how do we go about writing them? This 2-part workshop is designed to help prospective book writers to understand the landscape for scholarly book writing and to engage in some reflection about their own publication goals. It has three components:

  • A panel of academic authors and publishing industry experts
  • A masterclass with guided workbook to help you plan your proposed publication
  • A workshop to enable interactions and discussion with peers 

This workshop is open to all La Trobe researchers, but will be particularly useful to graduate researchers and ECRs who are considering publishing their research in book form.

AcWriMo 2020 workshops
All through the month we have scheduled our standard writing workshops, as well as some special offerings. There are so many to choose from this year!  

  • How to structure your thesis (2 Nov, 12-3pm). Book now 
  • Writing with style (12 Nov, 9.30-12pm). Book now 
  • Including publications in your thesis (16 Nov, 2-3.30pm). Book now 
  • Who should be a named author on a publication? (18 Nov, 11 – 12pm). Book now
  • Writing abstracts (18 Nov, 1-1.45pm). Book now
  • Writing your literature review (19 Nov, 9.30-12.30pm). Book now
  • Finding your research story (24 Nov, 1.00-1.45pm). Book now 

The good thing about AcWriMo is that you can sign up to everything or just one or two activities - it all depends on what will help you meet your goals. 

Some entry lower threshold commitments might be joining the conversation on Twitter using #LTUAcWriMo (e.g. let us know how you are going with your goals throughout the month!). You can also read about writing strategies and experiences from La Trobe colleagues on the RED Alert blog (published every Tuesday) or come along to our weekly Shut Up and Write sessions online. If you feel that adding a bit of accountability to the mix would help, have a look at our accountability spreadsheet and set your intention. 

Whatever your writing plans for November, all the team at RED want to wish you a happy Academic Writing Month! We hope to see you at an event or two sometime soon.