Registration is closed for this event
November 26th, 2021 9:30 AM through  1:10 PM
Online event - link will be provided
(Members must login to book their free place)
Event Fee(s)
Member Price £ 0.00
Guest Price £ 75.00

Facilitator: Dr Marcella Sutcliffe

The aim of this virtual writing retreat is to use dedicated writing time to progress our writing projects. This is a supportive, non-surveillance environment. We use most of the time for writing, all of us in the same ‘virtual’ room. Brief scheduled discussions before and between writing slots assist goal setting and re-setting, generate solutions to writing problems, aid focus and assist productivity. Benefits of (virtual) writing retreats include: adding to our writing practice structure and supportive mindful breaks. We also have optional virtual ‘tea rooms’ at break.

At writing retreats we focus on progressing a range of writing projects and produce a range of written outputs: PhD chapters, books, conference abstracts, journal articles and research proposals. Significant outcomes include growing research-oriented conversations and relationships, building confidence in writing, improving the quality of publications and creating cross-disciplinary research conversations. For these reasons, and with these outcomes in mind, regular attendance of residential structured writing retreats can be beneficial. Structure and routines can be consolidated by attending writing groups, workshops and micro-groups on campus as well as other settings.

The Writing Retreat works best when you
• Focus exclusively on writing.
• Agree not to use email/social media during writing slots.
• Define specific goals and sub-goals, i.e. sections of paper/chapter, no. of words.
• Define and discuss content and structure for writing sub-goals.
• Take stock of your achievements of these goals throughout the day.
• Discuss your writing-in-progress – mutual peer support.
• Adhere punctually to the timetable.

Before the Virtual Writing Retreat
• Decide on a writing project. Do reading and other preparation.
• Review the Virtual Writing Retreat Timetable (on next page).
• Get notes, plans, outlines etc. together.
• Download what you need, rather than use wifi.

Writing Retreat Timetable


Introductions, writing warm up, setting goals (1/2 hour)


Writing session (1 1/2 hour)


Break (1/2 hour) (includes mindful session and ‘accountability session’ with optional breakout room chat)


Writing session (1 hour)


Feedback/ Plans

Dr Marcella Sutcliffe is a Fellow at the Royal Historical Society and a Life Member at Clare Hall, University of Cambridge. Having worked as supervisor within the Faculty of History at the University of Cambridge, she subsequently trained as Academic Writing Retreat Facilitator, largely adopting Rowena Murray’s writing retreat model. Since 2017 she has been organising and facilitating residential writing retreats at Chapelgarth estate (North Yorkshire), for academics and postgraduate students from a number of UK HE institutions. Marcella also regularly runs writing retreats for the Society for Research into Higher Education. Trained as a cultural historian, she has published a monograph (Royal Historical Society), has written numerous journal articles and book chapters on the history of education, and has been guest editor of the History of Education journal. Marcella has been running regular Virtual Writing Retreats since April 2020, delivering them weekly to Doctoral Training Partnerships and is currently co-editing a book on the benefits of writing retreats on wellbeing.

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