TORCH Academic Writing Group
In October 2015, I established the twice-weekly TORCH Academic Writing Group, which helps PhD students and Early Career Researchers to carve out some frequent dedicated time for writing (although everyone is welcome).
Having run the group twice a week for the past year and a half, I am a strong believer in the usefulness of the writing group model, particularly in terms of writing productivity, reducing student stress and improving mental health, and promoting a sense of community and camaraderie. I published an article on my Academic Writing Group in Times Higher Education in February 2017 , including some of the informal experiments I've tried out on the group in the past year, such as setting monthly and termly goals, or using a dexterous activity (colouring in or playing with playdoh) or a sensory one (playing music) to encourage people to switch off from academic thought in the break, in order to work more effectively in the second session. You can read the article here.
See below for our weekly writing schedule and how to sign up.
The group meets on Monday afternoons (2-5pm) and Friday mornings (9.30-12.30pm) in the Radcliffe Humanities Building. There are two writing sessions in each meeting and you can come along for one or for both. Using the principles of peer support and accountability, this group can help you meet a short-term writing deadline or to work on a longer-term project. Tea, coffee, biscuits and other writing fuel are provided.
We meet in the Colin Matthew Room on the ground floor of the Radcliffe Humanities Building. Our regular schedule is:
Mondays – 2-5pm
2-2.15: Set up; share writing goals
2.15-3.30: Write! (Session 1)
3.45-5: Write! (Session 2)
Fridays – 9.30-12.30pm
9-9.45: Set up; share writing goals
9.45-11: Write! (Session 1)
11.15-12.30: Write! (Session 2)
We also have three day-long Writing Marathons a term, usually in Weeks 5, 9 and 10.
To join the mailing list, please email me (alice.kelly[at]rai.ox.ac.uk). Signing-up in advance is necessary and there is a cap of 14 people. Sign-up sheets are sent out to the mailing list every Friday at 12.30pm.
Things to note:
- This is a group designed to help provide some structured writing run by a postdoctoral fellow – it isn't a workshop or writing skills session
- Please arrive promptly in order for us to start on time
- Please arrive with everything you need in order to write (books, papers, etc)
- Please try to use this group to focus on your own writing projects, rather than any note-taking, essay marking, etc
- Please do any Facebooking, Tweeting, emailing, etc, before the group begins – we try to keep this space social media free! (Except in the break)