Image: Arlene McComas
If you would like structure and support to move you forward with your writing and scholarship, please consider joining a Faculty Writing Group. Empirical evidence shows that faculty are more productive in their research and writing when they write daily, keep track of time spent writing, and hold themselves accountable to others—and Writing Groups help you put this into practice (Boice 1989, 1997).
At this meeting, we'll explain the structure and process of Faculty Writing Groups, discuss why this process works, and organize groups.
Jointly sponsored by the Center for Faculty Development and the Office of Research Services and Sponsored Projects (ORSSP).
If you missed this fall's meeting, we will be launching another round of writing groups in the spring. Check back for more information.
It can be hard to get writing and research done for any number of reasons. One obstacle that many of us face is that we find it hard to make time for writing— juggling scholarship with our teaching responsibilities and our lives outside of Seattle U can be difficult. Others find that they can make the time, but they have trouble finding their voice or gaining confidence in that voice. It's easy to assume that writing and research come easily to everyone but you. It's not true. Many of us struggle with it.
What do we propose? We're offering a model that's been developed in the UK and that has worked well for SU faculty since 2007. It's known in the research literature as "Action Learning Sets" (McGill & Beaty 2001; Brockbank & McGill 1998). We prefer to call them "Faculty Writing Groups."
If you want to participate, you'll be working in an interdisciplinary group with 3–4 other faculty members, meeting on a monthly or bimonthly basis, setting scholarship goals, and holding one another accountable to those goals. The peers in your group will challenge and support you as you structure your time, brainstorm how to overcome obstacles, meet your deadlines, and find confidence in your voice. You'll provide the same kind of supportive challenge to them in return.
If you would like to join a Faculty Writing Group but can't attend the next informational meeting, please contact the Center for Faculty Development at firstname.lastname@example.org. Depending on the number of inquiries, we may be able to organize groups for faculty who are not able to attend the meeting.
After a long dry spell because of increased administrative duties, the Writing Group helped me stick to a writing plan and complete a manuscript within a quarter. I don't remember ever being so productive. Writing groups really help keep you focused.
The writing group has had an amazing impact on my scholarship. I have submitted a book manuscript (just submitted the final manuscript), had an article published, and started a new project this summer. The group has been a safe and supportive space to discuss the challenges of finding time for writing as well as navigating the tenure clock.
Helped me stay focused, organized, and become more productive. Having people to whom I am regularly accountable for scholarship was great. It was also wonderful to have encouragement for my work and people with whom to celebrate my successes!
Without those gentle external nudges, it would be too easy to let all of my other work take priority.