November is Academic Writing Month!

Join us for WriteFest19

WriteFest is an annual event established as a way to support academic writing via the #AcWriMo hashtag on Twitter.  As part of our contribution to this global event, the LDC Development Team will be running writing events throughout the month of November, with the aim of bringing people together to raise awareness and celebrate academic writing.

The programme of events will consist of a series of workshops and webinars to help you write and four writing retreats to provide you with the time and space to write. We encourage all academics, research staff, and research students to join in the write-a-thon.

WriteFest19 is a collaboration with the Universities of Sheffield, Manchester, Liverpool, Exeter, Bristol, Kings College London, Keele, Sheffield Hallam, Newcastle, Derby and Adelaide.  The festival aims to provide protected time and space for writing to help you work on:

How to Get Involved

  1. Start by searching for #AcWriMo on Twitter for inspiration and tips from fellow contributors.
  2. Use the #AcWriFest19 hashtag to share your progress with other researchers at Liverpool and across other UK Universities.
  3. Book onto one of our workshops or webinars to learn new skills and gain advice.
  4. Join us during our WriteFest Writing Retreats to put your learning into practice and keep yourself motivated through peer support.

Writing Retreats

To attend a writing retreat, choose the ones(s) that best suit your schedule and book your place through Eventbrite. Then, simply bring your laptop, or a pen and some paper, and get writing! This one-minute video outlines what the retreat sessions will, and won’t involve.

This year, we are hosting four weekly two-hour writing retreats for up to 24 people.  The retreats provides protected writing time for you to accomplish your academic writing goals. We sit together in a room and use peer accountability to help us avoid the distractions of email, social media, the internet, impending meetings, tea making, paperclip sorting, desk cleaning, lab work, or any other procrastination techniques you’ve been employing in your everyday working practice.

Please arrive in plenty of time, and stay for the full session.

Don’t forget to bring cables, chargers, adaptors and any other accessories to help keep you writing without disruptions.

**BOOKING IS ESSENTIAL**

WriteFest19 programme of events

Date & Time Event
04 November
12:30-13:30
Webinar: Research Writing: Finding Motivation and making a Start
05 November
10:00-12:00
WriteFest Retreat
11 November
12:30-13:30
Webinar: Research Writing: Producing an Academic Document
12 November
14:00-16:00
WriteFest Retreat
18 November
12:30-13:30
Webinar: Research Writing: Managing the Editing Process
20 November
10:00-12:00
WriteFest Retreat
26 November
9:30-12:30
Writing a Scientific Article
26 November
13:30-16:30
Get going on your thesis
29 November
10:00-12:00
WriteFest Retreat

Resources

Our website has a wide range of guides and resources to explore.  You may wish to start with our Communication: Writing theme webpage: https://www.liverpool.ac.uk/pgr-development/themes/writing/

Writing retreat facilitator’s guide: You may also be interested in running your own writing retreats, and to help with this the Think Ahead team at Sheffield University have put together a guide to give you an idea of how to structure and facilitate the event. If you run a retreat during November, please let us know!

Articles about Academic Writing: WriteFest founder Dr. Kay Guccione has also collected articles and blogs about writing on Scoop It!

Writing for publication with Jen Allanson

Writing a Scientific Article – May 7th – 9:30-12:30

Getting your Work Published – May 7th – 13:30-16:30

Many PhD students will be looking to publish their first journal paper as part of their PhD, but how to get that first paper published can be a bit of a mystery. That’s why we have invited Jen Allanson to come and deliver two workshops for us on Writing a Scientific Article and Getting your Work Published. In preparation for these workshops, we asked Jen to tell us a little bit about herself and her motivation for developing these workshops:

When I was doing my PhD, it was clear that publishing was an important part of the process. I often heard the academic mantra “Publish or Perish.” But it never resonated with me. What did inspire me to write was seeing my colleagues jet off all over the world to attend conferences. It seemed that I could travel the world, at the department’s expense, if I wrote publishable-quality papers. That motivated me!

I still remember the thrill of seeing my name in print for the first time. It was in the proceedings of Collaborative Virtual Environments 98, a small conference held in Manchester (not the jet-set life I’d envisioned, but a start). I was the 4th named author on the paper. I hadn’t written a word of it. But I had built the software that the work was based upon. Lots of influential researchers from my field were at that conference. And at coffee breaks and lunches I asked people about their work (always a good strategy) and, in turn, talked my own. I hadn’t realised how important it was to air my ideas beyond the comfort of the supervisory context. I started to gain a clearer understanding of how my ideas fit within the larger research context.

In the following 12 months I was published three more times. With each publication I grew in confidence. In my final year I got my first journal publication. The Head of Department called me into his office to congratulate me. I felt like something had changed. I didn’t feel like a student any more. And being published gave me great confidence when it came time for my viva.

Learning how to write well, and to navigate review and publication systems, has been hugely beneficial. When I applied for my first academic job, the interviewers were very interested in my publications and collaborations. And since leaving academia I’ve met amazing people and been presented with many opportunities because of these skills.

This is why I love to run the Writing for Publication events. Mastery of these core communication skills will open unimaginable doors in your future. And it gives me great pleasure to help you gain practical knowledge and insight into these important processes.

Writing a Scientific Article – May 7th – 9:30-12:30

Getting your Work Published – May 7th – 13:30-16:30

Summer writing retreats

Dates have been set for this year’s summer writing retreats. We have two retreats planned, both are two full days of dedicated writing time.

Thursday 13th – Friday 14th June & Monday 8th -Tuesday 9th July

Apply now for your place in one of the writing retreats
How much of your thesis could you get done in two days?

row of students writing
PGRs getting the thesis done at the last Summer Writing Retreat

“It got me focused with no distractions and write something down within the short time. Outside the writing retreat, I spend much more time to complete the same task”

“The pressure of other people writing and being quiet really helped me focus.”

It enabled me to work better on my writing tasks as I had peers around me doing the same in a quiet and conducive environment.

Finding time for writing can be a challenge for most writers, so many other things can take priority in the moment. The popularity of our regular mini writing retreats are evidence that PGRs are no different. The writing retreats provide protected time for writing in a supportive atmosphere, and by signing up you make yourself accountable to someone else to make sure the writing actually happens.

Our regular writing retreats are there to help you build a regular writing practice. These short sessions show you how much you can really get done in a few hours or even just a 25 minute session. Yet sometimes we really need more sustained writing time to really make progress. The occasional 25 minutes or half day here and there is great for keeping a writing project progressing, but occasionally a longer period is needed to make a big leap forward.

That is why we are hosting two 2-day writing retreats this summer: 13-14 June and 8-9 July. These will be two full days of sustained writing, with no distractions. We supply the venue, food and drink to fuel your writing and motivation to keep you going. You need to come prepared to do the writing. Think how much of your thesis you could get done in two days of solid concentration!

To apply for a place on one of these retreats, please complete the on-line application form. Spaces are limited so priority will be given to those who have a clear plan for the writing they will accomplish during the retreat.

Closing date for applications is 5pm on Monday 20th May
Please note that no late applications will be accepted!
Applicants will be notified of the outcome during week of 27 May.

WriteFest18 recap – what comes next?

November and WriteFest18 is already starting to seem like a very long time ago. With the holiday season now just around the corner, it is time to take a moment to reflect on what we achieved and to look ahead to the new year and to keeping up that writing momentum.

The month of November is internationally referred to as Academic Writing Month and WriteFest18 was planned as a way of celebrating and encouraging academic writing across campus. We had a wide range of workshops, webinars and writing retreats on offer, hosted by the LDC Development team and by the Researcher KnowHow team. All events proved very popular, and it was particularly exciting to see how many of you engaged with the writing retreats and shut-up-and-write sessions. There was a real writing buzz in the air!

A key message from Academic Writing Month is the importance of regular and frequent writing practice. Writing is a skill that takes time and dedication to develop, but often finding the time and motivation can be challenging. This is where writing retreats or shut-up-and-write sessions can be helpful. They provide dedicated time and space for writing, and peer motivation to keep your productivity up. But don’t just take my word for it, listen to what your colleagues said about it:

“It got me focused with no distractions and write something down within the short time. Outside the writing retreat, I spend much more time to complete the same task”

“It enabled me to work better on my writing tasks as I had peers around me doing the same in a quiet and conducive environment.”

“The pressure of other people writing and being quiet really helped me focus. I got some proposals done and journal entry I had put off and I felt so productive after.”

And now that WriteFest18 is officially over, how will you keep the momentum up? Keep an eye out for more writing retreats in the new year. Writing retreats and academic writing workshops coming up are listed on our programme. And consider other ways to practice your writing – why not join a writing course? We have an online course starting in February, focused on writing for a wider audience.

Communicating research online: writing for a wider audience

Online course: 11th Feb – 8th April 2019

Are you looking early experience of publishing through an article to the University News, to communicate to other postgraduate researchers and undergraduates, or publishing more widely in ‘The Conversation’?  Are you interested in an opportunity to gain real practice in a peer review process?

This online course  offers a supportive and encouraging forum to share your research and network with other researchers, whilst preparing an article for wider circulation. Through regular practice and supportive feedback you can  further develop your writing skills and new ways to communicate your research and gain a wider impact. This course will last 8 weeks, with a recommended contribution of just one to two hours per week to gain most benefit

‘ … the feedback is invaluable, it’s great to hear how other people perceive my work, and how I can improve. ’ participant 2017.

Further information and registration

WriteFest 2018 – a month of writing related events

WriteFest was established as a way to support academic writing via the #AcWriMo hashtag on Twitter. During November 2018, the LDC Development team will be running WriteFest in collaboration with the Researcher KnowHow team at the library. This is our local contribution to this global academic writing month, with the aim of bringing people together to raise awareness and celebrate academic writing.

At the start of the month, we have a very special one-off event lined up – Writing Without Discipline, a creative look at developing sustained writing habits. We will continue to build that writing habit throughout the month with regular writing retreats, workshops and webinars to keep your motivation up. For the full programme of events, check out the WriteFest18 website. Join the writing fun, in person and online at #WriteFest18

Writing Without Discipline – Tuesday 6 Nov 10:00 – 12:00
In this interactive workshop, we combine video and face-to-face facilitation to help you get to grips with creative writing methods and techniques to build writing into your daily routine. The workshop will provide a framework for understanding how writing is constructed, discuss tools you can use to approach your writing and help you to think creatively about your writing habits.

Whether you are at the early stages of your PhD or in the final phase of thesis writing, this workshop will help you develop techniques to sustain your writing practice through academic writing month and beyond.

The workshop is facilitated by Dr Matthew Cheeseman, Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of Derby (on video) and Dr Eli Saetnan, Academic Developer at University of Liverpool (in person).

row of students writing

 

How is your thesis writing going?

row of students writingIt is the start of the academic year, summer is over and the University is again buzzing with students. For us in the LDC Development team, this is an exciting time of year. We have a great new programme of workshops and webinars lined up and are looking forward to meeting lots of interesting PGRs, both familiar faces and new.

Many of us find it difficult to keep up the motivation for writing during a busy academic year. You may have teaching responsibilities to manage, or you may be busy with experiments or data collection. Or maybe just the long nights and gloomy days are getting you down. Joining a community of writers to share both successes and frustrations, and cheer each other on can help.

For our programme this academic year, we have added even more support for thesis writing. Based on the success of our summer writing retreats, we have added a series of monthly mini writing retreats. These are a great way of keeping your thesis writing (or other writing) progressing through the year. They provide time and space for writing, but crucially also moral support and motivation to keep writing. If you have never attended a writing retreat before, and are not sure what to expect, check out this brief video: https://spark.adobe.com/video/1V64D

The first mini writing retreat is scheduled for 24th October. Follow this link for details and booking: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/mini-writing-retreat-registration-49939016944

And if you like the idea of writing retreats, check out the programme for WriteFest18. During November, also known as Academic Writing Month, we will have writing retreats scheduled every week along with a full programme of writing related workshops – a veritable Festival of Writing!

WriteFest 2018

Postgraduate Researcher Week –25-29 June 2018

Postgraduate Researcher Week is a University-wide event that offers a variety of sessions running throughout the five days, 25-29 June 2018

Full list of Events

All events take place on Liverpool Campus, with the exception of the two Writing Retreats (26th and 27th June).

The planned events  cover a wide range of subjects and offers many opportunities for networking with other PGRs. We have two events led by postgraduate researchers:

Improvisation in the workplace – a tool for research  – 9:30-12:30  26th June
– a new event to help you explore improvisation techniques to help you make decisions on the spot and under time pressure. The event aims to be both enjoyable and provide confidence and team-building skills.

Support for PGRs – Have Your Say!2-3:30 pm 27th June  – an informal group discussion on the challenges involved in doing a PhD, to explore options for creating peer support groups in the coming year. All PGRs are welcome to come to  room 4 of the Faculty suite, Central Teaching hub – please register to receive an email reminder.

Further sessions in Researcher week include:

  • Introductory events for those new to the University;
  • Popular sessions from previous researcher weeks covering  ‘How to work with your Supervisor‘, ‘Planning your Final Year’,  ‘Viva Survivor’ and guidance to help you develop Evidence reviews;
  • A session on ‘Writing Targeted Grant Proposals’;
  • A visit from the library and talks on data access and Liverpool elements;
  • A tour of the Guild.

Find out more and register on the LDC Intranet site

Connect with us at #ldcpgrweek.

LDC Development Programme for February/March 2018

All our workshops are now open for registration up to the end of March. These include a range of webinars and short workshops covering writing and presentation skills, careers preparation as well as a begin of our new series on Design Thinking.

For new PGRs (or those who missed workshop last term)

Introduction to the Research Environment 27-Feb 09:15 – 16:30

 Developing your written skills

Webinar: Research Writing – maintaining motivation for your writing 05-Mar 12:30 – 13:30
Webinar: Research Writing – communicating your research effectively 12-Mar 12:30 – 13:30
BiteSize Thesis: format & structure – full booked 08-Mar 14:00 – 16:00
BiteSize Thesis: edit for clarity 13-Mar 14:00 – 16:00
BiteSize Thesis: read, write, repeat 27-Mar 14:00 – 16:00
BiteSize Thesis: overcoming writer’s block 29-Mar 14:00 – 16:00
Webinar: Writing for ‘The Conversation’ – for PhD researchers
– led by PhD Researchers sharing their experience
22 March 12:30 – 13:30

Developing your presentation skills

Preparing Poster Presentations 01-Mar 12:30 – 15:30
Webinar: Enhancing your Research Presentations 1; defining your message 19-Mar 12:30 – 13:30
Webinar: Enhancing your Research Presentations 2, delivery 26-Mar 12:30 – 13:30

Developing your creative confidence

Design Thinking Studio 1: Empathy and Defining the Problem 28-Feb 13:00 – 16:30
Design Thinking Studio 2: Ideate and Rapid Prototyping 14-Mar 13:00 – 16:30

Developing your research productivity

Webinar: Introduction to Facilitation
– Part of the Development Tutor Scheme.
21 March 12:30 – 13:30
Public Engagement Incubator 07-Mar 13:00 – 16:30

 Preparing for your career

Developing Networking Skills 28-Feb 09:15 – 12:30
Webinar: Developing effective CVs and Applications 28-Feb 13:30 – 14:30
Making an Impact in Work 07-Mar 09:30 – 12:30
Webinar: Effective Interview Skills 07-Mar 13:30 – 14:30
Making Academic Applications 08-Mar 09:15 – 12:30

Please follow the above links for further details or see the LDC Development Timetable.

Postgraduate Researcher Week – 12- 16 March 2018

Postgraduate Researcher Week offers a variety of sessions running throughout the five days, 12 – 16 March, and are open to all PGR students at the University.

Full list of Events

All events take place on Liverpool Campus (various locations)

The planned events    cover a wide range of subjects and offers many opportunities for networking with other PGRs. the sessions include:

  • Introductory events for those new to the University;
  • Development workshops for those in their first year, including, ‘Your Thesis: why you should start your writing now!’, ‘Getting started with academic writing’, ‘How to work with your Supervisor ‘ and guidance to help you develop Evidence reviews;
  • Guidance on ‘Stress and mental health for postgraduate students’;
  • The talk: ‘Achieving Nirvana on stage: How to deliver a great talk’;
  • LDC development events including a new ‘Design Thinking’ workshop;
  • Sessions for those in the later sages of their PhD, including ‘Planning your Final Year’, ‘Thesis writing morning’, ‘Viva Survivor’ and the Thesis submission through Liverpool Elements;
  • Opportunities to take time out with a range of musical events, and other sessions, including gardening.

Find out more and register on the LDC Intranet site

Connect with us at #ldcpgrweek.

Developing your Academic Writing

Autumn is here and nights are drawing in. With wind and rain outside, this is a perfect time to get on with writing. Whether you are working on thesis chapters, annual reports, manuscripts for publication or any other academic writing, we have support available for you. Just follow the links below to book your place.

Overcoming Writer’s Block – 18 October
All writers have times when they get stuck, when the words don’t seem to flow and you feel frustrated. New on our programme this year, is a workshop to help you overcome this Writer’s Block. The workshop is led by Dr. Alan Greaves who has extensive experience both as a psychotherapist and an academic writer. The workshop offers solution based ideas and discussion in an informal and confidential setting, giving you the tools to overcome blocks and make progress on your writing.

Overcoming Writer’s Block with Dr. Alan Greaves – 18 October

Academic Writing Group – starting 16 October
Often we know we should be writing, but there just never seems to be a good time to do so. Too many other distractions get in the way. The Academic Writing Group sessions are designed to give you the time and space to further develop your writing practice in a supportive setting. Here a group of academic writers, from novice to expert, come together to share ideas and to write, providing peer support for each other. By being part of a community of academic writers, you can build your confidence as a writer. The group meetings are held twice per month, starting on 16th October.

First meeting – 16 October

BiteSize Thesis
If your PhD thesis is at the forefront of your mind, why not check out our BiteSize thesis writing sessions. Hosted by Dr. Eli Saetnan, this series of brief workshops will guide you through specific aspects of thesis writing including thesis structure, editing for clarity, making the most of your reading, and being a productive thesis writer. Workshops include brief presentations by Eli along with opportunities for you to practice some of the aspects discussed.

Thesis format and structure – 17 October
Edit for clarity – 19 October
Read, write, repeat – 24 October
Overcoming writer’s block – 26 October

Webinars
Sometimes all you need is some advice and guidance to get started and a chance to discuss options with fellow PGRs. In that case, check out our upcoming webinars where Dr. Shirley Cooper discusses developing your writing practice from initial notes to final editing and advice on writing for publication. The webinars combine a brief presentation by Shirley with a chance to ask questions and discuss options with fellow participants.

Maintaining motivation for your writing – 20 November
Communicating your research effectively – 27 November

Thesis Writing for International Students
These sessions are hosted by the English Language Centre and include analysis of text as well as exercises designed to develop your vocabulary and grammatical accuracy. For more information on these sessions, get in touch with the English Language Centre.