Graduate Writing Groups


The best writers know that writing is a social activity. By facilitating writing groups, the UWC creates communities of academic writers who provide accountability, encouragement and feedback to each other.

Sign up for spring!

The UWC offers two 7-week cycles of graduate writing groups in Spring 2017. Registration for Cycle 1 groups (January-March 10) is now closed. Online registration for Cycle 2 groups will open at 12:00 pm (noon) on Wednesday, March 1. Full descriptions and schedules will be posted at that time.

The deadline for Cycle 2 registration is March 8. Group size is limited to 8 members, and registration is first-come, first-serve, so we encourage you to register as early as possible! Cycle 2 groups will meet from March 20 through May 5.

Meeting Times


  • Groups meet weekly in the UWC (PCL 2.330) for one hour.
  • Groups meet for seven weeks. The next cycle meets from March 20 through May 5.
  • Since the purpose of a writing group is to provide consistent support and accountability, we ask that writers commit to attending weekly meetings for the full seven weeks. If you need to miss a meeting, please email your fellow group members in advance. Writers who repeatedly arrive over 10 minutes late, or who miss more than 2 meetings, will be asked to leave the group.
  • If you are interested in working together with other graduate writers outside of the UWC’s formal weekly writing groups, please contact Sara Saylor (sarasaylor@gmail.com) for suggestions. If our group meeting times aren’t a good fit for your schedule, you’re always welcome to join us for a Saturday retreat or schedule a consultation for one-on-one writing support.

Group Descriptions


We offer a variety of writing groups. When choosing a group, consider these questions: What kind of project do you want to focus on? How much time can you commit to reading and writing exercises between sessions? What kind of support would best meet your needs: quiet writing time, feedback on drafts, and/or structured writing instruction?

Recommended for: All graduate students.

Description: 10 minutes of accountability check-ins, 50 minutes of quiet sustained writing. Participants are welcome to stay and continue writing after the group’s official end time.

Requirements: Attend each meeting and commit to focusing only on writing.

Recommended for: All graduate students.

Description: Participants work in pairs and small groups to exchange constructive comments on each other’s drafts. A UWC facilitator provides guidance on how to give and receive effective feedback.

Requirements: Submit 3-5 pages of new writing per week. Provide timely, constructive feedback on your peers’ drafts.

Recommended for: Graduate students at the dissertation stage (those who have completed and defended their dissertation proposals).

Description: 10 minutes of accountability check-ins, 20 minutes of guided discussion, and 30 minutes of sustained writing. Each week, the group discusses one specific aspect of the dissertation writing process, such as: organizing your literature review, managing citations and research, writing your abstract, responding to other scholars’ claims, and explaining your project’s contributions to your field.

Requirements: Submit an abstract of your dissertation to the group facilitator. Complete weekly reading assignments and writing exercises in advance of each meeting (a 1-2 hour time commitment).

Note: This writing group requires a semester-long commitment. It will meet from Jan 23 through April 17.

Recommended for: Graduate students who plan to submit an article for publication this spring. Participants must begin with a preliminary draft; this may be a completed paper or thesis chapter that you plan to revise into an article.

Description: 10 minutes of accountability check-ins, 20 minutes of guided discussion, and 30 minutes of sustained writing. Each week, the group discusses one specific aspect of the article writing process, such as: choosing a journal, organizing evidence in support of your argument, responding to other scholars’ claims, and explaining the significance of your findings.

Requirements:

  1. Purchase the group’s required textbook, Wendy Laura Belcher’s Writing Your Journal Article in Twelve Weeks, before our first meeting. Used copies are available on Amazon for $50.
  2. Submit a preliminary article draft to sarasaylor@gmail.com by January 16.
  3. Complete weekly assignments in advance of each meeting (a 1-2 hour time commitment).
Recommended for: Graduate students for whom English is not a first language.

Description: 30 minutes of guided discussion and 30 minutes of focused writing exercises. Each week, participants will discuss common concerns for multilingual writers, including: attributing material to your sources using MLA, Chicago, or APA citation styles; learning to revise your own writing by identifying patterns of error in grammar and usage; and structuring paragraphs according to academic writing conventions in the US.

Requirements: Complete weekly reading assignments and writing exercises in advance of each meeting (a 1-2 hour time commitment).