Get Good Work Out
Writing Studios are a new offering of the Undergraduate Writing Center. A Writing Studio is intended to focus on a single topic with the goal of helping faculty, graduate students, and students produce professional-level writing for publication or presentation online. A Writing Studio can continue over a long period, with stable membership, extending from a minimum of one year to as long as members want it to continue. Here is some information about how Writing Studios get established and how they function.
A Writing Studio can be sponsored by a faculty member, graduate student, or member of the community with expertise or interest in a particular area, who proposes a topic as a focus for the Studio. Any topic appropriate for writing to be published can be proposed. Students, faculty, or working professionals may apply to join a Writing Studio. The sponsor coordinates meetings and determines membership procedures. The sponsor may choose to limit membership to a specific set of faculty, graduate students, or working professionals. For example, there might be a Writing Studio just for junior faculty working on tenure publications.
Writing Studios are not intended to create an additional responsibility or burden for faculty or students: rather, the intention is to help promote good writing that needs to get out and find an audience. Through the synergy of a group with a shared interest, and the support of the UWC, we believe we can help cultivate an optimal environment and conditions for this work.
The Undergraduate Writing Center will help publicize the Writing Studio, provide support in coordinating and managing the Studio, provide technological support such as hosting email lists, blogs, web pages, and discussion forums, and also provide other services as we are able to, including making space available in the UWC as hours permit. The Writing Studios agree to allow the Undergraduate Writing Center to list and publicize Writing Studios* and the publications that result from their work.
Members meet regularly to foster inquiry, research, writing, and publications on the Writing Studio’s topic. They share what they are writing, they may collaborate to produce writing, and they provide feedback and share resources about potential publication venues for the writing produced in the group. Members agree to keep all ideas, drafts, and discussions of the Writing Studio confidential. They agree to read and respond to ongoing work of members of the Writing Studio. Other rules or guidelines may be established by individual Writing Studios.
We expect that Writing Studios typically will meet once a month, that there will be somewhere between 3 and 12 members, and that the members will produce a range of work from white papers (which may be published in the UWC White Paper series) to journal articles, conference papers, book chapters, books, or online publications.
A special subcategory of Writing Studios will be dissertation and thesis writing groups. Any graduate student may propose a Writing Studio for this purpose. These studios do not require a particular writing topic and members focus instead on writing in these special genres.
Writing Studios may feature guest speakers as appropriate. These may be resident experts in the UWC or outside experts on any topic. They may also take field trips, view media, or plan other kinds of events. Studios are intended to provide ongoing, productive support for inquiry, research, and writing in specific areas over longer time spans than a single semester. The motto of the Writing Studio initiative is "Get Good Work Out."
Some potential examples include:
- Graphic novel
- Sports writing
- Sustainability and Ecology
- Child Development
- Integral Studies
- Online Rhetoric
- Writing about Film
- Spirituality and the Workplace
- Evolutionary Finance
- Book Reviews
... and so on.
Writing Studios may prove a useful way to test topics for inclusion in a department’s curriculum or to support existing classes beyond what the conventional semester allows.
We are currently accepting proposals for Writing Studios to begin meeting this semester. Send a brief email explaining your interest in a Writing Studio topic and a bit about your background and writing aspirations for this Studio. For questions or further information, contact Peg Syverson, Director of the UWC (email@example.com).
* Writing Studios may request not to be listed; this may be appropriate for dissertation or thesis studios, for example.