Graduate Writing Retreats

The UWC offers free, full-day retreats where graduate writers can focus on quiet, sustained writing together.

Retreats take place in the University Writing Center (2.330) on the first floor of the PCL one Saturday a month (or Friday in the summer session) from 10am-5pm. During this time, you will be provided with resources to support you in your writing goals, including access to computers and optional meetings with graduate writing consultants. We encourage you to turn off cellphones, disable any distracting technology and schedule the day in order to allow the most time to work on your writing.

photo of students writing at the writing center

Upcoming Retreats

Click on the dates below to sign up for our retreats!

September 28

October 26

November 16

December 7

What grad students are saying about UWC writing retreats:

"It's a great place for me to focus, distractions are limited, and I know I have resources and snacks nearby. Being around other students feverishly working is also motivating."
"Quiet study space; being around like-minded people quietly working motivated me; great coffee."
"I liked having a dedicated quiet space in the library with other students like myself."

How to Prepare

Take time to consider your goals for the day. How can you make the best possible use of this time for yourself? For example, do you hope to finish a project for an upcoming deadline, re-open an old paper you’ve been putting off, or take time to free-write about a new idea? Participants in past retreats report that they feel most productive when they begin by setting a specific intention.

photo of students at writing center

What to Bring

Bring your own lunch, snacks, and drinks. The UWC will provide regular coffee and light snacks, and you’re welcome to brew your own decaf coffee or use our hot water kettles to make your own tea. All retreat participants are welcome to use our break room and kitchenette, which includes a refrigerator and microwave. Lunch options are available in Jester Hall, right across Speedway Ave. from the PCL.

Bring writing materials! If you’re using a laptop, consider charging it before the retreat or bringing an extension cord so that you’ll have more options for seating (not all of our tables have outlets). You’re also welcome to use one of the UWC’s desktop computers.

Bring a sweater (it’s chilly in here!), headphones, and anything that will help you get comfortably settled in for a full day’s work. The PCL has a limited supply of headphones available for checkout at their front desk.

This retreat is free and open to all UT graduate students, so your friends and colleagues are welcome!

Questions & Concerns

Retreats run from 10am to 5pm. The PCL opens to non-staff members at 10, so we will take a few minutes to arrive and settle in before writing begins at 10:15. During the retreat, writers work together for six 45-minute blocks of quiet sustained writing time, divided by short optional breaks.
We’ll meet in the UWC, located in PCL 2.330, with additional space right around the corner in Learning Lab 1 and Learning Lab 2. From the front entrance of the PCL, walk past the checkout desks and elevators, then turn left twice.
Yes! Feel free to bring friends and colleagues who are current UT graduate students. Seating is first-come, first-serve, so we suggest arriving promptly at the retreat start time if you’d like to claim a table to share with a group of friends. Faculty members are also welcome to attend UWC writing retreats; we ask that faculty members please contact to let us know that they’ll be attending.
Feel free to join us even if you cannot attend for the full day. If you need to enter or leave the retreat outside of our scheduled breaks, please be mindful of other writers by moving as quietly as possible.
No, the UWC does not assign writing projects or activities during the retreat. This is your time to work on any piece of writing that’s important to you, such as a term paper, Master’s project, proposal, job application, dissertation chapter, or personal writing project. We provide optional goal-setting worksheets to help you structure your time, plus optional meeting with consultants to discuss your writing concerns.
The UWC will provide sign-up sheets for optional one-on-one writing consultations with our peer graduate consultants throughout the day. These are short 15-minute meetings to check in, move past writing blocks, and plan next steps; your consultant can also help you to schedule a full-length 45-minute consultation with us during the UWC’s regular business hours. During the retreat, we will also provide goal-setting worksheets, handbooks, and other resources to help you with writing and revision.
We ask that all writers show respect and support for each other by remaining quiet throughout our designated writing times. Please keep phones on silent and step outside of the retreat space for conversations. If you feel distracted by noise near your work space, please let a UWC staff member know.
The UWC’s fixed budget enables us to provide regular coffee and a limited selection of snacks (fruit and trail mix). Additional food and drinks are donated by the retreat leaders, consultants, and participants. As stated in the “What to Bring” section above, we encourage writers to bring your own lunch, decaf coffee, tea, and other beverages. All retreat participants are welcome to use our kitchenette, Keurig coffee maker, and hot water kettle.