Writing Retreats

Formerly known as "Boot Camps", writing retreats are sponsored by the Writing, Speaking, and Argument Program with support from the Dean of Graduate Studies.

Writing Retreats are structured writing sessions where we provide the space, snacks, and strategy-based support so that you can focus solely on writing. 

Writing Retreats offer:

  • Guidance for creating individualized writing plans
  • Support for managing writing goals
  • Accountability to your writing process
  • A sense of community with other writers
  • Quiet, dedicated space to write

Writing Retreat Materials:

Tutors are also available during retreats to:

  • Offer feedback on your writing
  • Discuss your writing process
  • Provide a sounding board for ideas
  • Help you maintain steady progress toward your writing goals

Writing Retreats are held over the summer and throughout the academic year, and can last anywhere from three to five days (typical writing sessions last between three and four hours).

Writing Retreat FAQ

What is a Writing Retreat?

Writing Retreats provide a dedicated time and space for your writing. Please note: We do not assign writing or give lectures on writing. You work on a self-selected writing project. While writing consultants are available to talk with you about your individual writing project, writing sessions are fairly independent, and you will spend most of the time working on your own writing project. At the start and end of sessions, you will share your writing goals and progress with a small group to help hold you accountable to making progress.

Who are Writing Retreats for?

Writing Retreats are designed for University of Rochester graduate students from Arts, Sciences and Engineering who are working on graduate-level academic writing, such as dissertations, MA theses, dissertation proposals, papers for publication, etc. 

What kind of support is offered?

In addition to having a quiet space, writing supplies, and snacks, you also have the option to schedule an individual appointment with a Writing Consultant during the hours of the Writing Retreat. All of our consultants are trained to work with writing from across the disciplines. 

In keeping with the policies and principles of the Writing, Speaking, and Argument Program, consultants cannot provide editing or proofreading services, but they can discuss your writing project and process with you and share writing strategies useful to your work. For example, consultant sessions might include discussions about:

  • Strategies for project management, including time management, setting reasonable short-term and long-term goals, recognizing progress, and creating action plans that help you meet writing and revision goals
  • Planning strategies, such as outlining, freewriting, and other pre-writing activities
  • Strategies for effective literature reviews or abstracts
  • Strategies for writing effective introductions or conclusions
  • Organizational strategies
  • Self-editing strategies
  • Revision techniques

How do I prepare?

Just show up with your materials! Writers at any stage of the writing process are welcome to join. Whether you have a course paper or are working on final edits for a dissertation, simply come with the materials you need to make progress on your project (e.g., a laptop, reference materials, your research, etc.).

Why not just write alone?

Students that have participated in Writing Retreats have reported making greater progress toward their writing goals. Accountability to, and being surrounded by, a group of peers helps writers to stay focused and motivated.