School of Communication graduate students and faculty were invited to partake in a mini writing retreat to help them focus on their academic writing from January 18th-20th. Four faculty members and six graduate students were able to partake in this amazing opportunity.

What is a writing retreat, and why is it helpful?

A writing retreat is when people come together to create a “container” for writing, which helps them actually do it. While most writing retreats are at a removed location over several nights, this on-campus “mini-retreat” gave students and faculty an excellent way to jump-start their productivity for the Spring Semester. This retreat provided our students and faculty with a secure space that helped remove excuses for not being productive (e.g., I have to do laundry) and helped them focus on their writing. Strengthening their writing focus is hard work towards creating “muscle memory” for writing, so it may be easier for them to pick their pen back up more quickly in the future.

So, what exactly happens at a writing retreat?

Simply put, students and faculty write! Starting promptly at 8 am each morning, the participants met in Becket and meditated or did yoga. After a strong start, they each stated their writing objectives for the day and began to write at 8:30 am with timed breaks every 1.5 – 2 hrs. Halfway through the day, the participants came together for lunch before making their way back to write some more. At 4 pm each day, their writing came to an end, and they gathered to report on their daily accomplishments and provide feedback to one another. On the last day of the writing retreat, multiple participants completed research manuscripts and even submitted them! Graduate students also made significant progress on their dissertations and other research projects.

Kudos to all the participants! If you’re interested in partaking in a future retreat or for more information on the School of Communication’s graduate programs, please contact Graduate Director Michelle Miller-Day ( or visit