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Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Writing’s Student Writing Support (SWS) Dissertation Writing Retreat

Writing’s Student Writing Support (SWS) Dissertation Writing Retreat

Thanks to generous support from the Graduate School, the Center for Writing’s Student Writing Support (SWS) program offers a free annual Dissertation Writing Retreat each summer. In the retreat, fifteen dissertation writers from across the University gather in 15 Nicholson Hall for three weeks of concentrated dissertation-writing time in a supportive group setting. This year’s retreat will be held Mondays through Thursdays, May 22–June 8 (no session on Monday, May 29, Memorial Day). The deadline for applications is 5 p.m. Central time on Friday, April 7. Please see application details later in this letter,

Retreat Expectations and Activities
Participants in the retreat...
  • do focused, sustained work on their dissertations in scheduled blocks of writing time
  • have access to one-with-one meetings with experienced Student Writing Support
  • participate in brief warm-up activities designed to facilitate writing
  • pledge not to use the internet or email during the hours of the retreat
  • participate in three Tuesday lunch discussions on issues and strategies related to
    dissertation writing
  • participate in two 15-minute assessments of the program during the course of the retreat
    (to help make the retreat as useful as possible for current and future participants)
  • have no other teaching or research responsibilities during May Term
Writing Retreat Location and Schedule
  • If you are selected, you will gather with other retreat participants Mondays through Thursdays, May 22–June 8 (no session on Monday, May 29, Memorial Day), from 9:00 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. in 15 Nicholson Hall, which also houses a computer lab. Coffee, tea, and healthy snacks will be available. We will break for lunch from 12:15–1:15 each day. On Tuesdays, participants will be provided with lunch during a discussion of dissertation writing issues and strategies. Participants must commit to the full 11-day retreat schedule.
  • How to Apply
  • Applications must be emailed to Katie Levin at kslevin@umn.edu no earlier than Monday, March 20, and no later than Friday, April 7, 2017, at 5:00 p.m. Central time. The application consists of the following three parts:

From your advisor
  • a brief email endorsing your participation in the retreat. This email should be sent directly from your advisor to Katie Levin at kslevin@umn.edu.

From you
  • a statement (no longer than one single-spaced page) in response to the following prompt: During this retreat, you will be participating in a structured community of dissertators from across the disciplines, with access to support from writing consultants. How might this be different from your current writing practice, and how might it contribute to your making progress on your dissertation?
  • an abstract of your dissertation (no longer than two single-spaced pages). Because so much of the retreat is devoted to sustained writing (rather than research) time, writers whose prospectuses have not yet been approved by their departments or who still need to complete fieldwork should wait until next year to apply.

Selection criteria
Our goal is to accept fifteen participants from a wide variety of disciplines. Our first consideration will be the quality of each application; ultimately, in the event of numerous highly competitive applications, we will favor applications representing candidates from a diversity of disciplines to enrich the retreat.
Applications from writers who have not won Doctoral Dissertation Fellowships or Interdisciplinary Doctoral Fellowships in previous years will be favored over applications from those who have previously won Doctoral Dissertation Fellowships or Interdisciplinary Doctoral Fellowships.

Interested? Questions?
Applicants will be notified of their status by 5 pm Central time on Thursday, April 20. To learn more and to hear from past participants, please visit writing.umn.edu/sws/dissretreat. And, if you have further questions, please feel free to get in touch with (kslevin@umn.edu; 612.624.7720).