• Events

    Seminars, writing retreats and other events.

  • Write Space virtual writing retreats

    These create a supportive, structured environment within which writers of any style and level can meet a writing goal. You can pop into a break-out room to chat through any blocks to writing, and the group reflects together on the writing process before, during and after a good day’s work. In participants' words, Write Space is a "calm, stimulating, good-spirited, constructive and productive" place to work; you might also get ideas for how to start a writing group yourself, as some have.

    The next series of virtual writing retreats from the Writing Hub will commence in January 2022.

    Virtual Bodleian Writing Mornings for HSS

    These provide HSS staff and postgrads with a dedicated space for writing. On Friday each month from 9.00am-12:30pm, colleagues aim to write, meeting on Zoom between 10.30 and 11.00am. Join in for as little or as much as you are able. Meetings will be online up to Christmas. Dates for this year are as follows:

    • 10 September 2021
    • 8 October 2021
    • 12 November 2021
    • 10 December 2021
    • 14 January 2022
    • 11 February 2022
    • 11 March 2022
    • 8 April 2022
    • 13 May 2022
    • 10 June 2022
    • 8 July 2022

    Contact susannahwright@brookes.ac.uk for the Zoom link or with any queries.

    Peer Review Circle for HSS

    Share current thinking about your writing at any point in the process from first conception to pre-submission edits. This is an informal forum that gives writers-in-progress the opportunity for:

    • exchange of issues related to current and future writing projects
    • peer support and feedback.

    The date for the next Peer Review Circle for HSS will be available in September.

    Contact Sarah Frodsham ( sfrodsham@brookes.ac.uk) for the Zoom link or with any queries.

    Centre for Nursing and Midwifery Academic Writing Community

    This regular online writing group meets twice a month and will be ongoing. It is for any member of staff, either highly experienced, intermediate, or a novice who wants to meet regularly in a supportive and nurturing environment to work on current writing projects which are not limited to journal articles alone. The group is also open to master's dissertation writers, professional doctorate students, and PhD students.

    The meetings will take place in Zoom on the:

    • first Wednesday of the month, 5.00-6.30pm
    • third Friday of the month, 10.00-11.30am

    Please contact mwaite@brookes.ac.uk if you would like to receive the invites and links. All that is required of you is to show up to write.

    Shut-Up-and-Write for HSS, EML and HPC postgrads

    Postgraduate students in HSS, EML and HPC are invited to these Shut-Up-and-Write sessions which take place during semester time. These are quiet hours to write in a distraction-free environment with regular breaks to check in with the others. Think of it as your writing oasis and as a way to connect with other students. Sessions run from 12:30 - 16:30. Dates for this term are as follows:  

    • 8 October 2021
    • 5 November 2021
    • 3 December 2021

    Contact Nicole Pohl for more details.

  • Other events

    List your writing retreat here! Email writinghub@brookes.ac.uk.

    Past events

    Getting over writer’s block

    13 January 2021

    What stops you from starting writing? This workshop started by focusing on identifying the many blocks to writing that keep you staring at a blank screen, and then offered multiple strategies for unblocking and engaging positively with writing.

    Attendees had opportunities to discuss their own blocks to writing and ways of overcoming them; they were also provided with new strategies and useful sources for further reading.

    Mary Davis holds a PhD in Education from IOE, University of London, for which she researched the development of source use in postgraduate student writing. She has conducted research into key aspects of academic writing, including the use of formulaic phrases, understanding plagiarism and the demystification of the writing process. She has personal experience of overcoming writer’s block, both as a student writer and in writing for publication, and she teaches academic writing to Pre-Master’s students in the Oxford Brookes Business School.

    See a list of her publications.

  • 21 October 2020

    Dominik Lukeš, a Digital Learning Technologist at the Saïd Business School, University of Oxford, considered with us how deliberate practice can develop the complex skill of writing.

    This seminar introduced the key concepts behind deliberate practice and applied these to our own writing processes and our support for others’ writing. He also explored several metaphors of writing which relate to how we practise.

    25 March 2020

    Facilitated by Dr. Marion Waite

    This online discussion of Helen Sword's paper Writing higher education differently: a manifesto on style was facilitated by Dr. Marion Waite, Principal Lecturer for Student Experience in HLS. We considered together:

    • What does stylish academic writing look like in the different disciplines? 
    • How does (or could) our thinking around this influence support for students in developing their academic style and voice?

    Staff and students went away ‘feeling liberated’, ‘less intimidated’ and ‘more brave’ when it comes to the ‘risk-taking’ of finding their voice in their academic writing. 


    The podcast brings together some of the participants from the event. Kevin Watson talks to Marion Waite, Mary Deane, Cornelia Bogatu and Michelle Reid to get some answers to:

    • What are the qualities of good academic writing?
    • Are stylistic conventions a barrier or a support?
    • How can you follow an established form while maintaining your creativity and identity?
    • What processes build confidence and get you writing?

    Listen to the podcast »

    15 January 2020

    Presented by Professor Vincent Connelly

    How do markers view poor spelling and how should they view it? In this seminar, psychology professor Vincent Connelly explored how poor, hesitant spelling can impact on the ability to produce text, gave us a better understanding of the issues with spell-checkers and presented evidence that showed significant bias against poor spelling among those marking student writing.