• Events

    Seminars, writing retreats and other events.

  • 'My Life Abroad'| Creative Writing Competition for International Students

    Are you an international student at Brookes with a story in you? Here's a chance to enter a creative writing competition and share your creativity with others. The competition is FREE to enter and you could win up to £200 of Amazon shopping vouchers!

    Further details »

    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 Ph.D. students.

    The meetings will be on the first Wednesday of the month 17.00-18.30 and the third Friday of the month 10.00-11.30 and will take place in Zoom. 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.

    We will also be launching a structured writing intervention for a small group of novice writers aiming for their first publication. More information to follow.

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

    Postgraduate students in HSS, EML and HPC are invited to these monthly, and at the moment virtual, Shut-Up-and-Write sessions.

    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.

    They will take place on:

    • 19 February 2021
    • 19 March 2021
    • 23 April 2021
    • 21 May 2021

    More dates to follow. Contact Nicole Pohl for more details.

  • Other events

    • Defend&Publish, an academic writing coaching company, is offering free webinars on writing project management, overcoming writer's block, and writing literature reviews. Registration is free, but sign up to reserve your spot for webinars in December and January.
    • The Thriving Researcher offers virtual writing retreats for doctoral and post-doctoral researchers.
    • Shut Up and Write! Meet up online with people from all over the world and then get some writing done.
    • Writer's HQ offers frequent 'super-productive lockdown-friendly writing retreats.
    • Writing Retreat Facilitator’s Guide
    • The Oxford Centre for Life-Writing brings together events, podcasts, live life-writing, inspirational prompts and research.
    • Chapelgarth Estate in Yorkshire offers academic writing retreats in beautiful surroundings, and virtual retreats for groups can also be booked.

    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.

    For a list of her publications, please click here.

    Building Writing Muscle

    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.

  • June to September 2020

    Are you struggling to find the right time and right place to get on with some writing, with all the distractions of trying to work or study at home?

    Shut the door behind you (if you can) and come to Write Space, the virtual room where you can work in a supportive, structured environment alongside others, sharing the ups and downs of a day of home-writing.

    Write Space aims to bring together a range of Brookes students and staff (professional services as well as academic) who have in common the need to Get Something Written. You will have a chance to discuss your goals and to use clearly defined blocks of time to write. There will be a break-out room giving opportunities for reflection and discussion with a Centre for Academic Development writing tutor and plenty of breaks for refreshment (Bring Your Own) and fresh air (real, not virtual). 

    Further dates to follow in due course. Join our mailing list to be informed of updates.

    More about the virtual retreats »

    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.