Structured Writing Accountability Groups (SWAG)

In Autumn 2018, UChicagoGRAD is bringing renowned writing coach Michelle Boyd to campus to run an InkWell Writing Retreat. Dr. Boyd focuses on the writing process and on our relationship to writing as a professional and creative endeavor. The InkWell retreat will serve as the kick-off for a program that was piloted in 2017-18, the Structured Writing Accountability Groups (SWAG). SWAG will also be offered in the Winter and Spring of 2019. For details about the Autumn programming and application instructions, see below.

Structured Writing Accountability Groups (SWAG)

SWAG works from the insight that it's incredibly powerful to develop communities of supportive accountability for academic writing. Participants commit to co-working together for three hours a week on Friday mornings. After the co-working session, participants share lunch and talk about their writing process, define goals, and collectively troubleshoot any roadblocks. A few times per quarter, UChicagoGRAD and the Writing Program offer plenary workshops on topics requested by participants: past workshop topics have included "Optimizing the Rest of the Week" and tips for using citation management software and writing software, like Evernote and Scrivener.

InkWell Writing Retreat and Structured Writing Accountability Groups, Autumn 2018

The application is now closed. Please consider applying for SWAG in Winter or Spring 2019.

InkWell On-Campus Writing Retreat

Friday, October 26, 9am-5pm
In this one-day retreat, Writing Coach and Retreat Facilitator Dr. Michelle Boyd will teach you the secret to making the most of a writing session, regardless of how long it lasts. This retreat will teach you how to quickly jump into writing and enjoy a strong sense of satisfaction when you're done. By the end of the day, you’ll have made meaningful, measurable progress on your writing. You'll be able to quickly decide what to focus on every time you sit down to write. And you’ll have a clear plan for making the most of your writing time once you get started.

Structured Writing Accountability Groups (SWAG), Autumn 2018
Fridays, November 2, 9, and 16, 9 am-1 pm 
Over three consecutive Fridays, InkWell retreat participants will have the opportunity to practice making the most of their writing time with the support of a Structured Writing Accountability Group (SWAG). Each Friday co-working session lasts for 3 hours and will consist of goal-setting, focused writing time, and communal lunch. By the end of the sessions, you'll have developed an awareness of your writing process and made measurable progress toward your writing goals—all within an encouraging community of writers. Please note that this opportunity is intended to support your writing process and productivity, not the content and mechanics of writing.

SWAG on Holiday
Friday, November 30, 11am-1pm
Just before the end of the quarter, we will have a 2- hour wrap up event, providing you with strategies to keep in touch for accountability—and keep writing over winter break. Groups will have the opportunity to share a final communal lunch and discuss potential plans for the break.

The Autumn InkWell/SWAG program is open to all graduate and professional school students and postdocs who are working on a major writing project. Please be aware that the objectives and activities are tailored to the experiences of people from racial/ethnic, cultural, and socioeconomic backgrounds historically excluded in higher education. 

These programs are co-sponsored by the Center for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture, the Office of Student Support Services, the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty Advancement and Diversity, UChicagoGRAD, and the Writing Program.