Academic Writing Retreat

The Beehive, LA22 9BB Ambleside

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A writing retreat provides a focused opportunity for participants to be able to make significant advances in their research and scholarly writing through hard work in a supportive social environment.

The aim is to get some writing done and to gain new perspectives on our writing and our writing habits in order to be more productive in the future. These events are open to all masters students and doctoral research students and academic staff from across the University.

The writing retreats are aimed at students and academic staff who have a specific academic writing project in progress. It might be one or more chapters of your dissertation or thesis, a research paper or a chapter or book that needs some writing and editing. If you are currently working on your Professional Standards Portfolio to gain the status of Fellow of the HE Academy then the writing retreat provides a good opportunity to get this completed. We use most of the time for writing, in silence, with all of us in the same room.  Brief discussions between writing slots often generate solutions to writing problems, develop drafts, lead to research-orientated conversations and provide feedback on writing-in progress. In addition, one or two experienced and published academics will be on hand to offer individual support and tutorials.

Writing retreats get work done, but they also help to establish ways of approaching writing that have benefits for your subsequent productivity.

Dates, times, venue and accommodation

The Beehive, Ambleside Campus

Tea, coffee and biscuits are provided but meals are not included.

Day 1: 09.30 - 17.30

Optional evening meal and optional overnight in halls of residence

Day 2: 09.00 - 17.15

Registration and costs

University of Cumbria Academic Staff:  There is a fee waiver for the retreat and optional overnight accommodation but it does not include the optional evening meal, normally you would be able to claim this from your usual travel claim expenses.

University of Cumbria registered students:  There is a fee waiver for the retreat but you need to pay for the optional evening meal and overnight accommodation if required. Overnight with accommodation in the Ambleside Halls of Residence £32.00. The restaurant meal is normally up to £20.

External academics and students: There is a retreat registration fee of £65 for the two day sessions. If you need accommodation then it is £32 per night. Meals are not included but there is a campus café and plenty of good local cafes and restaurants.

Please let the administrator know, at least a week in advance, if you are unable to attend. Clearly there are costs involved in no-shows or late cancellations and so these must be avoided except in exceptional circumstances.

Participation rules

This type of ‘boot camp’ writing retreat may sound a little intimidating but in reality the rules just help to create a socially supportive environment where we are all allowed some time to focus on our writing projects.

  1. Full attendance for the whole of both days
  2. Maintain a relentless focus on writing during the two days
  3. Come reasonably prepared having done some pre-reading and gathered reading materials
  4. Have a writing plan for the weekend with some self-imposed stretch targets
  5. Bring author guidelines and an exemplar paper from your target journal (if relevant)
  6. No emails, no phone and no other work permitted during the retreat writing sessions
  7. Be prepared to give and receive critical friend feedback on draft writing
  8. Limited one to one support is available but facilitators also have their own writing targets
  9. In terms of confidentiality Chatham House Rules apply
  10. All participants must contribute to the evaluation of the retreat

What to bring to the Retreat

You need to bring a laptop, power cable, memory stick, notes, outlines, relevant reading materials, and any data.  Also needed are an overnight bag and enough cash for a drink and your dinner.


Programme - Day 1
09.30 - 10.00 Start: Goal setting and introductions
10.00 - 11.30 Writing
11.30 - 11.45 Break
11.45 - 13.00 Writing
13.00 - 14.00 Lunch
14.00 - 15.15 Writing
15.15 - 15.45 Break
15.45 – 17.00 Writing
17.00 – 17.30 Review
19.00 Evening meal

Overnight accommodation in the hotel or nearby B&B (those who live nearby may drive home)

09.00 - 10.15 Writing
10.15 - 10.45 Review and target setting
10.45 - 11.00 Break
11.00 - 12.30 Writing
12.30 - 13.30 Lunch
13.30 - 15.15 Writing
15.15 - 16.00 Review
16.00 - 17.15 Final writing session


If you have queries about academic aspects of the retreat, for example to check that your writing plan is suitable, please contact Hilary Constable

Booking a place

For reservations, please book online.  If you wish to book for more than one writing retreat, please register for each event separately. For all queries about practical aspects of the retreat please contact the Research Office

Event details

The Beehive, LA22 9BB Ambleside

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