On January 9th and 10th, Mason’s WAC Program held its 5th winter faculty writing retreat and its 10th overall. Mason’s WAC Program began hosting retreats in May 2014 to provide a distraction-free environment for faculty to work on scholarly projects. Since that time, the retreats have garnered a steady interest, but this retreat was our largest one yet: a total of 48 energetic writers convened in Fenwick Library for two productive days.
Participants spent the majority of the days writing. Sessions began at 9:00am with a break for lunch at 12:00pm; faculty resumed writing at 1:00pm and continued until 5:00pm with a break for coffee at 3:00pm. Participants had the option to join either a quiet writing group or a community group that spends a little time talking about goals and progress at the beginnings and ends of each writing session. Some faculty who were interested in more social interaction also opted to work with a writing partner. On Thursday afternoon, participants had the option to practice some chair yoga and learn some strategies for stretching the body during long work days.
All participants described the retreats as valuable; in fact, 96% of our survey respondents rated the retreats as either “very” or “extremely” valuable, and 100% said that they would participate in future writing events. Participants seem to appreciate the mix of dedicated writing time and socializing with colleagues, and many reported that the retreats are when they are most productive. One survey respondent shared, “I wasn’t sure how well it would work for me, but I found it to be a great experience–a great productive writing time and I also enjoyed the social interaction.” On average, participants reported that they wrote 1900 new words and revised 2400 words.
Our summer writing retreat is scheduled for May 28th through the 30th, and the application will open in April. We also hold weekly write-ins on Friday mornings if you are interested in writing events during the semester; to participate, please add your name to our sign-up sheet. For more details, please visit our Faculty Writing Support page or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.