Writing Groups

Writing is a significant part of our professional lives as faculty. We’re working on articles, grant proposals, books, teaching statements, blogs, or op-eds. Too often, however, we don’t have opportunities to talk about the process, our struggles, or to get feedback from readers outside (or even within) our own departments. It also can be difficult to find time to write given our other important commitments as teachers, mentors, and administrators.

The Faculty Write Program sponsors writing groups to enhance writing productivity, collegiality, and the exchange of ideas across disciplines. Writing group types include:

Feedback/writing exchange groups – each participant brings a short piece of writing to share for discussion.

Write-on-site – participants meet at an agreed upon time and place to work on independent writing projects alongside other faculty.

Accountability or “check-in” groups – faculty set goals and share their progress with other faculty (can be in person or virtual). Participants report back on their progress, and reporting to a group of peers increases their accountability to meet the outlined goals.

Some groups form around specific topics (i.e. experiential education), type of writing (creative writing or public scholarship), or faculty cohort (new faculty, associate professors, women faculty). Writing groups form in September, December, and May. Please fill out this interest form if you’d like to participate in or lead a faculty writing group.

Convening for the write-on-site meetings has been a key factor to keep me on task with my writing. It keeps me in motion. It is a special time reserved for the one thing that easily gets lost in the middle of a hundred other jobs with more pressing deadlines. I have come to enjoy writing again.
Magda Silva, Director of Duke’s Portuguese Language Program

Since I began the write-on-site groups and retreats, my writing output has changed drastically. Primarily a choreographer and performer, I am now presenting papers at scholarly conferences much more frequently and for the first time submitted an article to a double-blind, peer-reviewed journal. It was accepted, revised and resubmitted, and will appear in Dance Chronicle in 2018. I am already working on another article.
-Barbara Dickinson, Professor of the Practice of Dance

Want to learn more about what it’s like to be in a writing group?

Read the Duke Today story From Brain to Paper about a writing feedback group and Scholarly Writing Hacks: 5 Lessons I Learned Writing Every Day in June about an online accountability group.


Spring 2018 Writing Groups

Write-on-site. Arrive with any materials you will need to work on your own writing. Please contact the faculty convener if you are interested in joining the group.

Mondays 9-11:30am on the mezzanine (6th floor) of Environment Hall. Indoor and outdoor writing spaces. Convener: Dori Canelas (Chemistry), dorian.canelas@duke.edu.

Tuesdays 9-11:30 in Perkins 413. Convener: Magda Silva (Romance Studies), mbcsilva@duke.edu.

Writing Exchange Group: FIELD U (Faculty in Experiential Learning@Duke U). Civic Engagement scholarship discussion group. Group meets two-three times each semester to discuss  writing projects, publishing outlets, and current issues in the field.  Contact  jahern@duke.edu or jcliffor@duke.edu for more information. Cosponsored by Duke Service-Learning and the Forum for Scholars and Publics.


Summer 2018 Writing Groups

The Office of Research Initiatives, in collaboration with Duke Faculty Write, is hosting a summer writing group program to encourage productivity and accountability in your writing. The program brings together research faculty from across Duke and assembles them into self-directed writing groups. All research faculty are welcome to take part, regardless of discipline and regardless of writing project. Seats are limited (50) and registration is required.

  • Attend a 2-hour orientation to the program, that includes information about how the writing groups will function, and an opportunity to meet with the faculty members that were assigned into groups based on their preferences. Orientation will be held, over a free lunch, on May 16th from 11:00 – 1:00 in Perkins 217.
  • Work with your assigned group to meet 5+ times during the summer. Schedules and frequency are determined by the writing groups themselves.  During these meetings, the group leader will share resources that may help you with your writing.

To get started, complete the registration and intake form by April 30th.


Contact Jennifer Ahern-Dodson (jahern@duke.edu) to discuss organizing a writing group, workshop, or retreat for your department, school, or program.