Writing Groups

The Writing Center is offering several options for weekly graduate and undergraduate writing groups this semester, including registered writing groups that require regular attendance, and drop-in writing groups (attend when you’re available). Led by experienced instructors, these groups provide an opportunity for sustained writing practice within a community of other student writers. Fall 2022 writing groups will take place in one of the following modes:

  • in-person
  • online/fully virtual
  • a hybrid format, with both in-person and online/virtual participation possible (you can choose your attendance mode each week)

Fall writing groups begin meeting in Week 4 of the semester (the week of Sept. 26-30, 2022) and continue meeting through Week 14 (the week of Dec. 5-9, 2022). During the week leading up to Thanksgiving, groups will meet on Monday, Tuesday, and on Wednesday morning (Nov. 21-23, 2022). No groups will meet on Wednesday evening (Nov. 23), Thursday, or Friday of Thanksgiving break (Nov. 24-25, 2022).

To be considered for a Fall 2022 writing group, fill out this form:

Writing Group Interest Form

To receive priority consideration for a Fall 2022 writing group, please complete this interest form no later than Friday, September 16, at 5 p.m. CT. Forms received after this date will be considered for additional openings or for our waitlist.

We will notify you about your writing group assignment by Thursday, September 22. Your facilitator will follow up with a welcome message that includes logistical information about your group’s meeting space(s). In the meantime, if you have any questions about our writing groups, please email Jenny Conrad, Writing Groups Coordinator.

About the Undergraduate Writing Groups

Do you have a lot of writing to do this semester? Would you like encouragement and a supportive space as you navigate your writing project(s)? Join a small group of other students from across the university at relaxed meetings where you’ll have the opportunity to log dedicated writing time each week and work through challenges with a community of your peers! A Writing Center instructor will help you set goals, structure your work time, and check in about your progress each week.

We are excited to share that the Writing Center is offering the following options for weekly undergraduate writing groups this spring. Led by friendly, experienced instructors, these writing groups will provide an opportunity for sustained writing support within a community of other undergraduate student writers. In each week’s writing group meeting, you’ll have plenty of time to work independently on your writing assignments or course projects.

  • Tuesday Afternoon Undergraduate Writing Group @ the MSC

    Meeting time: 4 to 5:30 p.m. CT
    Format: registered (same attendees each week), plus drop-ins welcome
    Mode: in person
    Location: Multicultural Student Center, Red Gym
    Facilitator: Yinka Arawomo

    Do you have any writing projects you are working on? Do you desire a community of compassionate and supportive writers? Do you need the space and time required for the structure, discipline, commitment, and accountability you need to complete your writing projects? Do you want support throughout any stage of the writing process?

    Join me every Tuesday from 4 to 5:30 p.m. at the Multicultural Student Center (MSC) as we work together on our writing projects with realistic goal settings, reflective practices, and tangible outcomes. Yinka, the group facilitator, will be present to answer questions and offer one-on-one support during our weekly meetings.

  • Wednesday Afternoon Undergraduate Writing Group

    Meeting time: 4 to 5:30 p.m.
    Format: registered (same attendees each week), plus drop-ins welcome
    Mode: in person
    Location: Helen C. White Hall, Room 6162 (Writing Center Commons)
    Facilitator: Diego Alegria

    In this undergraduate writing group, you will have the opportunity to work on academic writing projects of any type and at any stage with other fellow classmates. Each week we will meet in person, convening on the sixth floor of Helen C. White Hall, where we will foster a collegial, respectful, and welcoming environment. Each session is divided in three parts: goal setting, writing time, and closing thoughts. In the first part (15 min.), you will share your writing goals for the session and transcribe them in a Google form. In the second section (one hour), you will be working on your own academic writing projects, while the facilitator, Diego, will be available to chat about your work one-to-one. In the third part (15 min.), we will return to the session goals to reflect on the lessons we have learned not only regarding our individual writing practices (i.e., how we make arguments, organize a text, and arrange words in sentences), but also about the collective process of writing (i.e., how we form a diverse and inclusive community of writers).

About the Graduate Writing Groups

At the Writing Center, we believe that community and accountability, along with setting achievable goals, play a significant role in completing major writing projects. Past participants in our weekly graduate writing groups have finished proposals, chapters, articles, and have even defended their dissertations! Since the Writing Center wants to help you achieve these milestones, we offer graduate students space and time each week to maximize their productivity. Each three-hour meeting begins with goal setting and ends with brief discussions about writing strategies and accomplishments. The bulk of each meeting, however, is devoted to structured writing time so that you can make substantial progress on your writing projects.

Drop-in writing groups are open to all on a weekly basis, although we encourage you to fill out our interest form so that you can receive up-to-date information from your facilitator. Participants are welcome to attend drop-in groups in addition to signing up for a registered group.

  • Monday Morning Graduate Writing Group

    Meeting time: 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. CT
    Format: registered (same attendees each week, attendance required)
    Mode: online / fully virtual
    Facilitator: Lisa Marvel Johnson

    The Monday graduate morning writing group will connect each week at 9 a.m. on Google Docs, where you will note your goals for your writing. At 9:05, we will convene synchronously through Zoom to chat about a discussion question related to the writing process, time management, the technology we use to accomplish our writing tasks, and other relevant topics. We may answer these questions in small groups, through the chat feature of Zoom, or in large-group discussion. Between 9:15 and 11:45, you’ll get words down in order to accomplish your writing goals, and Lisa will be available for short one-to-one conferences. At 11:45, you’ll take a moment to note your progress on our Google Doc. Our final Zoom check-in will be from 11:50 to noon. In these closing minutes we’ll troubleshoot any writing issues that you may have encountered and will celebrate your accomplishments.

  • Tuesday Morning Graduate Writing Group

    Meeting time: 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. CT
    Format: registered (same attendees each week, attendance required)
    Mode: Helen C. White Hall, 6th floor (multiple rooms)
    Facilitator: Samitha Senanayake

    This graduate writing group is dedicated to fostering a supportive environment for graduate students to work on academic writing projects of any type and at any stage. Each week we will meet in person, convening on the 6th floor of Helen C. White Hall. This will be a regular, consistent place in the week for us to get writing done. The bulk of the session will be writing time (approximately 2 hours and 40 minutes). The facilitator, Samitha, will be available to chat about your work one-to-one. The opening and closing sessions will be for goal setting and reflecting on the progress we made during the session, respectively. We will also use these opening and closing sessions to think about how the skills of noticing (what the process of writing makes us feel) and habits of grounding, meditation, and compassion for ourselves and others might shape our writing process.

  • Wednesday Morning Graduate Writing Group

    Meeting time: 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. CT
    Format: registered (same attendees each week, attendance required)
    Mode: in person
    Location: Helen C. White Hall, 6th floor (multiple rooms)
    Facilitator: Abby Letak

    This graduate writing group is dedicated to fostering a supportive environment for graduate students to work on academic writing projects of any type and at any stage. Sick of Zoom and looking for some weekly accountability? Each week we will meet in person, convening on the 6th floor of Helen C. White Hall. With a focus on the intersection of writing and wellness, we will open each session by setting and sharing writing goals as well as discussing and reflecting on the ongoing role that stress, guilt, boundaries, and self-care play in the writing process. We will then have sustained writing time for the bulk of the session, during which the facilitator, Abby, will be available to chat about your work one-to-one. We will close by sharing our progress and reflecting on the session.

  • Wednesday Evening Graduate Writing Group

    Meeting time: 6 to 9 p.m. CT
    Format: registered (same attendees each week, attendance required)
    Mode: a hybrid format, with both in-person and online/virtual participation possible (you can choose your attendance mode each week)
    Location: Helen C. White Hall, 6th floor (multiple rooms) and online
    Facilitator: Erika Gonzalez

    This graduate writing group is intended to support students in any stage of their degree program, whether you are just starting your journey or nearing the end. The goal is to bring us together in community as we tackle the many writing demands of graduate school. Every week, we work alongside one another on our various writing projects, supporting and motivating each other to achieve our writing goals. Last semester, group members drafted seminar papers, put together fellowship applications, finished dissertation chapters, developed job materials, and more! The facilitator, Erika, will also be available during the meetings for individual consultations.

  • Thursday Morning Drop-in Graduate Writing Group for Second Language Writers

    Meeting time: 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. CT
    Format: drop-in (attend when you’re available)
    Mode: a hybrid format, with both in-person and online/virtual participation possible (you can choose your attendance mode each week)
    Facilitator: Nattaporn Luangpipat

    This hybrid (in-person and online) drop-in graduate writing group aims to provide a supportive space for graduate students for whom English is a second language. Whether you’ve been writing in English as a second language since primary school, you’ve recently started doing academic work in English, or anything in between, you will be able to find community with your peers through this group. Regardless of whether you join us in-person or virtually or what stage of writing you are in, we will open with goal setting each week and work alongside each other. During the writing time, your facilitator, Nat, will be available both in person and online for one-to-one conferences. In the end, we will reflect (and celebrate)on what we accomplished during the session. We look forward to supporting you and your writing!

  • Thursday Afternoon Graduate Writing Group for Writers with Disabilities

    Meeting time: 1 to 4 p.m. CT
    Format: registered (same attendees each week), plus drop-ins welcome if registered beforehand
    Mode: online / fully virtual
    Facilitator: Ellen Cecil-Lemkin

    Co-sponsored by the McBurney Disability Resource Center, this writing group offers a supportive community of writers for anyone who identifies as having a mental health concern, Disabled, chronically ill, neurodivergent, and/or are affiliated with the McBurney Center. (Being affiliated with the McBurney Center is not a requirement to join this group.) During our first meeting together, we’ll establish our group’s goals and structure beyond having dedicated time for setting writing goals and writing. Additionally, during the allotted writing time, the facilitator (Ellen) will be available for brief one-to-one conferences with participants to help them think through writing strategies, set goals, brainstorm ideas, and get an outsider's perspective on their writing.

  • Friday Morning Drop-in Graduate Writing Group

    Meeting time: 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. CT
    Format: drop-in (attend when you’re available)
    Mode: a hybrid format, with both in-person and online/virtual participation possible (you can choose your attendance mode each week)
    Location: Helen C. White Hall, 6th floor, and online
    Facilitator: Seth Umbaugh

    The Friday morning graduate writing group will meet in a hybrid format, with virtual participants joining the meeting via Zoom and in-person participants convening in 6172 Helen C. White Hall. Attendees can choose how to participate on a weekly basis. Synchronous opening and closing sessions will include both large- and small-group discussions of daily writing goals and topics related to the writing process. All participants will be given access to a shared goal-setting document. Seth will also be available for brief one-to-one conferences during this group's meeting time over the course of the semester.

What people are saying about writing groups

“I took part in graduate writing groups four semesters in a row and going once a week to these groups is what kept me writing and eventually what allowed me to graduate. I loved being part of a community of writers who inspired me and kept me accountable.”

—Sandrine P., Second Language Acquisition

“Throughout my time as a grad student, writing group has been a vital space to get work done without destroying myself in the process. Beyond offering a dedicated space and time, it gave me a compassionate, endlessly inspiring group of facilitators and peers with whom I have commiserated and celebrated just about every part of the writing process, from outlining seminar papers to submitting dissertation chapters.”

—Luke U., Spanish & Portuguese

“The Writing Center writing groups provided me structure, accountability, community, all of which helped me write my prelim, dissertation proposal, a (funded) grant application, and two journal articles. In my last semester, the Tuesday morning writing group was instrumental in finishing my dissertation. I am so grateful for the support of my fellow graduate students and to the writing center staff!”

—Emma, School of Social Work

“I decided to apply for the graduate writing group this semester because I know that I write best when working while surrounded by other quiet, hard-working people. I was looking for a space and time I could dedicate to writing that could provide those requirements, and the grad writing group definitely fit the bill. I would recommend the grad writing group to anyone who is struggling to carve out a time and space for writing on any project.”

—Sarah G., Chemistry

“I used the writing group as a way to be accountable and to have a positive and supportive writing space. The writing groups helped me prepare for and tackle prelims because I had a dedicated space and time for them. Talking at the beginning with other students really helped to see that I wasn’t alone in the process, and I really enjoyed the little ‘tidbits’ of information and writing strategies we did at the beginning of sessions.”

—Kate M., Curriculum & Instruction

“I use the writing groups to incorporate accountability into my weekly writing. By checking in with colleagues at the start and end of each group meeting, I have a mechanism for recording my progress, identifying challenges, and troubleshooting difficulties.”

—Fred B., Biostatistics

“I joined the writing groups to get a fixed block of writing time every week as a dissertator. These groups help me reach my goals by “forcing” me to think about writing goals and sit down and write for 2.5 hours per week. I would recommend these groups to others because it is so hard to protect one’s writing time and writing groups have been an effective solution for me.”

—Junhao L., Risk and Insurance