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. Spring 2023 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)

Spring writing groups begin meeting in Week 3 of the semester (the week of Feb. 6–10, 2023) and continue meeting through Week 15 (the week of May 1–5, 2023). No groups meet during the week of UW-Madison’s spring break (Mar. 13–17, 2023).

To express interest in joining a Spring 2023 writing group, please fill out this form:

Writing Group Interest Form

To receive priority consideration, please complete this interest form no later than Monday, January 30, at 9 a.m. CT. Forms received after this date will be considered for additional openings or for our waitlist.

At this time, you may join only one registered writing group. You are also welcome to participate in one or more of our drop-in writing groups, regardless of whether you are enrolled in a registered group.

We will notify you about your writing group assignment by Friday, February 2. Your facilitator will follow up with a welcome message that includes logistical information about your group’s plan for meeting. In the meantime, if you have any questions about our writing groups, please email Sarah Olson, Spring 2023 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 peer 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 Yinka every Tuesday from 4 to 5:30 p.m. at the Multicultural Student Center (MSC) as you 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 your weekly meetings.

  • Wednesday Afternoon Undergraduate Writing Group @ the Writing Center

    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: 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: Angela Zito

    This graduate writing group will meet in a hybrid format, with virtual participants joining the meeting via Zoom and in-person participants convening on the 6th floor of 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. All participants will be given access to a shared goal-setting document. In addition, there will be options to schedule brief, one-to-one conferences with the facilitator during this group's meeting time over the course of the semester. 

  • Tuesday 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: 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 Afternoon Graduate Writing Group @ the MSC

    Meeting time: 1 to 4 p.m. CT
    Format: registered (same attendees each week)
    Mode: in person
    Location: Multicultural Student Center classroom (Room 243), Red Gym
    Facilitator: Noreen Siddiqui

    This writing group offers a supportive community of writers for anyone who identifies as a person of color and/or is affiliated with the MSC. (Being affiliated with the MSC 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. After we work alongside each other for nearly three hours, we will wrap up the session with reflection (and celebration) of what we accomplished. This group is open for all writing disciplines at all stages. We look forward to supporting you!

  • Thursday Morning Drop-in Graduate Writing Group for Multilingual 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

    Our hybrid (in-person and online) drop-in graduate writing group provides a supportive community for graduate students who write in multiple languages, including English as a second, third, or fourth language. We start each week with goal setting, and during the scheduled writing hours, your facilitator, Nat, will be available both in person and online for one-on-one conferences. We also share strategies to handle those linguistic and cultural transitions as well as writing tips during the session. After we work alongside each other for nearly three hours, we wrap up the session with reflection (and celebration) of what we accomplish. This group is open for all writing disciplines at all stages. We look forward to supporting you!

  • 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.

  • Thursday Evening Graduate Writing Group

    Meeting time: 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. CT
    Format: registered (same attendees each week, attendance required)
    Mode: online / fully virtual
    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.

  • 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: Sarah Olson

    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 on the 6th floor of Helen C. White Hall. Attendees can choose how to participate on a weekly basis. Our synchronous opening and closing sessions each week 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. Sarah will also be available for brief one-to-one conferences during this group's meeting time over the course of the semester. We can’t wait to work with you!

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