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Postdoc Society

Writing retreat for postdocs and research staff

Finding the time to write your research article, book or funding bid is hard. This Postdoc Society one-day writing retreat will give you the space to focus on a piece of writing, working with a trained facilitator and the support of your peers.

Past Event

Person typing on a laptop
May 18, 2023
Old Staff Common Room, Lanyon Building (Queen's University Belfast, University Road, Belfast, BT7 1NN)
09:00 - 17:00


It can be hard finding the time to write-up your research. This event has been organised to provide researchers with dedicated uninterrupted blocks of time to progress their writing. Attendees will all write together, in the same room, in a series of scheduled writing sessions. These sessions are most effective if they are just used to write; not to check references, obsess over style, do another ‘quick look’ over your research or read through what you wrote last week, month, year…! Don’t worry about your writing being perfect; you can’t edit a blank page.


It’s helpful if you can set aside time before the Retreat to have a think about what you’d like to achieve in advance and come to your writing with clear goals. Goals should be something you can measure—for example, write a certain number of words, pages or paragraphs. At the start of the day, you’ll share this goal with your peers and then informally discuss your progress in the breaks. There will be opportunity to take a 30 to 45-minute walk at lunch if you’d like to join!

Lunch and other refreshments will be provided.


These Retreats works best when you:

  • Focus exclusively on writing.
  • Agree not to use internet or your phone (emergencies excluded, of course) in the writing room.
  • Define specific goals and sub-goals, i.e. sections of article/chapter, number of words.
  • Take stock of your achievements of these goals throughout the day.
  • Discuss your writing-in-progress with peers for mutual support.


Before you go to the Retreat:

  • Decide on a writing project. Do reading and other preparation.
  • Plan writing tasks for each timeslot.
  • Get notes, plans, outlines etc. together. Outline the structure of your article/chapter.
  • Use downloads rather than internet at the Retreat.


Participants should bring a laptop, and any research papers or data which will enable them to write their research paper/chapter/proposal.



This course will be facilitated by Dr Alison Garden, a Lecturer and UKRI Future Leaders Fellow at the School of Arts, English and Languages at Queen’s University Belfast, who is a trained writing retreat facilitator.



The session is open to Queen's postdocs and research staff of all disciplines. It is limited to 20 participants; a waiting list will be created and further sessions organised based on interest.

Postdoctoral Development Centre
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Name Postdoc Society