Find out about WriteFest, an event held every November to celebrate academic writing. Learn the event's background and aims, see information on the sessions and achievements , and browse our downloads and resources.

Logo with black and teal text stating WriteFest 2023

On this page:


November is Academic Writing Month, an academic write-a-thon that happens every year. It's inspired by NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) but caters to the specific needs of academic writers.

Originally hosted by PhD2Published, the global academic community has now taken up the annual challenge to support each other, by pledging their writing projects, recording progress and sharing thousands of writing tips via the #AcWriMo hashtag.

Overview of the event


WriteFest (#AcWriFest23) is our local University of Sheffield contribution and will bring together people from across the university to recognise and celebrate writing.  Drawing on the format of the very popular academic writing retreats, WriteFest2023 continues to evolve and this year will include The Writer’s Toolkit and Write Club, alongside the bitesize workshops, a guide to crafting your own ideal writing soundtrack and lots of curated articles about academic writing, which have become a staple of our November calendar. 

This year, Sheffield researchers can attend:

  • Think Ahead Writing Retreats
  • Workshops such as 'Writing your first academic paper'
  • Thesis writing workshops
  • Webinars to help beat digital distractions

University of Sheffield researchers can view the full WriteFest programme, including how to participate in events, via this link.  WriteFest Programme 2023


This year the festival will have face to face, online and hybrid sessions and we hope that this means that more researchers will be able to join us and write.


We were delighted to once again be joined by partner universities.  You will be able to find details of their websites and their programmes here in due course.

WriteFest aims

WriteFest aims to provide protected time and space for writing, to help you in the following areas:

Habits: To develop good writing practices and strategies

</Blocks>: To overcome blocks, and take a proactive approach.

Protect: To keep academic writing as part of the working day.

Social: To spend some time out writing with others.


Submitting your writing

Dr Matt Cheeseman and Dr Kay Guccione have produced seven editions of the Journal of Imaginary Research.

Originally produced from the creative pieces resulting from the Writing without discipline workshop, they now accept submissions each November from any writer who sees the value of using creative processes and writing for fun.

Follow Dr Matt Cheeseman on Twitter

Follow Dr Kay Guccione on Twitter


Writer badge

Print and stick or cut and paste a writer badge. Let everyone know you're busy writing!

Download your 2023 writer badge (PDF, 91KB)

Twitter photo ribbon

Show your participation in the global writing festival by adding the logo to your Twitter profile picture.

See the AcWriMo Twibbon



In this section:

Creating your own playlist

Dr Victoria Williamson presents some expert advice on choosing a personalised soundtrack to enhance your writing.

Formerly the director of Sheffield's Music and Wellbeing Research Unit, Dr Williamson is now an independent academic, conducting research, teaching and writing about music psychology and music wellness.

Find out more about Dr Victoria Williamson.

AcWriVox video playlist

AcWriVox is a playlist of videos documenting the voices of academic writers who share their writing processes, habits and spaces with us. This series aims to make the unseen practices and processes of writing more visible and less mysterious.

View the AcWriVox playlist

Writing retreats

The one-min video linked below covers what is traditionally involved in the retreat sessions – but in 2023, you needed your internet!

Find out what a writing retreat is (one-minute video)

See our toolkit for running your own writing retreat

University of Sheffield researchers can find a full schedule of writing retreats via the staff hub.

Writing resources


Learning technologist and productivity guru Andy Tattersall shares tips and digital resources for writing productivity and also for avoiding digital distractions in our podcast.

Listen to How to beat digital distraction and write more

Blog posts

Read the Think Ahead blog posts on writing

Resources for supervisors

Take a look at the below resources for developing doctoral writing:

Read posts about writing on the Supervising PhDs blog

Browse supervisor online workshop resources

See Kamler and Thomson (2006), Helping Doctoral Students Write