retreat logoHas your writing (papers, grants, thesis, reports, applications, reviews...) got stuck? Do you always plan to do the writing, and never actually do it? Are you waiting for the day to come when you’ll have time? Are you waiting for inspiration to strike? Think you need to read more first? Struggling to protect time out?

Could taking a few hours to tune out the distractions, by attending a writing retreat be the answer? Some think so, read about it here. And we have a number of spin off groups starting up that tell us you’re finding it a useful habit to get into. The retreat timetable and booking link is below.

So what is a retreat all about?
It's adapted from academic writing guru Prof. Rowena Murray’s model and 'retreat' in this context just means a space away from your normal workplace. The Think Ahead team set up an online room and host a weekly retreat session open to all staff and PGRs. We all bring our laptops and we write together to get it done. The retreat provides protected and focused academic writing time, and you do the writing. That’s it. We all sit and write together in a virtual room and use peer pressure help us avoid the distractions of email, internet, tea making, paperclip sorting, desk cleaning, lab work, etc etc etc



  • Protected time and space to get away from distractions;
  • Peer pressure, it takes away the temptation to do internet dithering;
  • Writing in short bursts, with time factored in to take a break and avoid burnout;
  • Chance to set specific targets that will help you focus the writing.

It’s the start of getting into good writing habits: You will become aware of how much you can write in just an hour (more than you think) and you will get to know how long writing tasks take you, so you can plan your writing to weave in and fit around your other commitments. You will start to craft writing as an academic habit rather than cramming writing in at the last minute.  Be aware this isn't a taught session, we won't tell you how to write, or give you feedback on writing.

Think Ahead offer two retreats:

  • Think Ahead Writing Retreats are held weekly and open to all writers
  • Thesis Writing Retreats are held bi-weekly and are open to thesis writers

Dates and booking details for both retreats are listed below. Please ensure you are booking onto the correct retreat.

2021 Think Ahead writing retreat dates (All retreats are held online)

Friday 13th August 10:00 - 12:00
Friday 20th August 10:00 - 12:00
Thursday 26th August 14:00 - 16:00
Thursday 2nd September 14:00 - 16:00
Thursday 9th September 10:00 - 12:00
Wednesday 15th September 14:00 - 16:00
Monday 20th September 14:00 - 16:00
Thursday 30th September 10:00 - 12:00

To attend a Think Ahead retreat being held in August and September book here

2021 Thesis Writing Retreat dates (All retreats are held online)

Wednesday 6th October, 10:00 - 12:00
Friday 8th October, 14:00 - 16:00
Monday 11th October, 10:00 - 12:00
Wednesday 13th October, 10:00 - 12:00
Wednesday 20th October, 13:00 - 15:00
Thursday 21st October, 14:00 - 16:00
Thursday 28th October, 10:00 - 12:00
Friday 29th October, 10:00 - 12:00
Monday 1st November, 15:00 - 17:00
Thursday 4th November, 14:00 - 16:00
Wednesday 10th November, 10:00 - 12:00
Thursday 11th November, 14:00 - 16:00
Monday 15th November, 09:30 - 11.30
Friday 19th November, 10:00 - 12:00
Wednesday 24th November, 10:00 - 12:00
Thursday 25th November, 10:00 - 12:00

To attend a Thesis Writing Retreat held in October and November book here