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.

2021 writing retreat dates (All retreats are held online)
Thursday 22nd April, 14:00 - 16:00
Thursday 29nd April, 10:00 - 12:00
Tuesday 4th May, 13:00 - 15:00
Thursday 13th May, 10:00 - 12:00
Friday 21st May, 10:00 - 12:00
Friday 28th May, 10:00 - 12:00
Tuesday 1st June, 10:00 - 12:00
Tuesday 8th June, 14:00 - 16:00
Monday 14th June, 14:00 - 16:00
Friday 25th June, 10:00 - 12:00
Tuesday 29th June, 14:00 - 16:00

To attend a Think Ahead retreat being held in April book here!

To attend a Think Ahead retreat being held in May and June book here