Chapelgarth Estate


Chapelgarth Estate
Green Balk, Great Broughton, Stokesley, North Yorkshire, TS9 7ET


04 Jun 2019 - 05 Jun 2019


1:30 pm - 4:30 pm

Civil Society, Democracy and Development (CDD) Pathway Writing Retreat



The aim of this retreat is to use dedicated writing time to progress your writing projects. All CDD PhD students are welcome to participate and we encourage anyone who is interested to register their interest. However, the retreat is limited to 16 people, so final-year students or those with more urgent projects to finish will take precedence in the event that we are over-subscribed.

This is a supportive, non-surveillance environment. We use most of the time for writing, all of us in the same room. Brief scheduled discussions between writing slots often generate solutions to writing problems, develop drafts, lead to research-oriented conversations and provide feedback on writing-in-progress. We focus on progressing a range of writing projects and produce a range of written outputs including: PhD chapters, books, conference abstracts, journal articles and research proposals. Significant outcomes include growing research-oriented conversations and relationships, building confidence in writing, improving the quality of publications and creating cross-disciplinary research conversations.

The Writing Retreat works best when you:

  • Focus exclusively on writing.
  • Agree not to use internet/email/social media in the writing room.
  • Define specific goals and sub-goals, i.e. sections of paper/chapter, no. of words.
  • Define and discuss content and structure for writing sub-goals.
  • Take stock of your achievements of these goals throughout the programme.
  • Discuss your writing-in-progress → mutual peer support.
  • Adhere punctually to the timetable

Before you come to the Writing Retreat:

  • Read Murray and Newton (2009) article – reference below.
  • Decide on your writing project and prepare for it.
  • Review retreat programme and plan writing tasks for timeslots in each day.
  • Get notes, plans, outlines etc. together. Outline the structure of your paper/chapter.
  • Download what you need, rather than use wifi (may be intermittent).
  • Mobile signal at venue is variable according to servers used.
  • Provide any dietary/other requirements before your visit (see booking form).

What to bring to the Writing Retreat

  • For writing: Laptop, power cable, memory stick, printer, notes, outlines, ‘model’ paper, data, instructions for authors (NB Limited printing may be available 20p/sheet or bring your own printer & paper if you need to print)
  • For active breaks: running/walking/tennis/table-tennis gear/shoes/wellington boots or walking shoes, waterproofs/umbrella.


Day One
2.00pm – 2.30pm Introductions, writing warm-up, setting goals
2.30pm – 4.00pm Writing
4.00pm – 5.00pm Break & room allocation
5.00pm – 6.00pm Writing
6.00pm – 7.00pm Input session: Overcoming common writing problems
7.30pm – 9.00pm Dinner
9.00pm -9.30pm Input session: How do we write?
Day Two
8.30am – 9.15am Breakfast
9.15am – 9.30am Planning
9.30am – 11.00am Writing
11.00am – 11.30am Break
11.30am – 12.30pm Writing
12.30pm – 1.15pm Activity: walk/run/tennis – you choose
1.15pm – 2.00pm Lunch
2.00pm – 3.30pm Writing
3.30pm – 4.30pm Break, taking stock, outputs, feedback, next moves


For further information contact Dr Elsbeth Robson (writing retreat facilitator, University of Hull)

NB: This writing retreat is being run on the model refined by Prof Rowena Murray

Book your place

Reading list

  • Murray R (2015) Writing in Social Spaces: A Social Processes Approach to Academic Writing. London: Routledge.
  • Murray, R (2012) It’s not a hobby: Reconceptualizing the place of writing in academic work, Higher Education. DOI: 10.1007/s10734-012-9591-7.
  • MacLeod I, Steckley L & Murray R (2011) Time is not enough: Promoting strategic engagement with writing for publication, Studies in Higher Education, 37(5): 641-54.
  • Moore S, Murphy M & Murray R (2010) Increasing academic output and supporting equality of career opportunity in universities: Can writers’ retreats play a role?, Journal of Faculty Development, 24(3): 21-30.
  • Murray R (2011) Developing a community of research practice, British Educational Research Journal, 38(5): 783-800.
  • Murray R & Newton M (2009) Writing retreat as structured intervention: Margin or mainstream?, Higher Education Research and Development, 28(5): 527-39.
  • Murray R (2013) Writing for Academic Journals, 3 rd ed. Maidenhead: OU Press-McGraw-Hill.