Coming up



PhD research writing development opportunities

Mini Thesis Boot Camp 6-7 July 2017

Are you ready for the challenge of mini - Thesis Boot Camp?

“A wonderful experience - I'd recommend it without reservation and would welcome it as a bi-annual event for QMUL researchers! Having shared my experiences with fellow researchers and staff in my department, many wish they had attended.” (3rd year PhD, Thesis Boot Camp, November 2015)

Introducing the QMUL mini Thesis Boot Camp (mini TBC), a no-excuses, no-time-for-procrastination, intensive writing event to get your thesis done. Dedicated solely to getting words down, this is a challenging but rewarding event designed to help you make tangible progress with your writing.

When: 6-7 July 2017 (14h00 – 20h30 on 6 July, and 09h30 – 20h00 on 7 July)

Where: Graduate Centre at QMUL Mile End campus

Who: PhD researchers who have completed a great deal of reading, research and data collection and are ready to write at least one draft chapter, and who can commit to attending the whole event

How much:         QMUL PhD researcher – £30

              Non-QMUL PhD researcher – £80

Sessions will include motivational talks, goal setting and strategies for writing quickly and well, and approximately twelve hours of concentrated writing. Facilitators will be on hand to discuss any problems and catering will be provided to ensure an encouraging, distraction-free environment.

Applications open on 2nd May and close on 30th May at 5pm. Applicants will be informed of the outcome by 5th June.

An application can be downloaded here: mini Thesis Boot Camp Application Form QMUL July 2017.docx

Further information about the mini TBC can be downloaded here: Thinking Writing QMUL Mini Thesis Boot Camp Information.docx 

  • Full day retreats at Eastbury Manor House - booking open below

We're pleased to announce our selection of full day retreats taking place in a picturesque National Trust property only 20 minutes from QMUL. If you need a time and space away from everyday pressures to make progress on a reading or writing project than a full day retreat is just the thing.

Throughout the retreat you will be supported by short tasks to get you started and give you direction. You’ll be in the company of your peers to share tips and advice, and facilitated by a member of the Thinking Writing team.

And all this will take place in the beautiful surroundings of Eastbury Manor House on the eastern outskirts of London. This Elizabethan building sits in tranquil gardens and feels like a world away from university life.

Each retreat will have a small charge to cover the cost of catering and venue. You may be able to use training funds from your department/funding body to pay for a retreat - ask your department administrator for further details. We don't want anyone to miss our on our events because of financial constraints, so do contact us if this is an issue for you.  

If you would like more information on retreats in general, please read our retreats section or contact Kelly Peake or Heather Campbell

25th May - Reviewing & Editing Your Thesis - booking now open

This combined workshop and retreat is designed for writers who have completed at least one draft chapter of their thesis and want to explore strategies for reworking it both at the micro-level of editing sentences and paragraphs, the macro-level of restructuring sections and chapters, and the tricky in-between bits you don’t know what to with. The day is structured as 30% teaching where the strategies are introduced and 70% writing time where participants can use the ideas on their own writing and have an optional discussion with the facilitator. 

17th June - Saturday Writing Retreat - booking now open

This retreat aims to give students a time and space to get away from everyday pressures, and to make progress on a writing project such as a thesis chapter(s) or conference paper. Another aim is to help you become more aware of your processes around writing and use this knowledge to help you work more productively. 

4th July - Writing Retreat - booking now open

As above.

19th July - Writing Retreat - booking now open

As above.

  • Half day retreats at QMUL

    • Morning retreats (09:00-12:30): Tuesday 2nd May

    • Afternoon retreats (1.00-4.30): Friday 19th May 

These events are half day morning or afternoon retreats that offer a time, place and collegial atmosphere to get your research writing or reading done without distractions. They follow the same structure as our whole day retreats – goal setting, writing/reading, reflection – but with less time allocated to discussion; as such they are aimed at those people who have been on a retreat before.  If you haven’t been on a retreat before or feel that you have issues with writing that you’d like to discuss, we recommend that you come to one of our whole day retreats or email us for a conversation to discuss attending a half day.

Attendance is free for QMUL students but by application as there are a limited number of spaces. There will be a charge of £15 for non-QMUL students. Please note that to attend this retreat you need to arrive on time and be ready to start at 9.15/13.15.  

To apply, please email us giving the date(s) you would like to attend, your name, your school/research unit, intended writing project, and a statement confirming that you have previously attended a writing retreat. We will then get back to you to either confirm your place and let you know the venue, or to put you on the waiting list. 

  • Regular writing group - now in progress

We are starting writing groups structured to help regular writing and long term goal setting. In joining this group participants will set a goal for the whole semester (to finish a PhD chapter or journal article, perhaps) and will commit to coming every week for 10 weeks for the full two hour slot. The group will meet in room 3 in Mile End Library, first floor. We will offer gentle facilitation, minimal discussion, and some methods for developing writing over this time frame.  

Our current writing group is now full up, but we'll be running others. If you would like to know when the next group starts, please email us to be added to our mailing list. 

Staff Retreats

  • Staff writing retreat - 09:15-16:45, 7th June 2017 - FULLY BOOKED - please email us if you would like to be put on the waiting list.

If you need some time and space to get away from everyday pressures and to make progress on a writing project then our staff writing retreats are for you. Throughout each retreat you will be supported by short writing tasks, designed to get writing started, and goal setting, designed to maintain motivation. Each retreat will be held off campus but close to QMUL, in a quiet location in Bethnal Green. There is a charge of £20 QMUL staff/£40 non-QMUL staff for each retreat to cover venue and catering.



If you would like to be kept informed about future events, please contact Kelly Peake or Heather Campbell to be put onto the direct mailing list.