People gathering around a table writing

February 1, 2023, by hayleychipman

Writers’ Retreat

The University of Nottingham, School of Health Sciences recently ran a two-day scholarly writing retreat to provide a supportive environment for academics who are interested in starting to write for publication.

The retreat is underpinned by mental and physical health and wellbeing, designed to support academic productivity by offering a safe, restorative environment.  The aim is to give academics space to physically and mentally escape from the pressures of work to devote time to writing in the company of like-minded individuals.

The retreat was held in the magnificent Trent Building, which in itself offers inspirational surroundings where we walked in the footsteps of inspirational and eminent visitors such as Einstein and Gandhi. The retreat was attended by UoN staff as well as colleagues invited from neighbouring Universities to promote collegiality and networking opportunities.

The day kicked off with a presentation and workshop from The Writer a London based company dedicated to “working together to find the words that shift the world’. This proved invaluable to the group who found new ways to negotiate mental blocks, imposter syndrome, challenges of grammar and sentence structuring, as well as how to pitch an idea to engage potential readers.

After lunch we covered topics such as successful networking, managing your digital presence, ways to publicise your work, and creative collaboration to spark new ideas.

Not only did attendees enjoy networking together at an enjoyable lunch but had the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful grounds and take inspiration from the lake and nature walks on the campus. No preparatory work was needed other than some ideas about what people might like to write about, and an enthusiastic interest in getting published.

A variety of people attended including nurses, physiotherapists, educators, and students currently engage with the internship program. Those who attended said:

  • ‘Exceeded expectations I finally know how to turn the sparks of ideas in my brain into tangible content! Almost completed my first article which I started today! #LoveAPunchyTitle!’
  • ‘inspiring, empowering and within my reach. Let’s get writing!’
  • ‘confidence boosting and revealing hidden opportunities’
  • ‘as somebody completely new to writing, these 2 days have given me the headstart I’d hoped for!’
  • ‘Great space to think, network and, of course, write’
  • ‘a fantastic opportunity which has given me the space, time, tools, and confidence to get my work published. Thank you’
  • ‘A great opportunity to learn some helpful tips, take time to consider and develop my writing style, but most importantly encouraged me to publish my own writing’

Following the success of this year’s retreat, there are plans for more activities and support for writing for publication. For further information about future retreats please contact Dr Michelle Croston


Dr Liz Charalambous, Assistant Professor, School of Health Sciences, University of Nottingham

Dr Michelle Croston, Associate Professor, School of Health Sciences, University of Nottingham

Professor Aimee Aubeeluck, School of Health Sciences, University of Nottingham

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