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Using structured writing retreats to support novice researchers

Petia Petrova (University of Bedfordshire, Luton, UK)
Annika Coughlin (University of Bedfordshire, Luton, UK)

International Journal for Researcher Development

ISSN: 2048-8696

Article publication date: 18 May 2012




The purpose of this article is to disseminate to a readership of researcher development professionals the authors' own experiences of having organised four writing retreats, and to share their tips for good practice.


Although the authors do draw upon references to pertinent literature, they choose a predominantly descriptive format. They detail the format of each retreat and present their reflections on the process of organising and delivering the retreats.


Retreats are positive, inspirational and valuable to those involved. They provide an opportunity to participate in the practices that are generally central to an academic identity and that can help participants in their identity transitions.

Research limitations/implications

This is not intended to be an academic article.

Practical implications

The article can inform practice and provides practical recommendations for delivery of writing retreats.

Social implications

The article incorporates discussion of the authors' experientially‐informed view that writing retreats offer supportive environments for developing early career researchers, and enabling their career growth through publishing, and often they provide opportunities for engaging with the academic community, which participants may not have experienced before.


There are few published articles that focus on writing retreats. What this article offers is a culmination of experiences from four different retreats. It has the potential to provide a reference point for academic developers and those considering writing retreats or related researcher development interventions.



Petrova, P. and Coughlin, A. (2012), "Using structured writing retreats to support novice researchers", International Journal for Researcher Development, Vol. 3 No. 1, pp. 79-88.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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