The RWC supports PhD Writers’ Groups.
It does this by a.) offering PhD writers a quiet, distraction-free space for writing.
What is a writers' group?
There are many kinds of writers’ groups. At a minimum, a writers’ group consists of a circle of people who meet regularly to write.
Though the dynamic that makes writers’ groups so successful is not well understood, those who have benefitted from writers’ group membership can testify that when they come together with others to share a space and a time for writing, they get work done.
The literature tells us that an essential element in the success of a writers’ group is ‘commitment’. Members commit to showing up at the agreed-upon times.
How often do they meet?
Our writers’ groups tend to meet at least once a week, work for a few hours each time they meet, break for a chat over coffee and treats, and then return to work for an hour or two more.
Some writers’ groups not only write, but set aside time for reading, discussing, and critiquing one another's work. Currently, the PhD Writers’ Groups do not meet for peer reviews, but do talk to each other during their breaks about issues they are having, often receiving advice from fellow members who have had experience with that or a similar issue.
The PhD Writers’ Groups that we support meet to share a time and a space for writing and respect each other’s need for quiet encouragement and camaraderie.
What the group doesn't offer
What the PhD Writers’ Group is not: it is not a place to go seeking help with your dissertation. For that, we have peer writing tutors.
There can be nothing more de-motivating than a group member that is continually distracting others away from their writing.
A writer in a writers’ group needs to be able to get work done. In a healthy group, each member gives as much as they get, but the most important thing is that they feel that no one is intruding on their time and their space for writing.
I graduated from my PhD in January 2018, after having completed my research and write-up in under 3 years. I found the PhD writers' group invaluable as it not only provided me with space to write without distractions and the companionship of other PhD students. It also helped me build good writing habits and learn more about the writing process in an academic context.
Contact the RWC if you think that you would like to join one of the established groups or if you would like to start your own group.