Tuesday, 6 December 2016

The fourth #LTUacwrimo is done!

Our first all-campus 'Shut up and write' session!
Photo by Tseen Khoo
What a November that was!

You may have seen us spruiking our listing of possibilities and opportunities for researchers and their writing during November.

The RED team put this fabulous program together for La Trobe's Academic Writing Month (#LTUacwrimo).

How did it actually go in the ground? Well, I'm glad you asked!

If you missed the action, here's what went down:
  • The month had two #LTUacwrimo tweetchats that top and tailed activities, and they are Storify'd so that you can benefit from the wisdom of your peers: Opening chat / Closing chat. The chats are full of tips and strategies on how to prepare and clear time for Academic Writing Month, realistic goal-setting, the necessity of self-care in the midst of intensive writing, and much more. Many thanks to all the lovely tweetchatters, whose insights now live on!
  • We had great presenters and facilitators as part of the month, with Thinkwell, Dr Adam Casey, and our Law School's Emma Henderson holding sessions in Melbourne and Bendigo. Many of the workshops were booked out! The sessions, aligned with the month as a whole, focused on the doing of academic writing. Thinkwell and Emma showed how to increase your writing productivity and complete those papers, and Adam worked with researchers on the tricky task of knowing how to edit academic work.
  • 37 people participated on the #LTUacwrimo challenge spreadsheet. These were mostly from La Trobe (or ex-La Trobe!), along with colleagues from RMIT, University of Melbourne, and Lincoln University (NZ). It's not too late for the participants to fill in their month's achievements! We'll leave the spreadsheet open a while longer. 
  • Photo competition winner:
    Suzanne Fegan (Learning Futures) 
  • The photo competition was won by Suzanne Fegan (Learning Futures) for the image to the right! Thanks to all those who entered the competition! And a big thank you to our judges, who turned the results around in record time! Hats off to you, Miranda Rose (SHE), Carl Dziunka (ASSC), and Fiona Salisbury (Library).
  • The RED 3-day researcher writing retreat booked out within a day, and about 45 of us occupied John Scott Meeting House from 21-23 November. In among the many hours devoted to steady and quiet work on our research/writing, there was good food, yoga, and mini-workshops. It's an intense time, but participants come away with a real sense of achievement and they've certainly moved their writing projects along.
  • Our first all-campus 'Shut up and write' session was a great success, with over 40 researchers from across all La Trobe's campuses taking part. It was good fun to see our colleagues from near and far, all focused on their academic writing goals! We had a lucky door-prize - of course - and the lucky Helene Johns (Judith Lumley Centre) won.
  • The very last day of November - the 30th - featured the final tweetchat and an end-of-#LTUacwrimo celebration organised by Nick Anthony and Anne Brouwer (La Trobe University Graduate Research Student Society - find this shiny new group on Facebook here: GRSS). It was a wonderful chance to catch up with colleagues, fellow participants, and ease into the end of a very busy month!
RED's researcher writing retreat about to begin!
Photo by Tseen Khoo

Anne Brouwer (L) awarding Ben Richards his gift voucher at
the GRSS/RED end-of-#LTUacwrimo celebration.
Photo by Tseen Khoo

The achievement wall at the GRSS/RED celebration.
Photo by Tseen Khoo
For those who are missing the momentum of #LTUacwrimo, or wanting to sustain their writing practice through the summer, here are a few ideas:
  • Are you part of a regular 'shut up and write' group? It doesn't have to be one that's run by the RED team, or even made up of La Trobe researchers. Through the summer months, you can create your own schedule for writing, and convene a group that's at the same level of commitment! Here's how you start your own group. Regular appointments with your writing and the benevolent surveillance of your peers can work wonders.
  • If doing 'shut up and write' sessions isn't your thing, having regularly blocked out writing mornings or afternoons are great for keeping in the habit of connecting with your work and making progress. Make them regular, and make them sacrosanct!
  • If you want to get a piece finished by early next year, line up a couple of critical friends who will be expecting to receive your work - choose people who are supportive and honest, AND make sure you find them a little bit scary so that you'll follow through on your stated deadlines! 
Thank you to everyone who made #LTUacwrimo such a success! We hope that it was a good boost to your writing mojo at a time of the year when there are many demands.

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