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CHASE writing summer school workshops and residential

A set of two workshops followed by a two day writing retreat make up a series of Summer writing workshops for CHASE students facilitated by former Royal Literary Fellows Anne Wilson and Katie Grant

CHASE writing summer school workshops and residential

Various dates

Monday 16 July 2018: Behind the mystique: what academic writing is, and how to get better at it
FULLY BOOKED please email to be added to a waiting list
Birkbeck, University of London

This one-day workshop is for any student who wants to write more clearly and stylishly within their discipline. It strips down academic writing to its fundamentals. Students explore:

  • what academic writing is and what it's for

  • how you see yourself as a writer (your 'writer identity')

  • what 'good' looks like, and how this varies by discipline

  • the writing process: thinking, planning, drafting and editing

  • developing good writing practice

  • top tips (to avoid common writing pitfalls)

This course is facilitated by two professional writers. Every participant will get one-to-one feedback on a sample of their academic writing, including specific suggestions about how to improve.

Tuesday 17 July 2018: Story time: how to create a narrative through your literature review
FULLY BOOKED please email to be added to a waiting list
Birkbeck, University of London

"I've done the reading. I know what I want to say. but how do I make it 'flow'?"

A good literature review tells a compelling story. It 'leads' the reader through the thinking that lies behind your research question. This one day workshop helps students to create a narrative by heightening their awareness of their relationship with the reader.   By the end of the workshop, students will:

·         understand what the literature review is, and what it's for

·         be more aware of what the reader needs and wants from their writing

·         know what makes a good story in an academic context

·         be more aware of the importance of thinking and planning

·         know some tips and techniques to improve the 'flow' of their literature review

Every student will have the opportunity to bring material from their own literature review in order to discuss it individually with either Katie or Anne.

Thursday, 19 July 2018: Reaching out: writing about your research for non-specialist audiences
Birkbeck, University of London

Many postgraduate students struggle to explain complex research, in writing, to people outside their discipline, or outside academia. Yet, these days, being able to write about your research for a broad range of audiences is an essential skill. This practical workshop helps students to identify who might be interested in their research and provides a set of tools to:

·         analyse a target audience

·         understand what their readers need and want

·         use this information to make choices about content, language and style

·         develop a set of key messages to communicate

·         craft a concise, coherent and persuasive narrative

This session, run by Anne Wilson, is packed with activities that help participants learn how to apply sound communications principles to writing about their own research.

Thursday 26 July to Friday 27 July 2018: Thinking, Writing, Advancing: a 2 day, residential writing retreat for mid- to late stage PhD students
FULLY BOOKED please email to be added to a waiting list
Birkbeck, University of London
09.30 arrival on 26 July until 16.30 on 27 July

The 'writing up' phase of the PhD can be stressful and lonely, especially if the student is under pressure to finish within a tight timescale. This two day, residential retreat offers a breathing space for PhD students, allowing them to air writing issues with their peers, share best practice and re-examine their writing process. Day 1 tackles common writing problems and gives students exercises to stimulate creativity and help them gain perspective on their project. In the evening, there is a communal dinner and networking. Day 2 is a chance to write in a quiet and supportive atmosphere and to have one-to-one consultations with Katie and Anne,  two successful professional writers.

Deadlines to register

Monday 2 July - 5 p.m. Behind the Mystique
Tuesday 3 July - 5 p.m. Lit Review
Thursday 5 July - 5 p.m. Non-specialist audiences
Thursday 12 July - 5 p.m. Writing retreat


Katie Grant co-created the Advancing Academic Writing skills website for the University of Glasgow, where she was the Royal Literary Fund Writing Fellow for three years, helping undergraduates, Masters and PhD students with their writing. A columnist, occasional broadcaster, author of ten novels (Sedition, her latest, is published by Virago) and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, she runs writing workshops on improving the quality, reach and impact of academic writing for all levels of HE. Long experience of the practical, emotional and organisational challenges of writing for deadlines and for different audiences informs all her workshops. She understands from first hand the value of getting writing done and getting it done well.

Anne Wilson has a background in journalism (features) and corporate communication (scripts, speeches, screen media copy), combining her writing with facilitating writing workshops in HE. She was Royal Literary Fund Fellow at Brunel University for three years, and now runs workshops on academic writing and professional communication for postgraduates and staff at Brunel and other universities. She also coaches students for the 3MT competition (won by Brunel in 2017). She has recently collaborated with the Brunel Occupational Therapy department to investigate what kind of feedback helps students to improve their academic writing.

Terms and conditions

By registering below you are requesting a place on this training programme or selected sessions that form part of the programme. A member of the CHASE team or the workshop leader will contact you in due course to confirm that a place has been allocated to you. If you no longer require a place, please email as soon as possible so your name can be removed from the registration list.  

If you are allocated a place but can no longer attend, please email so that your place can be reallocated. CHASE training is free to attend and events are often oversubscribed with a waiting list. Failure to notify us of non-attendance in good time (ideally 5 days prior to the workshop/programme) means your place cannot be reallocated and may result in your access to future CHASE training being restricted.

The training is open to:

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I would like to register for the following workshops (tick all that apply) *
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