Scholarly Writing Retreat 2023

The Scholarly Writing Retreat offers WashU humanities and humanistic social sciences faculty, postdocs and graduate students the opportunity to jump-start their summer writing in a motivated, supportive and collaborative atmosphere. Participants will bring their laptops and research materials to the Center for the Humanities and work intensively (but quietly!) on their individual projects in communal spaces, following a self-determined schedule of focused writing periods, lunch breaks (participants will bring their own lunch or eat at the DUC) and coffee breaks. A limited number of spots is available; participants will be registered on a first-come, first-served basis.  

Registration has now ended.


The Center for the Humanities conference room in Umrath Hall, Room 201, is home base for the retreat, but participants will spread out to an assortment of rooms and offices in Umrath Hall to work.

Dates & times 

May 22–June 2, 9 am–4 pm daily

No meeting on Memorial Day, Monday, May 29. Participants are not required to attend the entire duration of the workshop.

Week 1: Monday–Friday, May 22–26

Special note: Monday, May 22
9:15 am - Brief intro to the retreat by retreat organizers, Umrath Hall, Room 224 (Bridge conference room)
12 pm - Optional group lunch (please RSVP in your registration)

Week 2: Tuesday–Friday, May 30–June 2

Special note: Monday, May 26
No meeting on Memorial Day holiday

Special note: Tuesday, May 30
9:15 am - Intro meeting, Umrath Hall, Room 224 (Bridge conference room)

Special note: Wednesday, May 31
12 pm - Optional group lunch (please RSVP in your registration)

What to bring

Laptop and any needed materials. The humanities center conference room will be locked every evening, so materials may be left overnight if desired. The humanities center will also supply a steady stream of snacks, drinks and coffee to fuel your writing!


Per campus policy, masking is strongly recommended in indoor communal spaces.


Writing Resources

Tips for Cultivating a Successful Writing Practice - compiled by past SWR participants

10 Steps to Finishing a PhD Thesis

The importance of writing an effective abstract when you submit a journal article 

Hayot’s 5 Levels of Literary Critical Prose

An excerpt from Germano, From Dissertation to Book

Boice’s 10 Mindful Mays of Writing from Advice for New Faculty Members

Braun, How to Craft the “Uneven U”

Becoming an Academic Writer