Retreats are offered throughout the year and provide faculty an opportunity to set aside time for their writing, and write in the company of others in a comfortable, relaxed space. 

Academic year retreats are typically offered in August, December, and February, and focus on dedicated writing time, strategies for sustaining writing momentum, and goal setting discussions.

The summer retreat and workshop is a four-day immersive writing retreat and includes writing time, workshops, and feedback on works in progress.   

Learn more about faculty experiences in the summer retreat in the Duke News article At summer retreat, faculty brush up on their writing

SPRING 2021 

Writing Retreat for Researchers 

March 18 and 19 | 9:30-3:30 | online

Are you interested in boosting your writing productivity? Join us for a multi-part writing program to help researchers achieve their writing goals. The program combines a 2-day virtual writing retreat with successive writing groups among program participants. The Team Science Core (CTSI), the Duke Office of Research Initiatives, and the Office for Campus Research Development, in collaboration with the Duke Faculty Write Program are launching a writing group program to encourage productivity and accountability in your writing. All research faculty are welcome to take part, regardless of discipline. Seats are limited and registration is required. 

Complete the interest survey at this link. *Please note that space is limited in our event. Upon completion of this survey, if space allows, we will be in touch with a link to complete your registration, and more information for registered participants.

What is involved in the program? 

 (1) Attend the 2-Day Virtual Writing Retreat on March 18th & 19th, 2021 from 9:30AM – 3:30 PM (with one hour for lunch). The retreat will feature: 3 interactive, skill-building workshops; structured individual writing time; an orientation to the next phase of the program: Convening weekly writing groups for the remainder of the program.  Workshop leaders:  Jennifer Ahern-Dodson and Sohini Sengupta. 

(2) Participate in weekly writing groups through (at least) May 28th, 2021. Each writing group will be convened by a facilitator who will work with the group to schedule and host the weekly writing sessions on Zoom.  For more information, please contact





Spring Retreat: The Restorative Power of Communal Writing

Saturday, March 13, 2021   |  9:00am - 4:00pm  | Online

In this retreat, writers will dedicate time to writing, quietly but also in community. Participants will also have an opportunity to engage in activities designed to awaken awareness of physical habits and renew commitment to their writing as a fundamentally embodied practice. Bring a writing project that you want to work on, at any stage of completion, and make progress on it in community with others. Facilitators: Jennifer Ahern-Dodson (Writing Studies) and Sarah Wilbur (Dance). Space is limited. 

Register here:

"Sitting in this chair; squirming away from the glitches, aches, low-grade tensions reverberating in neck and hip, staring unfocused at some space between here and the nearest objects, shifting again, listening to my stomach growl, to the clock ticking, shifting, stretching, settling, turning--I am a body writing  . . . .

We used to pretend the body was uninvolved, that it remained mute and still while the mind thought. We even imagined that thought, once conceived, transferred itself effortlessly onto the page via a body whose natural role as instrument facilitated the pen. Now we know that the caffeine we imbibe mutates into the acid of thought which the body then excretes, thereby etching ideas across the page.  Now we know that the body cannot be taken for granted, cannot be taken seriously, cannot be taken."

--Susan Leigh Foster, Choreographing History.

FALL 2020 

Engaged Scholar Writing Retreat 

October 9, 2020   |  9:30am - 3:30pm  | Online

Are you teaching an engaged pedagogy such as service-learning, community-based research, or participatory action research and working to advance your scholarship? Does your research include community partners? Do you want to explore ways to connect with North Carolina faculty and administrators who are working on community-engaged scholarship? Join other engaged scholars in the third annual writing retreat. The retreat includes time for writing as well as discussions on writing strategies and a conversation with engaged scholar Dr. Keisha Bentley-Edwards. Dr. Bentley-Edwards studies how race, racial socialization, and racism affect the health and well-being of children and adults. Her work has been published in scholarly journals and featured in a range of local and national media outlets. 

Bring a writing project that you want to work on, at any stage of completion. You’ll make progress on it while participating in a writing community. Sponsored by North Carolina Campus Compact, the Duke Office of Civic Engagement, and Duke Service-Learning. Facilitator: Jennifer Ahern-Dodson

Get Your Writing Moving Retreat 

Friday, October 30, 2020 | 1:15pm to 4:15pm | Online

This half-day retreat focuses on the relationship between writing and movement. Participants will have time to write, learn strategies to boost productivity and enjoyment in their writing, and connect with a supportive faculty community. Facilitators: Jennifer Ahern-Dodson & Sarah Wilbur (Dance).

End-of-Semester Writing Retreat

Monday, December 7  |  9:30am - 3:00pm  | Online

Make progress on a project and write alongside colleagues after we close out the fall semester. Retreat includes structured writing time and strategies for sustaining writing momentum over break. Even if you are home, you can still retreat. Even if we are apart, we can work in community among colleagues. Facilitator: Jennifer Ahern-Dodson.

Regularly Offered Retreats

Summer Scholarly Writing Retreat

Want to jump start your summer writing? Interested in learning how to be a more productive and engaged writer this summer? Would you benefit from writing and learning alongside others who also are committed to making progress on a scholarly writing project? Each day of this four-day scholarly writing retreat includes both hands-on workshops and time to write independently in a comfortable, relaxed space. Learn practical skills about productive writing habits, make progress on a writing project, and participate in a writing community. This retreat is designed to help you to reconnect with yourself, your work, and one another. If you want to spend some time with your writing, the retreat can help you to figure out the best way forward for you.

Summer Scholarly Writing Retreat: ALUMNI EDITION

Advanced writing retreat designed for writers who've participated in at least one summer retreat.

End-of-Summer Writing Retreat

Want one last writing burst before fall semester begins? Would you like to reconnect with other writers? Each day of this writing retreat includes time to write independently and optional workshops on productive writing habits. 

Summer Retreat Facilitators:
Monique Dufour

Monique Dufour
Collegiate Assistant Professor
of History, Virginia Tech

Jennifer Ahern-Dodson, Thompson Writing Program

Jennifer Ahern-Dodson
Assistant Professor of the Practice
Thompson Writing Program, Duke

Summer 2019 Scholarly Writing Retreat