Writing Groups

Participants in a writing groupWriting is a significant part of our professional lives as faculty. We’re working on articles, grant proposals, books, teaching statements, blogs, or op-eds.

Too often, however, we don’t have opportunities to talk about the process, our struggles, or to get feedback from readers outside (or even within) our own departments. It also can be difficult to find time to write given our other important commitments as teachers, mentors, and administrators.

The Faculty Write Program sponsors writing groups to enhance writing productivity, collegiality, and the exchange of ideas across disciplines. Writing group types include:

Feedback/writing exchange groups – each participant brings a short piece of writing to share for discussion. Groups typically include 3-5 writers and meet either monthly or weekly. 

Write-on-site – participants meet at an agreed upon time and place to work on independent writing projects alongside other faculty. Arrive with any materials you will need to work on your own writing, and write in good company with other faculty. Stay as long as your schedule allows. Coffee and snacks provided to fuel your efforts. 

Accountability or “check-in” groups – faculty set goals and share their progress with other faculty (can be in person or virtual). Participants report back on their progress, and reporting to a group of peers increases their accountability to meet the outlined goals.

Some groups form around specific topics (i.e. experiential education), type of writing (creative writing or public scholarship), or faculty cohort (new faculty, associate professors, women faculty). Writing groups form in September, December, and May. Please contact Lead Writing Group Convener Melissa Simmermeyer (simmerme@duke.ed) if you are interested in joining or starting a writing group. 


Spring 2020 Groups. Thank you to Spring 2020 Write-on-Site Writing Group conveners Dori Canelas (Chemistry), Lisa Griffin (Law), Melissa Simmermeyer (Romance Studies), and Charlotte Sussman (English). 

Thank you especially to Melissa Simmermeyer for convening two weekly online writing groups March-May, so writers could continue to gather and write in the company of others, even while apart.


Contact Jennifer Ahern-Dodson (jahern@duke.edu) to discuss organizing a writing group, workshop, or retreat for your department, school, or program.