Critical Collaborative Communities

Academic Writing Partnerships, Groups, and Retreats


Volume Editors: and
Writing comprises a significant proportion of academic staff members’ roles. While academics have been acculturated to the notion of ‘publish or perish,’ they often struggle to find the time to accomplish writing papers and tend to work alone. The result can be a sense of significant stress and isolation around the writing process. Writing partnerships, groups, and retreats help mitigate these challenges and provide significant positive writing experiences for their members.

Critical Collaborative Communities describes diverse examples of partnerships from writing regularly with one or two colleagues to larger groups that meet for a single day, regular writing meetings, or a retreat over several days. While these approaches bring mutual support for members, each is not without its respective challenges. Each chapter outlines an approach to writing partnerships and interrogates its strengths and limitations as well as proposes recommendations for others hoping to implement the practice. Authors in this volume describe how they have built significant trusting relationships that have helped avoid isolation and have led to their self-authorship as academic writers.

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Nicola Simmons, Ph.D., Brock University, focuses on postsecondary pedagogy. She is co-editor of the Brill | Sense Critical Issues in the Future of Learning and Teaching series, a 3M National Teaching Fellow, and holds a Brock Chancellor’s Chair for Teaching Excellence.

Ann Singh, M.Ed., Brock University, is a Project Management Professional (PMP) who is interested in adult education, lifelong learning, and mentorship. Ann teaches courses on project development and management and believes in extending learning beyond the classroom.
Pam Denicolo
List of Figures and Tables
Nicola Simmons

Part 1: Writing Partnerships

1 Cheaper Than Therapy: The Unexpected Benefits and Challenges of an Academic Writing Partnership
Karen Julien and Jacqueline L. Beres
2 “We’ll Do Whate’er We List”: Growing, Creating, and Writing Together as Faculty of Difference
M. Soledad Caballero and Aimee Knupsky
3 Collaboration at a Distance: Exploring History, Communication, Trust and Socialization
Erik Blair and Georgette Briggs
4 Just Show Up: Reflections from a Motley Writing Group
Janel Seeley, Tia Frahm and Elizabeth Lynch

Part 2: Onsite Writing Retreats

5 Advancing the Writing of Academics: Stories from the Writing Group
Jennifer Lock, Yvonne Kjorlien, M. Gregory Tweedie, Roswita Dressler and Sarah Elaine Eaton
6 Faculty Writing Studio: A Place to Write
Remica Bingham-Risher and Joyce Armstrong
7 Campus-Wide, Non-Residential, Five-Day Faculty Writing Retreat: Partnerships Lead to a Sustainable Writing Program
Dannelle D. Stevens and Janelle Voegele
8 The Benefits of Writing Retreats Revisited
Genevieve Maheux-Pelletier, Heidi Marsh and Mandy Frake-Mistak

Part 3: Offsite Writing Retreats

9 Something Wicked This Way Comes: Wyrd Sisters, Collaborating In-the-Round
Lisa Dickson, Shannon Murray and Jessica Riddell
10 Writing Wild: Writing Partnerships That Fly
Cecile Badenhorst, Sarah Pickett and John Hoben
11 Creating and Sustaining a Community of Academic Writing Practice: The Multi-University Residential Academic Writing Retreat Model
Michelle K. McGinn, Sne.ana Ratkovi., Dragana Martinovic and Ruth McQuirter Scott
12 Writing about Writing: Collaborative Writing and Photographic Analyses from an Academic Writing Retreat
Kari-Lynn Winters, Natasha Wiebe and Mary Gene Saudelli

Part 4: Collaborative Writing Groups

13 Writing within an Academic Microculture: Making Our Practice Visible
Cheryl Jeffs, Carol Berenson, Patti Dyjur, Kimberley A. Grant, Frances Kalu, Natasha Kenny, Kiara Mikita, Robin Mueller and Lorelli Nowell
14 Supporting Writing Collaborations through Synchronous Technologies: Singing Our ssong about Working Together at a Distance
Michelle J. Eady, Corinne Green, Ashley B. Akenson, Briony Supple, Marian McCarthy, James Cronin and Jacinta McKeon
15 Growing the Canadian SoTL Community through a Collaborative Writing Initiative
Elizabeth Marquis and Nicola Simmons
16 Collaborative Writing: Intercultural and Interdisciplinary Partnerships as a Means of Identity Formation
Phillip Motley, Aysha Divan, Valerie Lopes, Lynn O. Ludwig, Kelly E. Matthews and Ana M. Tomljenovic-Berube
17 An International Interdisciplinary Writing Group: Perspectives on Building Partnerships and Developing Community
Barbara Kensington-Miller, Carolyn Oliver, Sue Morón-García, Karen Manarin, Earle Abrahamson, Nicola Simmons and Jessica Deshler
18 Creation, Critique, Consolidation
Nicola Simmons

Notes on Contributors
Anyone interested in writing partnerships, group, and retreats, but especially scholars wishing to increase their publication capacity and/or develop skills in collaborative writing.
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