Join a writing group to help you finish that manuscript

October 6, 2015

Academic life is busy. We have courses to teach, meetings to attend, students to mentor, exams to write, papers to grade. The list goes on and on. The tenure clock is ticking. The expectations for promotion haven’t changed. Declining internal budgets increase pressure to secure external grants to support our scholarly work. And we have (or should have) lives. We need time for our friends, family, and ourselves (down time to rest, recharge, and think).

So when do we write those conference proposals, papers, chapters, books, and grants?

If you struggle to meet your writing goals and have a project that needs attention, consider joining a writing group. CUTLA facilitates an electronic writing group.

Virtual Writers get one email a week with a link to a short survey. You set small, realistic writing goals for the next 7 days and report on your writing activities during the previous week. At the end of the term, you describe the writing projects you completed.

This simple system of accountability for writing goals helps people get writing done. Last year, 17 members of the Virtual Writers group reported completing the following projects: one article appeared in print by the end of the year, 9 submitted articles were accepted for publication (2 were in press at the end of the year), 4 articles were submitted and were still under review, and one writer submitted a grant proposal. Members of the group also wrote proposals for conference presentations: 16 proposal submissions resulted in conference presentations made during the year; 3 proposal submissions were still under review.

Virtual Writers is open to anyone on campus who has a writing project they want to complete (faculty, graduate students, and staff). Last year, two members were people from other campuses.

You can join the group at any time. Send an email to Claudia Stanny ( and ask to be added to the Virtual Writers email list. Membership expires automatically at the end of the term unless you actively renew your membership. 

10/6/15 ecr