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Faculty Summer Writing Retreats

The Faculty Summer Writing Retreats provide uninterrupted time and space for writing free from distractions. The weeklong daily retreats offer blocks of time for writing, an opportunity for individual writing consultations with facilitator Elizabeth Lenaghan, take-home meal support, and research and caregiving stipends to eligible faculty. Read about the experiences of participants in the 2022 Faculty Summer Writing Retreat.

July 17-21 and July 24-28, 2023
10 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday-Friday

Facilitator: Elizabeth Lenaghan, Director, Cook Family Writing Program; Associate Professor of Instruction; and Assistant Director, The Writing Place

Dates: The retreat will be offered twice, July 17-21 and July 24-28, 2023. The hours for both are 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday through Friday. Faculty can attend only one of the two weeks and must be able to attend the full daily session all five days.

Location: Guild Lounge, Scott Hall, Evanston campus. Please note that the retreat does not offer a remote option.


  • 10-10:15 a.m.: Goal-setting and writing workshop
  • 10:15-noon: Independent writing
  • Noon-1 p.m.: Lunch
  • 1-3pm: Independent writing

Research Stipend: A $500 research stipend transferred into discretionary accounts can be used for expenses associated with faculty writing and research projects, such as research materials. COVID-19 Research Recovery Grant winners are not eligible for the writing retreat research stipend.

Caregiving Stipend: Caregivers of dependent children and/or senior adults are eligible to receive a caregiving stipend if they need to make special caregiving arrangements in order to attend the retreat. Applicants will be asked to attest to caregiving status, provide a brief statement of need and plans for childcare or adult/senior care arrangements, and provide an estimated budget up to a maximum of $1,000. See the online application for examples of needs and budget plans. The stipend will be paid as additional compensation, considered taxable income, and included in the monthly paycheck. Payments will be grossed up to cover the applicable taxes, but other deductions such as retirement contributions may still apply.

Take Home Family Meals Support: All participants will receive a take-away family dinner meal each afternoon to bring home with them.

Eligible Faculty: Pre-tenure assistant professors and tenured associate professors in all schools; NTE assistant professors and NTE associate professors at Bienen, Kellogg, McCormick, Medill, Pritzker, SESP, SoC and WCAS. Priority is given to faculty who did not attend the 2022 retreat.

Application/Criteria: Applicants will be selected based on pandemic impact on writing productivity and proposed plans for writing during the weeklong retreat. The brief online application form asks faculty the following questions:

  1. In 150 words or less, describe your writing goals for the summer writing retreat (paper, article, grant application, book chapter, etc.)
  2. In 150 words or less, explain why you want to participate in this writing retreat, including how it will help you recover from pandemic impacts.

Deadline to apply: April 7, 2023. Space is limited.

Questions: Please contact Joan Johnson at