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Summer Writing Retreat

For some faculty members, navigating the pandemic has meant less time has been available for writing and revising articles, book manuscripts and grant proposals. To help address this challenge, Northwestern offers a weeklong, on-campus Summer Writing Retreat that will provide uninterrupted time and space for faculty to write.

Description: A weeklong daily retreat providing protected time and space for writing without distraction. The retreat includes daily 30-minute writing workshops and individual consultations led by a facilitator.

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

Dates: Monday-Friday, July 25-29, 2022, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. (Faculty participants must be able to attend all five full sessions.)

Location: Hardin Hall, Crown Center, West Tower, Evanston Campus. Please note that the retreat will be held in person only.


  • 10 a.m.-Noon: Independent writing
  • Noon-12:30 p.m.: Lunch
  • 12:30-1 p.m.: Writing workshop
  • 1-3 p.m.: Independent writing
  • Also:
    • First-day orientation and goal-setting workshop
    • Complimentary massage tune-ups will be offered on-site

Research stipend: A $500 research stipend transfer into discretionary accounts can be used for expenses associated with writing and research projects, such as research materials. 2022 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 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 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 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 may still apply, such as retirement contributions.

Take-home family meals support: All participants will receive a take-away family dinner meal for four each afternoon.  

Eligible faculty: Assistant professor tenure-line faculty and assistant professors of instruction or assistant professors, clinical, at Bienen, Kellogg, McCormick, Medill, Pritzker, SESP, SoC and WCAS.

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 200 words or less, describe the impact of the pandemic on your writing and productivity.
  2. In 200 words or less, describe your writing goals for the Summer Writing Retreat (paper, article, grant application, book chapter, etc.).
  3. In 200 words or less, explain why you want to participate in this writing retreat.

Deadline to apply: April 8, 2022

Questions: Please contact Joan Johnson at