Facilitator Training

Training for Retreat Facilitators will take place again this year on:

  • I will also be running my Training for Retreat Facilitators course at Chapelgarth Estate (North Yorkshire) on 10-12 October 2018. Email me to book a place

The Training for Retreat Facilitators will be preceded by a regular writing retreat. It is recommended that you attend both to see how Structured Writing Retreats work, but it's not a requirement.

Writing retreats are known to increase and improve scholarly output and research activity. Structured writing retreats can also be used to develop research capacity and grow research cultures. Attending multiple retreats is an effective way of making research part of academic work and life. Consequently, Deans, Research Coordinators and Heads of Department at several universities have now integrated writing retreats as a core component of their departmental research strategies.


This event is designed to provide development for those who want to run structured writing retreats. It will run over two and a half days, using the timings of structured writing retreats: starting on Wednesday at 5pm and finishing on Friday at 4pm. The facilitator will be Rowena Murray.

The workshop will review retreat formats, focusing on structured writing retreats. It will offer strategies for supporting participants at retreats, explaining how to prepare for and organise retreats (including pre-reading and joining instructions), providing structure, encouraging participants during retreats, checking on progress and addressing recurring issues and problems. This will include tips for helping people to write during retreats and continue to make progress with writing after retreats.

We will explore the literature on writing retreats (Grant, 2006; Grant and Knowles, 2000; MacLeod et al. 2012; Moore, 2003; Moore et al, 2010; Murray, 2015; Murray and Newton, 2009; Murray et al. 2012; Petrova and Coughlin, 2012).

There will be practical sessions, when participants can work on their approach to key moments and processes: starting a retreat, setting the tone, starting and ending writing sessions, containing the group, managing expectations, maintaining boundaries and maintaining health and wellbeing during periods of intensive writing.

We will review evaluation evidence and methods – looking at measures of the impact of retreats on writers in terms of outputs and outcomes – and review strategies for internal and external dissemination of findings. We will also review funding models.

All participants will receive copies of Rowena Murray’s recent articles on writing retreats and the following books: How to Write a Thesis, Writing for Academic Journals, The Handbook of Academic Writing: A Fresh Approach (with Sarah Moore) and Writing in Social Spaces: A Social Processes Approach to Academic Writing.

The venue is the Black Bull Hotel in Gartmore, near Aberfoyle. The cost for participants is £1,000, which covers full board and fee. If you wish to attend both the retreat and the training for retreat facilitators, you receive a 50% discount on the cost of the writing retreat (total cost £1,147.50)

To register contact: Rowena Murray

I will be running my Training for Retreat Facilitators course at Chapelgarth Estate (North Yorkshire) on 10-12 October 2018. Email me to book a place