Winter Dissertation Retreat

Sponsored by The Writing Center and the Liberman Graduate Center

PLEASE NOTE:  We are unable to offer a winter dissertation retreat in January 2022.  We do, however, plan to offer our usual summer retreat, and we will resume our winter retreats in January 2023.  In the meantime, we are happy to support your dissertation writing via 1-on-1 appointments.

The Writing Center and the Liberman Graduate Center invite applications to participate in a dissertation writing retreat near the end of winter break.  All Ph.D. candidates at any stage in the dissertation process are eligible to apply.  Participants are required to commit to the entire retreat, pledge not to use the internet or email during retreat hours (unless necessary for their writing process), and have no other commitments during retreat hours.  For more information, see below.

To apply, send a brief email detailing where you are in your process, your timeline for remaining work, and what you hope to accomplish during the retreat to  Please also include a very brief description of your dissertation project.  The deadline to apply is November 30, 2018.

Questions?  Contact Rob Patterson, director of The Writing Center at


Cost:  The retreat is free to participants.

What:  Twelve dissertation writers from across the university gathering in the Liberman Graduate Center for one week of concentrated dissertation-writing time in a supportive group setting:

  • Brief warm-up activities designed to jumpstart writing
  • Focused, sustained work on dissertations in scheduled blocks of writing time
  • Lunch discussions on issues and strategies related to dissertation writing
  • Priority access to one-on-one dissertation consultations with Writing Center staff
  • Advice and support from recent PhDs
  • Free coffee, tea, and healthy snacks
  • Brief cool-down activities designed to facilitate the next day’s writing
  • Overnight storage for participants’ materials

When:  Monday through Friday, January 7-11, 2019.  We begin each day at 9:00 and end at 4:00.  We break for lunch from 12:00 to 1:30.

Where:  The Liberman Graduate Center, Danforth University Center Suite 300

Why:  To help dissertation writers

  • Maintain their writing momentum from the fall into the spring semester, OR
  • Gain momentum from a less-than-productive fall and head into the spring semester having produced quality writing
  • Build supportive, interdisciplinary relationships among dissertation writers
  • Learn balanced and effective writing strategies and habits that continue post-degree
  • Learn how to provide productive feedback to peers