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Writing Workshop Series for Graduate Students* - Winter Session (Faculty of Graduate Studies)

Writing Workshop Series for Graduate Students* - Winter Session (Faculty of Graduate Studies)

Facilitated by Dr. Hallie Wells and Dr. Karīna Vasiļevska-Das, these online workshops are designed to help you develop and refine a writing practice and gain concrete techniques to embolden your writing. The sessions follow a trajectory from the beginning of the writing process (developing and refining your writing practice) through to the final stages of revising and submitting. The format of the workshop is interactive and collaborative, as we allocate time for trying out specific activities as well as for discussion and sharing with other participants.

Recaps will be sent out after each session, so if you need to miss a week you’ll still be able to work on what we covered. Consistent participation is encouraged, but you are also welcome to choose the sessions that most speak to you.

Dr. Hallie Wells is a multi-disciplinary writer, editor, and writing coach. She holds a PhD in Sociocultural and Linguistic Anthropology from UC Berkeley, and her academic work bridges anthropology and poetics. In her editing and coaching practice, she loves nothing more than supporting scholars in making their ideas shine. She also loves karaoke.

Dr. Karīna Vasiļevska-Das is an anthropologist who primarily studies the interplay of children’s health and citizenship practices in the former Soviet Union. She holds a PhD from the UC Berkeley/UCSF Joint Program in Medical Anthropology. Karīna uses acting, walking, and singing to enhance her life as a writer and a mother of two children. She is committed to infusing academic writing with creativity and individuality. 

Session Topics:

Who Are You in the Vast Writing Cosmos?
Thursday, January 18, 1:00-3:00pm
Theme: An introduction to designing a writing practice that is tailored to you, sustainable over time, and adaptable to changing needs.
Takeaway: An outline of a writing plan that is tailored to your personality as a writer and your schedule for the semester.
Dream Worlds, Harsh Realities: Designing & Refining Your Writing Practice
Thursday, January 25, 1:00-3:00pm
Theme: This session covers all that can go awry in your writing practice, and what to do when life derails your best-laid plans.
Takeaway: A detailed, realistic writing plan that addresses at least one of your most significant writing challenges, and a back-up plan for when “Plan A” is not feasible.
Outlines, Maps, and Walks in the Park: Planning for Writing
Thursday, February 1, 1:00-3:00pm
Theme: Re-imagining how to plan out a writing project, including activities for thinking through the early stages of a project.
Takeaway: A tailored menu of activities you can choose from when first embarking on a writing project.
Secret Docs & Messy Drafts: Writing for Thinking
Thursday, February 8, 1:00-3:00pm
Theme: Writing for thinking and writing for communicating are two different things (shoutout to Larry McEnerny). This session explores methods for thinking-in-writing.
Takeaway: A better understanding of your unique writing/thinking style, and at least one new approach to try in the drafting stage.
Who Are You Talking To?: Writing for Communicating
Thursday, February 15, 1:00-3:00pm
Theme: In this session we turn to writing for communicating, and discuss how to imagine, anticipate, and communicate with a specific audience/readership.
Takeaway: A clearer sense of who you are communicating with in your writing, and at least one new approach to try as you refine your draft to better reach this audience.
Let It Go, Let It Go: Polishing a Draft
Thursday, February 29, 1:00-3:00pm
Theme: The editing stage is distinct from the drafting stages. We will explore how to effectively edit without spiraling into anxiety.
Takeaway: A clear sense of the division between writing and editing, and at least one concrete editing technique to try.
Asking for What You Need: Handling Feedback
Thursday, March 7, 1:00-3:00pm
Theme: Asking for and receiving feedback can be a painful process. We will discuss how to determine what kind of feedback you need, how to ask for it, and how to handle the feedback you receive.
Takeaway: Concrete tools for setting guidelines for your readers (when possible) and processing their feedback.
Now What?: Revision as a Way of Life
Thursday, March 14, 1:00-3:00pm
Theme: Revision is a life-long process (shoutout to Kiese Laymon)—not on a singular piece of work, but, hopefully, in one’s thinking and scholarship overall. We will discuss concrete techniques for incorporating feedback and letting go of a finished project.
Takeaway: Techniques for finishing revisions on a piece of writing, how to know when it’s finished, and how to move on to the next thing.

As the themes build on each other over the course of the workshops, you are encouraged to attend, but you are also welcome to choose specific sessions to attend.

Please note that the Writing Workshops for Graduate Student are being paused for the time being. This will provide the opportunity for all students to participate once the labour disruption is over. Further information will be shared once available.