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

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

Facilitated by Dr. Hallie Wells and Dr. Karīna Vasiļevska-Das, these workshops are designed to help you develop and refine a writing practice and gain concrete techniques to embolden your writing. In these sessions you will learn creative strategies for all stages of the writing process, from outlines to final edits. The format of the sessions is interactive and collaborative, as we allocate time for trying out specific exercises as well as for discussion and sharing with other participants.

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:

Dream Worlds: Building Your Writing Routines
When: Thursday October 6, 2:00-4:00pm
Theme: An introduction to designing writing routines that are tailored to each individual, sustainable over time, and adaptable to changing needs.
Takeaway: At least one detailed and concrete writing plan that addresses at least one of their most significant writing challenges.

Harsh Realities: Refining Your Writing Routines
When: Friday October 14, 11:00am-1:00pm
Theme: This session covers all that can go awry with writing routines, and what to do when life derails your best-laid plans.
Takeaway: At least one back-up plan for when their “Plan A” writing routine is not feasible.
Note: This offering takes place during fall Reading Week in order to maintain a consistent schedule for the series. As with all sessions, it is not mandatory to attend and students may choose to concentrate on other ventures or to be away from campus activities during this time.

Outlines, Maps, and Walks in the Park: Planning for Writing
When: Thursday October 20, 2:00-4:00pm
Theme: Re-imagining how to plan out a writing project, including activities for thinking through the early stages of a project.
Takeaway: A tailored list of activities students can make use of when first embarking on a writing project.

Secret Docs & Messy Drafts: Writing for Thinking
When: Friday October 28, 11:00am-1:00pm
Theme: Writing for thinking and writing for communicating are two different things (shoutout to Larry McEnerny). Students will explore methods for thinking-in-writing.
Takeaway: A better understanding of their unique writing/thinking style, and at least one new approach to try in the drafting stage.

Who Are You Talking To?: Writing for Communicating
When: Thursday November 3, 2:00-4:00pm
Theme: Continuing to explore the difference between writing for thinking and writing for communicating (though attendance at the previous session is not required). We will discuss how to imagine, anticipate, and communicate with a specific audience/readership.
Takeaway: A clearer sense of who they are communicating with in their writing, and at least one new approach to try as they refine their draft to better reach this audience.

Let It Go, Let It Go: Polishing a Draft
When: Friday November 11, 11:00am-1:00pm
Theme: The editing stage is distinct from the drafting stages. Students will explore how to effectively edit their own work 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
When: Thursday November 17, 2:00-4:00pm
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 their readers (when possible) and processing feedback.

Now What?: Revision as a Way of Life
When: Friday November 25, 11:00-1:00pm
Theme: Revision is a life-long process (shoutout to Kiese Laymon)—not on a singular piece of work, hopefully, but 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.

Participants are welcome to attend all 8 sessions or to choose certain sessions. Please register.