The latest Graduate Research School Postgraduate Writers’ Retreat has just finished, and 18 writers have left the beach with pages full of new work.
The weather was a bit grim for the September retreat, but still the attendees gazed out at stormy seas, took part in the occasional workshop, enjoyed one-on-one advisory sessions with writing experts, and took to their laptops for three-and-a-half days of intensive writing time.
Here’s what the participants had to say about the retreat:
- “I am totally confident I will [have] my next chapter complete by the end of next week because not only was the retreat productive but in the day and a half since I have produced almost as many good words again.” Bernie
- “I needed what was given in this retreat in order to soldier on, gain fellows to connect with in this journey and to reinforce the knowledge that I am meant to be here doing what I am doing.” Bonnie
- “Our mentors Jennie and Lucy were very supportive. They organised the events very well and had one-on-one sessions with students who needed help with their research. Also, the Panel at the end of the retreat was very informative and inspiring.” Narges
- “I feel privileged to have been able to participate in this exceptional opportunity to focus on writing and to engage with fellow students.” Sahrah
- “As a distance student I am really isolated doing this PhD and found meeting and sharing with the other participants in the retreat encouraging, reassuring, and motivating. Time away from the demands of my everyday life and focused writing time was so valuable.” Anon
- “An ideal time away from the everyday to settle down and focus on the work.” Bronwyn
- “The writing retreat provided me with the focus I needed for the final year of my PhD, which is often difficult to find at home or in a noisy office.” Chantal
- “Even though we came from a range of backgrounds, faculties, point in the research journey and topics, it was special to share in a group as postgraduate students who face the same struggles, especially as the research journey can be isolating at times.” Jade
- “What I benefited the most from the retreat was the constant help/ guidance received from the learning advisors on all the days.” Gopi
- “I made lots of progress and got ‘the wind beneath my sails’ to keep going back in the real world!” Tracy
- “To me the retreat is a perfect example of AUT values in action, providing aroha and support, and helping to foster a strong sense of whanaungatanga, belonging and community.” Luqman
The GRS Postgraduate Writers’ Retreats are completely free to AUT postgraduate research students. Accommodation, meals, and expert facilitators are all provided. The retreats take place at Vaughan Park retreat centre on Long Bay beach, and there is another one coming up on 4-7 November 2019.
Interested? Here’s what to expect on a typical day. You’ll wake to the sound of lapping waves, and stroll to the dining room for breakfast and conversation with other postgrad students. You may (optionally) attend a writing workshop, then spend the rest of the morning writing either in your own room or in a shared room overlooking the ocean. Then it’s time for a hot lunch and maybe a stroll along the beach. You might like to have a one-on-one session with a writing expert, before getting in a few more hours of solid writing. After a delicious dinner, you’ll have a chance for a little more writing and thinking before a restful nights’ sleep.
No distractions. No chores to do. Just 3.5 days of deep concentration in a supportive environment.
To apply for the next writers’ retreat in November, download the application form below and send your completed form to firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday 27 September.