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Women Writing (in) t he Academy. “The best writing emerges from . . . writing.” --Tom Fields-Meyer http://6thfloor.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/09/04/letter-to-a-young-writer-get-lost/?_r=2&. Let’s begin with your experience a s writers. Please complete the brief survey.

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Women Writing (in) t he Academy

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Women Writing


the Academy

“The best writing emerges from . . . writing.”

--Tom Fields-Meyer


Let’s begin with your experience

as writers.

Please complete the brief survey.

  • 1. I am an effective writer

  • 2. I enjoy writing

  • 3. I write regularly

  • 4. When I write, I need to block off at least 4 hours

  • 5. I can work on my writing even if I only have 30 minutes

  • 6. I often experience writer’s block

  • 7. I am satisfied with how much writing I do

  • 8. I am satisfied with the quality of my writing.

  • 9. I am comfortable sharing my writing when it’s messy or unfinished

  • 10. I benefit from feedback on my writing

  • 11. I benefit from talking about my writing with others

  • 12. Before I can write, I need to complete other necessary work-related tasks

  • 13. Before I can write, I need to complete other necessary home-related tasks

  • 14. I procrastinate when I need to write

  • 15. I am good at meeting deadlines set by others for my writing

  • 16. I am good at meeting deadlines for my writing that I’ve set myself

  • 17. The best thing about writing is:

  • 18. The worst thing about writing is:

Why does writing matter

for academic women?

Some facts. . .

College Enrollment for 2012

High School Graduates

Women 71.3 %

Men 61.3 %

Bureau of Labor Statistics http://www.bls.gov/news.release/hsgec.nr0.htm

Increase in College Degrees Earned by Women

(1999-2000 to 2009-2010)

Associate from 60 to 62%

Bachelors from 57 to 58%

Masters from 58 to 60%

Doctoratefrom 45 to 52%

Within each racial/ethnic group, women

earned the majority of degrees at all levels in 2009–10

National Bureau for Education Statistics http://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=72

  • According to survey respondents, women earned two-thirds of the graduate certificates, 60% of the master’s degrees, and 53% of the doctorates.

  • Academic year 2010-11 marked the third straight year women earned a majority of doctoral degrees

  • Council of Graduate Schools http://www.cgsnet.org/graduate-schools-see-growth-applications-and-degrees-enroll-fewer-new-students-2011

Where Faculty Women Work


Tenure Status of Faculty, 2011–12

AAUP Annual Report on the Economic Status of the Profession, 2011-12.


Distribution of Faculty by Rank, 2011-12

AAUPAnnual Report on the Economic Status of the Profession, 2011-12.


Women as Academic Authors, 1665-2010


It’s not all your fault.

Women PhDs are less likely than men to choose

research-focused careers

Tenure-earning years coincide with childbearing years

Women faculty spend more time on teaching and

servicethan male faculty

In some disciplines, women have fewer positive

role models and mentors.

What is in your control?

*Image courtesy of Charlotte Hogg

Writing Daily: A 12-Step Program

  • 1. Clarify your writing goals

  • 2. Create accountability

  • 3. Start each day with a pause

  • 4. Get your butt in the chair

  • 5. Set a timer

  • 6. Manage your resistance

  • 7. Stop when the timer goes off

  • 8. Track your writing

  • 9. Give yourself a treat

  • 10. Review your progress on Friday

  • 11. Assess and adjust as necessary

  • 12. Take the weekend off

Kerry Rockquemore, “Jumpstart Your Productivity”


1. Admit you need support

(most people do).

2. Ask yourself: What do I need

to get my writing done?

Kinds of Writing Groups

Traditional Writing Groups

Writing Accountability Groups


Online Writing Groups  

Coaches and Nags

Kerry Rockquemore, “Shut Up and Write”


Why Writing Groups Work







“While writing group does not give me more hours in the day, or make my kids' lunches, or grade my students' exams, it has given me a weekly time set aside to discuss ideas, and a cohort to whom I am accountable.” –Claire Curtis

Concerns shared by writing group for

new women faculty:

1. Difficulties of being new faculty

2. Pressure to obtain tenure

3. Difficulty of balancing teaching, research, service

4. Lack of time to write, to think, to conceptualize

5. Difficulty of writing for publication

6. Challenge of balancing family and career

7. Need to overcome isolation of academic individualism

8. Need for reassurance that their experiences

were not abnormal

In “A Writing Group for Female Assistant Professors,” the authors studied 57 women faculty in medicine who participated in structured writing groups and found an “increase in publishing rate from 1.5 papers per year . . . to 4.5 per year.”

“The results also suggest that this program

works across the board for junior female faculty, regardless of race or family status.”


Writing Group Guidelines

(for traditional writing groups)

  • Find willing participants (3-5)

  • Create a group contract

  • Commit to meeting for a set length of time (i.e. semester)

  • Set individual and group goals.

  • Develop trust by following the rules.

  • Shoot for a balance of structure and flexibility.

  • Commit to shared leadership

  • Work against competitive feelings and perfectionism

  • Bring snacks.

  • Renegotiate the contract at the end of the contract period.

“A successful writing group is not a stage for proving how smart you are.”--Claire Curtis

What’s in a writing group contract?

Agree on how much time to commit to the group.

Decide how often you’ll meet.

Decide how you’ll share writing

Decide how you’ll respond to writing

Decide how you’ll structure meetings—or decide to

try different structures before deciding.

What kind of writing group do you need?

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