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A week-long intensive retreat for doctoral students at UIC who study race and/or ethnicity.

The retreat offers graduate students support and structure for their writing and a focused time to concentrate solely on their writing. During this short and intense week, graduate students report that they are very productive, benefiting greatly from this concentrated time devoted to furthering their writing practice and make progress towards their degrees. WriteOut! retreats provide the next generation of race and ethnicity scholars with the skills they need to do the crucial work of challenging social inequality. During WriteOut!, we encourage participants to explore and think critically about how structural conditions affect their writing habits.

The transition from structured coursework and exams to unstructured, independent research is a difficult one for any student. For those who study marginalized topics or are themselves members of a marginalized group, this transition can be even more difficult. When they find themselves at the dissertation stage, many students feel lost, alone, and unsure how to complete their projects. WriteOut! retreats help participants to connect with other people in similar situations and build writing communities to support them in their work.

When registration opens each year, we encourage all UIC graduate students researching race and/or ethnicity and public policy who are currently working on a document required for completion of the PhD (e.g., qualifying exam questions, dissertation proposals, IRB materials, dissertation funding applications, dissertation chapters, etc.) to apply. Priority is given to students whose academic status is ABD.

2023 Graduate Student WriteOut! Retreats Heading link

2023 Graduate Student WriteOut! dates:
May 22-25, 2023
July 24-28, 2023

Registration opens around March 2023.

a group of graduate students sit around a table, focusing on typing on their laptops

The Retreat

WriteOut! is a writing accountability workshop which means we will not be reading drafts or providing feedback as a specific component of the retreat. We will be encouraging you to write and to develop your writing practice.

IRRPP offers two Graduate Student WriteOut! hybrid retreats per year: 1 in May and 1 in July. We accept approximately 12 students to join us in-person and many more virtually. Each year, registration for WriteOut! takes place close to March. Please subscribe to the IRRPP listserv and check our website to learn when applications open.

students writing at a long table

WriteOut! retreats will be from 9am – 3pm/4pm, Monday through Friday. If you have a hard time finding time to write, this retreat will give you the chance to focus on your project for an extended period of time with the support of your fellow graduate students in a structured environment. We plan to provide flexibility as we also provide a space for accountability. We understand that people are doing even more care work at home and would like to be able to support folks in their writing practices as best we can.

a group of graduate students sit around a table, chatting and smiling


Registration for Graduate Student WriteOut! retreats open close to March each year.

The application process opens in the spring. We ask that you provide a paragraph abstract about your research that explicitly connects to research on race and/or ethnicity and explains how race and/or ethnicity are central components to your research project. Please apply when you are done with coursework and are working on your dissertation proposal and IRB or your dissertation. As you prepare your application, please make sure you look at IRRPP’s mission to understand and explain how your research connects to IRRPP’s mission.

graduate students pose for a group picture after completing the writeout workshiop

Writing Support

Research shows that writers are more productive when they set goals, monitor their work, and check in with another person. First time WriteOut! participants will meet with a writing coach and Alumni WriteOut! participants will have the opportunity to engage in peer accountability work to provide one another with feedback and support. Through meetings with a writing coach, peers, and skills workshops you’ll leave the retreat with a better grasp of your strengths and learning edges as a writer and a set of strategies to help you move past writing barriers.