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Michael Schwartz Library

CSU Academic Writing Club

A guide for participants in CSU's academic writing club for graduate students and faculty.


Could you use some structured time to write and receive feedback from colleagues? Do you wish you could graduate with some published academic writing under your belt? Do you have some academic writing that needs polishing to become publishable? If so, this writing club is for you!


Offered by the Writing Center and the Michael Schwartz Library, this writing club is meant to help graduate students and faculty improve their academic writing productivity. Each week we will send a short video and provide resources and advice related to an academic writing topic, and we'll have a synchronous Zoom meeting to review the topic. At least 30 minutes of the meeting time will be set aside for quiet writing to keep you on track! This Fall 2022 semester the weekly 5-minute videos will concern content from two books: Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott and Write No Matter What by Jolie Jensen. You don’t need to have read the books to participate, but they will guide our discussions.

Meetings will occur in Zoom from 3 - 4pm on Wednesdays beginning August 31st and ending December 7th.

Filling out the sign-up form does not obligate you to participate or attend every meeting; it merely puts you on our reminder email list and provides access to the Zoom link each week. Please feel free to share with classmates who would like to make some progress on publishing! 

Please note that this writing club will be especially useful to graduate students in the humanities or social sciences. Undergraduates who have some academic writing to develop into a published article are welcome to participate. 

You might asking yourself, why should I bother participating in an academic writing club? There are several reasons why participating in a writing club can be beneficial to you.

Writing with Others Holds You Accountable

When you meet with others regularly to talk about your writing, you're more likely to follow through on the productivity goals you have. Sometimes just knowing that others will be asking you about your progress can be a good motivator!

Participating Puts Writing on Your Calendar

Sometimes it can be difficult to find the time to write because our schedules quickly fill up with obligations and meetings. But when you have a weekly commitment to participate in a writing club, that time on your calendar is more protected. It also helps you break free from the habit of only writing when you have a long stretch of time, and instead encourages regular, shorter writing sessions. 

A Writing Club Connects You With Your Peers

The culture of academia often discourages scholars from talking to one another about their writing and the challenges involved. A writing club, conversely, allows for sharing and discussion about writing obstacles, helping all participants feel supported and less alone in their writing process.

Do I need to have the book to participate?

No. We will be following the topics of each book chapter every week, but you do not need to have or obtain access to the book to participate.

Do I need to be a graduate student or faculty member to participate?

The book is aimed at graduate students and faculty, but undergraduates are welcome to participate. A variety of experience levels will make for richer discussion.

I'm currently writing my thesis or dissertation. Will this writing club help me?

Yes! This writing club is likely a good fit for you and you are welcome to participate!

I'm a student in science or engineering. Can I participate?

The book and writing club target social sciences and humanities scholars. You may find some of the content does not apply to you. But you are certainly welcome to attend and take what you can from the sessions.

Who can I ask questions about this program?

You can ask Mandi Goodsett (a.goodsett[at] or Mary McDonald (m.murray[at]

Graduate Student Resource Center