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Oct. 13, 2011 Volume 33, No. 8

Cultivating a faculty of writers


Second writing retreat on the horizon

On Friday, Oct. 21, the Conley House will be silent.

It will be the second installment of the new monthly University of Missouri faculty writing retreats, and despite the flurry of written words generated from these outings, verbal conversation is forbidden.

Nine faculty members from various departments first gathered for a retreat Sept. 30 to work on dissertations, research articles, grant proposals and general manuscripts.

Amy Lannin, director of MU’s campus writing program, said the organization set up the retreats as a way to support the faculty as writers.

“When you think about the teaching of writing, it helps to think of yourself as a writer; to be able to make that transfer,” Lannin said.

Lannin said the feedback from the first retreat was positive, and she is planning on capping the next session at 12 to 15 people. There will be coffee, snacks and lunch provided, and writers discuss their goals at the beginning of the day. Meanwhile, the MU Campus Writing Program staff will be on hand to give feedback.

“People said just getting organized and ready for the retreat made it all worth it,” Lannin said. “And having it on a Friday provides a good foundation for them to keep working throughout the weekend.”

Lannin said faculty writing retreats are beginning to gain national traction, and in the future, the campus writing program may set up a three-day retreat.

The one-day sessions will take place one Friday each month until the end of the school year. For more information or to sign up, visit

- Megan Cassidy