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Pick-n-Mix A Typology of Writers Groups Dr. Sarah Haas University of Gent Belgium Oxford Brooks Online Writers Group.

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Presentation on theme: "Pick-n-Mix A Typology of Writers Groups Dr. Sarah Haas University of Gent Belgium Oxford Brooks Online Writers Group."— Presentation transcript:

1 Pick-n-Mix A Typology of Writers Groups Dr. Sarah Haas University of Gent Belgium Oxford Brooks Online Writers Group

2 Definitions Pick-n-Mix Writers Group

3 Aims of Writers Groups (In brief) Through mutual support in a community of writers: –Make the process of research writing more enjoyable (less painful) for the writer –Make the product of research writing more enjoyable (less painful) for the reader

4 Pick-n-Mix Leadership In-meeting activities Between-meeting activities Time, Place, Frequency, Duration TroublesBenefits Membership

5 So… What makes a writers group work? Convenience of time, place, duration, frequency of meetings Negotiation and explicit statement of purpose and procedures Commitment

6 What Do You Pick to Mix? FreeWriting: What I want in a Writers Group Be explicit about what youd like to do (and what you dont want to do) in the writers group meetings Writing together Learning feedback techniques/giving feedback Discussing writing processes Discussing feedback processes Talking about problems, triumphs, strategies… Goal-setting Other ideas?

7 Pick-n-Mix A Typology of Writers Groups Sarah Haas Leuven, Belgium Assumption Abbey Writer Development Course July 9~

8 Membership… Who? –Discipline-specific –Inter-disciplinary –At similar or varying stages in project/career –Working on a joint project How many? –2 – 12 –Floating membership

9 Leadership Who and how much? –No leader Teacherless writing class (Elbow) –Peer leader (fixed or rotating leader) –Near-peer leader (Murphy/Lee and Boud) –Start-up leader –Specialist leader (Aitchison) Subject specialist Writing specialist Language specialist

10 In-Meeting Activities Writing activities –Freewriting –Writing to Prompts –Generative Writing –Self-Directed Writing Feedback activities –Learn and practice different feedback techniques –Give feedback on each others writing Goal setting Discussions on writing and feedback processes Discussions on/evaluations of the meetings themselves Social element

11 Audience with authority, (teachers, editors, supervisors, employers) Audience of peers Audience of allies (readers who particularly care for the writer) Audience of self ( private writing) Sharing no response Response no criticism or evaluation Criticism or evaluation *(confirmatory or corrective) Adapted from Map of Writing in Terms of Audience and Response (Elbow, 2000: 29) *(Kurtoglu-Hooton, 2004)

12 Between-meeting activities Writing Publishing Goal-setting –Short-, Medium-, Long-term –Goal records Reflective Journals/Writers Logs

13 Trouble-shooting Some Problems You Might Encounter… Timing Commitment Interaction –Holding the floor - Whining –Going off-task- Sponging Reinforcing each others bad habits Personality conflicts

14 Place, Time, Frequency, Duration Morning meetings Evening meetings Midday meetings Two-hour meetings Three-hour meetings All-day meetings Weekly Meetings Fortnightly meetings Bi-weekly meetings Monthly meetings Public place Private place Work place Virtual space Continuous Groups Temporary Groups

15 Benefits of Writers Groups Increased output (Lee and Boud) Increased motivation (Murray) Less feeling of isolation (Aitchison) Increased confidence (Badley) Better written product (Elbow)

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