NARTI/SAMS Two-Day Structured Writing Retreat for ECRs (In-Person)

Date(s) - 30/11/2023 - 01/12/2023 10:00 am - 4:00 pm

Lancaster House Hotel


Structured Writing Retreats are facilitated sessions based upon the extensive research undertaken by Professor Rowena Murray (Anchorage Education). The aim of the retreats are to use dedicated writing time to progress writing projects in a supportive and non-surveillance environment. The retreat starts on Thursday at 10.00 and ends at 16.00 on Friday. All writing sessions, refreshments and lunch will be hosted at the Lancaster House Hotel, Lancaster.

We use most of the time for writing using a ‘typing pool’ model with all of us in the same room. Breaks and lunch often produce solutions to writing problems, generate new ideas, lead to research-oriented conversations and provide feedback on writing-in-progress. Please ensure that you arrive in good time to register and set-up as the retreat follows strict timings in order to maximise the opportunity for writing time. This retreat will also include inputs in crafting an intellectual identity and well-being to support ECRs in positioning their work within their discipline and developing healthy working practices.

See for information, interviews with participants, copies of articles about retreat, evidence base etc. This two-day retreat will be facilitated by Dr Marian Iszatt-White ( and Dr Joana Zozimo (

NARTI and the Society for the Advancement of Management Studies (SAMS) will cover the day delegate costs for both days (including room hire, refreshments and catering). Participants are asked to cover the cost of any travel and overnight accommodation as required. Participants will also be required to cover the cost of their evening dinner if they choose to join.

Course objectives

  • To enhance the writing skills of early career researchers as they enter and progress within business and management academic communities
  • To support them in developing structured and disciplined writing practices that will stand them in good stead as they progress in their academic careers
  • To raise their awareness of the well-being issues arising from the current performative academic environment and offering strategies for personal well-being in this context
  • To support them in crafting of an ‘intellectual identity’ for themselves and their research which will enable themselves to position themselves more effectively within their discipline

Dr Marian Iszatt-White is Director of the PhD in Management (Entrepreneurship & Strategy) at Lancaster University Management School and teaches research methods on the School’s Business & Management doctoral pathway. She completed the writing retreat facilitation programme run by Rowena Murray in 2015 and regularly facilitates structured writing retreats for her doctoral students. In an academic environment that is both competitive and performative, she has a particular interest in helping ECRs to craft an ‘intellectual identity’ for themselves and their research, and to utilise structured writing opportunities to progress their pipeline of outputs in support of this identity.

Dr Joana Zozimo is a Senior Visiting Researcher at Lancaster University Management School, working on creating frameworks for sustainable development. Her main research interest is in the intersection of collaborative practices in African contexts with a holistic approach to evaluation. She completed the writing retreat facilitation programme with Rowena Murray in 2016 and has facilitated various retreats in Lancaster, UK, and in Portugal, for PhDs and ECRs. She has a particular interest in the benefits of online and virtual writing retreats, as well as in the healthy version of the retreats with some guidance on life balance and wellbeing of the participants.


Day 1 Structured ECR writing retreat
10.00-10.15 Arrive to set up laptop, have coffee and meet other participants
10.15-10.30 Welcome and introduction to the retreat
10.30-10.45 Goal setting and planning writing
10.45-11.00 Short break
11.00-12.15 Structured writing
12.15-13.30 Lunch
13.30-14.15 Crafting your intellectual identity as a researcher
14.15-15.30 Structured writing
15.30-16.00 Break
16.00-17.15 Structured writing


Taking stock and wrap up

Informal Dinner (Barkers) – optional

Day 2 Structured ECR writing retreat
09.00-09.15 Arrive to set up laptop
09.15-09.30 Goal refinement and planning writing
09.30-11.00 Structured writing
11.00-11.30 Break
11.30-13.00 Structured writing
13.00-14.15 Lunch
14.15-15.00 Work and well-being
15.00-16.00 Coffee, taking stock and close

Things to note:

This retreat provides time and space for you to focus on your individual writing projects and take part in discussions around key topics. This is not a writing workshop and you will not have your writing critiqued.

Retreat works best when you:

  • Focus exclusively on writing.
  • Agree not to use internet or mobile phones in the writing room.
  • Define specific goals and sub-goals, i.e. sections of paper/chapter, number of words.
  • Define and discuss content and structure for writing sub-goals.
  • Take stock of your achievements of these goals throughout the programme.
  • Discuss your writing-in-progress –> mutual peer support.

Before you go to retreat:

  • Decide on a writing project.
  • Read Murray R. & Newton M. (2009) Writing retreat as structured intervention: Margin or mainstream? Higher Education Research and Development, 28(5): 527-39.
  • Review the retreat programme and plan your writing tasks for each timeslot.
  • Do reading and other preparation in advance.
  • Get notes, plans, outlines etc. together. Outline the structure of your paper/chapter.
  • Download anything you need before you go, e.g. journal’s instructions for authors.

What to bring to retreat:

  • Laptop, power cable, memory stick, notes, outlines, ‘model’ paper, data.

Directions to the Lancaster House Hotel:

On-campus accommodation options:–breakfast/


NARTI Event Flyer Lancaster Retreat Nov-Dec 2023