Skip to Main Content

Purdue University Fort Wayne Faculty Writing Circle

Recommended by POD Members

Academic Writing BOOK

Individual and collaborative strategies for improving writing

The Productive Writer LISTSERV Cornell University Graduate School

Free and open to all, “over 5,000 graduate students, post-docs, and faculty representing 148 institutions in 14 countries”

Working with Faculty Writers BOOK

Several authors here at POD; From Utah State University Press: POD Conference price: $20.00 when ordered through Insert this code in shopping cart: POD13; detailed description of writing group experiences and components that lead to successful faculty writing groups.

Resources Used in Writing Circle

Belcher, W. L. (2009). Writing Your Journal Article in 12 Weeks:  A Guide to Academic Publishing Success. Thousand Oaks, California: SAGE Publications, Inc.

Practical worksheets and guidelines on how to write a journal article. Our Faculty Writing Circle began with this book and prepared an initial packet for members from content there. We used selected content from this book in early sessions to kickoff discussions, such as tips to avoid manuscript rejection.

Goodson, P. (2013). Becoming an Academic Writer: 50 Exercises for Paced, Productive, and Powerful Writing. Los Angeles: Sage Publications, Inc.

Contains weekly exercises and tools for productive writing and publishing for college professors and students.

Huff, A. S. (1998). Writing for Scholarly Publication. Los Angeles: Sage Publications.

A step-by-step guide with checklists, exercises and examples to illustrate the entire writing and publication process.

Sword, H. (2012). Stylish Academic Writing. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

Data, ideas, and examples in plain language of ways to approach a more personal and enjoyable writing style in academic papers.

Articles about Writing Circles

Badenhorst, C.M., Penney, S.,Pickett, S., Joy, R., Hesson, J., Young, G., McLeod, H., Vaandering, D., & Li, X. (2013, Spring). Writing relationships: Collaboration in a faculty writing group. AISHE-J, 1(5), 1001.

Includes a review of literature on writing circles as well as discussing what makes a writing circle 'work and 'how' they work'.  Includes four major organizational factors that contribute to effecting circles: flexible structures that still retain clear boundaries, commitment to the group and it's goals, small group of dedicated members, and having time set aside regularly for meeting.  Phases of group construction are also given.

Cumbie, S., Weinert, C., Luparell, S., Conley, V., Smith, J. (2005). Developing a scholarship community. Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 37(3), 289-293.

Discusses the formation and impact of a distance/virtual writing group on a distributed campus.

Davis, D., Provost, K., & Clark, S. (2012). Peer mentoring and inclusion in writing groups. In S. Fletcher, & C. Mullen (Eds.), The SAGE handbook of mentoring and coaching in education. (pp. 445-457). London: SAGE Publications Ltd. doi:

Discribes and compares several writing groups from the point of view of the leader. Includes best practices and sample membership agreeement. 

Eodice, M. and Cramer, S.(2001) Write on! A model for enhancing faculty publication. Journal of Faculty Development 18(4). 113-121.

Discusses the role of faculty development centers in faculty professional development and writing.

Faery, R.B. (1993). Teachers and writers: The faculty writing workshop and writing across the curriculum. WPA: Writing Program Administration.  17(1-2). 31-42

Details the creation of several  faculty writing groups and argues for a correlation between better faculty writing and improved writing instruction.  Culminates with a description of the creation of a cross curriculum writing program emphasizing faculty writing development as the first step.

Fassinger, N.G. and Johnson, L.L. (1992) Benefits of a faculty writing circle: Better teaching. College Teaching 40(2). 53-56

Discusses the pedagogical benefits of participation in a faculty writing circles. Emphasizes empathy, trust, and elements of peer-review. 

Flythe,V. E. Beginning a faculty writing group. English Journal 78(5)62-63.

Personal account of long term participation in a  faculty writing group and how it helped to overcome fear and anxiety about writing.

Franke, D. (2001). Completing the circle: Faculty as writers. Paper presented at the National Writing Across the Curriculum Conference, Bloomington, IN. May31-June 2, 2001.  ERIC ED 454 548

Gives a first person account of the formation of a faculty writing circle at a primarily teaching focused regional campus.

Gillespie, D., Dolsak, N., Koxhis, B. (2005). Research circles: Supporting the scholarship of junior faculty. Innovative Higher Education 30(3). 149-162. DOI: 10.1007/s10755-005-6300-9

Focuses on the use of research circles for new faculty development, particularly in the first year.  First person narratives of members outline the benefits, in particular the creation of a sense of community and connectedness as well as an exploration of interdisciplinary perspectives.  One tool described was the “three pages” rule, wherein all members were expected to bring at least three new pages to each meeting in order to foster a pattern of continuous writing. 

Hampton-Farmer, C, Laverick, E. Denecker, C., Tulley, C. E., Dieerich, N., and Wilgus, A. (2013)  Growing a faculty writing group on a traditionally teaching-focused campus: A model for faculty development.  Journal of Faculty Development, 27(1). 56-62.

Uses a qualitative assessment to show impact of a writing group.

Houfek, J.F., Kaiser, K.L., Visovsky, C., Barry, T.L., Nelson, A.E., Kaiser, M.M., and Miller, C.L. (2010) Using a writing group to promote faculty scholarship. Nurse Educator, 35(1), 41-45. 

Nursing perspective. Includes barriers o scholarly writing and guidelines for documenting the production of a writing group.

Keen, A. (2007) Writing for publication: Pressures, barriers, and support strategies. Nurse Education Today, 27. 382-388

Nursing perspective.  Discusses publication expectations and requirements as well as problems that may arise in meeting them.  Explores support strategies to help faculty overcome them, including the formation of writing groups.

Kinnucan-Welsch, K., Seery, M.E., and Adams, S.M. (2000). Write(ing)(ers’) support group: Stories of facing “publish or perish”. Teacher Education Quarterly.27(2)105-118.

Nagy, J. & Burch, T. (2009, April). Communities of Practice in Academe (CoP-iA): understanding academic work practices to enable knowledge building capacities in corporate universities. Oxford Review of Education, 35(2), 227-247.

Focuses on an all female group of new faculty members. Offers personal accounts of the role  and value of a writing group to junior faculty. 

Noll, R., Harte, H. A. & Soled, S. W. (2012, Spring). Development of a collaborative writing group. Academic Exchange Quarterly, 16(1).

Chronicles the formation of a faculty writing group and why to start one.

Page, C.S., Edwards, S. and Wilson, J.H. (2012) Writing groups in teacher education: A method to increase scholarly productivity. SRATE Journal 22(1) 29-35.

Focuses on how writing groups can be structured and the benefits to faculty of participation. Written from the perspective of a departmental based group, in this case education.  Excellent bibliography.  Benefits given are: accountability, structure, collaboration, and motivation. 

Palmer, P. and Matz, C. (2006) Promoting writing among nontenured faculty: Seven up, seven down. College and Research Library News, 372-374.

Lists seven conditions that stimulate writing” and seven that hamper it. Focused on librarians but applicable broadly.  Seven that help: knowing expectations, supportive superiors, peers, and administrators, flexible schedules,  conducive work environment, and finances. Seven that get in the way: bad time management skills, too much committee work, lack of emphasis on publication, lack of clear P&T guidelines for publishing, not having good examples of senior faculty productivity, poor role models, and finding a topic to write about.

Pasternak, D.L. Longwell-Grice, H., Shea, K.A., and Hanson, L.K. (2009) Alien environments or supportive writing communities? Pursuing writing groups in academia. Arts and Humanities in Higher Education, 8. 355-367. DOI: 10.1177/1474022209339958

Written in a personal narrative style with multiple perspectives covering what motivates the creation and maintenance of writing groups.

Philips, W.L., Sweet, C.A., and Blythe, H.R. (2009) Collaborating on writing. Academe, 95(5). 31-33.

Reasons to write collaboratively and guidelines for doing so.  Includes problems to be on the look out for.

Stilling, G.E. (2012) Learning to “light out after it with a club”: The story of a faculty learning community for scholarly writing. College and Research Libraries News. 390-398.

Details the development of faculty  learning communities as a collaboration between the library and the faculty development center. Lists the overarching principles and guidelines for their FLC as well as the benefits derived.  This effort was more structured then the peer led models. Written from the librarian facilitator perspective.

Steinert, Y., McLeod, P.J., Liben, S. and Snell, L. (2008). Writing for publication in medical education.: The benefits of a faculty development workshop and peer writing  group. Medical Teacher 30. e280-e285. DOI: 10.1080/01421590802337120

Tracked the writing and presentation output of faculty participants over a course of five years.  While publication numbers did not show marked increase, the amount of education based production did.

Tysick, C. and Babb, N. (2006) Perspectives on writing support for junior faculty librarians: A case study.  Journal of Academic Librarianship, 32(1) 94-100.

Librarian perspective.  Discusses how master's terminal professions are not well prepared for the writing required of tenure positions.  Suggests writing groups can be one coping mechanism. 

Varpio, L. Boutet, M. & Marks, M. (2010). Getting out there:  Developing an abstract editing circle. Medical Education, 44, 1117-1147. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2923.2010.03821.x

Washburn, A. (2008). Writing circle feedback: Creating a vibrant community of scholars. Journal of Faculty Development.

Wenger, E. C. & Snyder (2000, January-February). Communities of practice:  The organizational frontier. Harvard Business Review, 28(5), 139-145. ERIC: EJ870771

Yun, J.H. and Sorcinelli, M.D. (2009) When mentoring is the medium: Lesslons learned from a faculty development initiative.  To Improve the Academy. 365-384.