Workshop supports faculty scholarship

The Writing Envelope workshop provides innovative space for scholarly writing.

Photo: Writing EnvelopeThe University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Nursing encourages faculty to research and disseminate their scholarship, and this summer, it will begin a newly evolved accountability group for scholarly writing.

The Writing Envelope is a monthly, half-day workshop that provides an oasis for writing, said host and professor Susanne Fogger, DNP, CRNP, CARN-AP, PMHNP-BC, FAANP.

“Through The Writing Envelope, we create an opportunity for people to write, cell phone off and no email,” Fogger said. “You can enter the room and work in a protected space, a place where creative thoughts can flow.”

Professor and Interim Associate Dean for Research and Scholarship David Vance, PhD, MGS, MS, formerly hosted The Writing Workshop, which had the same goals. After being named Interim Associate Dean, however, the workshop needed another host. Fogger said she benefitted from the past workshops and wanted to continue to provide the experience for faculty.

“These workshops have developed over the years. We used to focus on didactics, but a lot of that is available online,” Vance said. “What a lot of writers and faculty need is real time to focus and write, so we shifted to provide an experience where you can remove distractions, ask questions and get immediate feedback.”

“It all comes down to scholarship,” Vance continued. “We are charged with helping across the missions of the school, and this time allows faculty to put what they know on paper, share and continue a culture of writing.”

The sessions do not have a formal structure, but Fogger is available to provide support and feedback throughout the writing process.

“Taking the time to come to this workshop moves away from the mentality of, ‘If I get this other task done first, then I can write.’ If you think and operate that way, you’re never going to have time to write,” Fogger said. “The most valuable for faculty in these sessions, is you have to take time to write every day. I heard once that all you have to do is write one word, and edit two. If you do that every day, then you’ll see real progress.”

The Writing Envelope is available to faculty at any level of publishing experience, from first time authors to senior scholars. The ultimate goal is to get the ball rolling and help faculty determine what they need to focus on writing.

“Hopefully, these sessions give a taste of what individuals need to do to find that spot, sit down and write,” Vance said. “Whether they need to go to a coffee shop, a restaurant or just carve out some time in their week, we want to jumpstart that writing process for them.”

“A half day a month doesn’t seem like a whole lot, but for some people, it’s all the time they can afford,” Fogger added. “Even a half day makes a difference because participants take time to prepare beforehand and hopefully leave encouraged to continue their progress. It’s just like exercise — your heart rate doesn’t immediately return to its resting rate after a workout. Some of that work continues after you stop.”

Read 621 times Last modified on August 17, 2019

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