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Writing bootcamp

Registration open for 5th Live Free or Die Writing Boot Camp

Having trouble finding time to sit and write?

Registration is now open for the 5th Annual Live Free or Die Writing Boot Camp, which aims to give graduate students a place to get work done, whether it be a thesis, dissertation, grant, application, proposal, resume or other piece of writing. It happens Monday, January 14, through Friday, January 18, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day in Hamilton Smith rooms 232 and 240.

For Jovana Milosavljevic-Ardeljan, a Ph.D. student and graduate assistant organizing the event, it’s about creating something students can put on their calendar.

“Writing is something that can slip off our agendas and schedules, so this is an opportunity to sign up for something and feel like somebody is holding you accountable. You’re surrounded by a community of people in the same boat as you, and it pushes you to do the work even if you don’t feel like sitting and writing,” she said.

Emily Whalen, a student working toward her doctorate in Natural Resources and Earth Systems Science, attended the 2018 boot camp and returns this January to work on a paper she hopes to submit to a journal in the coming months.

“I liked having dedicated writing time in a quiet space with other students. The group kept me accountable, and I felt more motivated to write,” Whalen said via email.

Graduate students can write independently or seek feedback from faculty, including Professor Jessica Bolker from the Biological Sciences department, who has taught scientific writing and communications courses at UNH, and Professor David Howland, a former UNH writing professor who now works at Rutgers University. In addition, a representative with the Connors Writing Center will be on hand to talk about its offerings and, if students are interested, organize peer review and feedback sessions.

To fuel the writing, the Graduate School will provide coffee, tea and lunch, and for the first time, is partnering with Graduate Student Senate (GSS) and the Hamel Recreation Center to offer a yoga and cycling class that week exclusively for graduate students.

This is the fifth year the Graduate School is hosting the event, which has grown exceptionally since its inception. In 2015, it saw 11 total attendees, an average of 7 students per day, and in 2018, there were 45 total attendees with an average of 27 per day. This January there’s space for 55 students.

After the boot camp, students who want to continue their writing momentum are encouraged to register for the Spring 2019 Dissertation/Thesis Writing Retreat, a semester-long writing group that meets monthly in the Connors Writing Center, and the Graduate Student Writing Group, which meets weekly in the Graduate Student Space. Retreat registration opens after the boot camp, and there’s no registration required for the writing group.

Register for the whole week or for individual days. Students who attend for five days will be rewarded with UNH swag.

Written by Kelly Sennott | MFA Student/Graduate Assistant