Summer 2020 Faculty Writing Retreat

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The CNY Humanities Corridor invites applications for a Summer 2020 Writing Retreat

Application deadline is January 31, 2020; Awardees will be notified in late February, 2020.

Dates: July 15-18, 2020 (arrive mid-day July 15; depart mid-day July 18)

Location: Minnowbrook Conference Center, Blue Mountain Lake, NY (see photo gallery)

Award: 3 nights’ lodging, meals, tuition (attendance for the retreat duration is required). 

To download a copy of this CFP, please do so here.

Michelle Boyd, PhD – an award-winning scholar, writing coach, and founder of InkWell Academic Writing Retreats – will lead two full-day sessions focused on sustainable, fulfilling writing practices. Ample time will be dedicated to writing during the retreat: there will also be breaks built in to each day to enjoy the Adirondack setting and Minnowbrook’s amenities.

  • July 16th, How to Identify and Move Past Writing Obstacles
    Scholars often confront barriers in their writing and research that are disruptive, nebulous, and difficult to address using standard writing accountability strategies. This retreat day will provide participants with simple techniques to address impediments, including internal barriers/thoughts/feelings, that may keep us from writing. Participants will uncover processes for surpassing barriers and move from having ideas in their head to putting words on a page. 
  • July 17th, Ready, Set, Flow: How to Make the Most of Your Writing Time
    As a faculty member, do you sometimes feel “stuck” when you sit down to write, or simply distracted by a million other responsibilities? Given our numerous commitments as scholars, educators, and administrators, faculty can feel beleaguered by wider responsibilities and, in turn, be overwhelmed when sitting down to write. This retreat day will offer two key skills: how to quickly clarify what needs to be done in any given writing session; and how to cultivate the intrinsic motivation that is pivotal to regular writing. 

By the close of the retreat, you will have networked with scholars from across the Corridor, mapped out your particular writing process, identified patterns that disrupt it, and developed a plan to move past those disruptors. You also will have made meaningful, measurable progress on your writing and have a clear strategy for quickly deciding what to focus on every time you sit down to write—so you can make the most of any writing session, no matter how short or long.

Who is eligible? Tenure-line faculty in the Humanities, broadly defined, at Cornell University, Syracuse University, the University of Rochester, or a NY6 Liberal Arts Consortium institution (Colgate University, Hamilton College, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Skidmore College, St. Lawrence University, Union College).

Especially encouraged to apply are:

  • Tenured faculty, including mid-career faculty (Associate Professor, recently tenured or in rank for a while) and/or senior faculty (Associate or Full Professor). 
  • Faculty who currently or historically have been in service-heavy administrative roles;
  • Faculty of color, LGBTQ faculty, women faculty, and/or first-generation faculty. 

Applicants should be interested in:

  • participating in a supportive professional network and cross-disciplinary scholarly community,
  • exploring new tools and writing strategies,
  • tackling writing obstacles and identifying research momentum strategies, 
  • developing a particular writing/research project—or piece of a larger project—with the opportunity (to receive and to give) peer feedback. In the application, you will be asked to provide some details about your writing project and goals.

By the end of this retreat, each participant will:

  • have made significant, measurable progress on their writing project,
  • understand key barriers to effective writing and how they can impede writing and research momentum,
  • have implemented at least one strategy for addressing such barriers,
  • be able to integrate that strategy into their daily writing practice.

Apply Now

Sample Schedule (subject to change; meals included)

12-2pm, Arrival & Check-in 
Leisure/Free Time
Welcome Session

Thursday & Friday
Morning & Afternoon Workshops 
Morning & Afternoon Writing Blocks
Leisure/Free Time

Morning Wrap-up Session
Leisure/Free Time 

About the Corridor

The Central New York Humanities Corridor is a unique regional collaboration between Syracuse University, Cornell University, University of Rochester, Le Moyne College, and Schools of the New York Six Liberal Arts Consortium: Colgate University, Hamilton College, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Skidmore College, St. Lawrence University, Union College. In 2014, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation awarded a total of $3.55 million to the Central New York Humanities Corridor, permanently endowing the Corridor at each of its three founding institutions. 

The Corridor is designed to enhance the profile, scholarly prominence, and impact of interdisciplinary humanities in Central New York; advance individual and collaborative teaching, research, and public engagement in the humanities; increase connectivity and collaboration among academic humanists throughout the region; foster cross-institutional partnerships and resource-sharing mechanisms in emerging and established scholarly fields; and enhance the productivity of its key scholars, students, and community members.

Each year more than 3,500 faculty, students, and community members participate in upwards of 200 Corridor-sponsored activities. Cornell faculty and students traveling to other institutions to participate in Corridor activities may be eligible for travel expense reimbursement.

Cornell community members with questions about the Corridor should contact Emily Parsons (, Administrative Manager of the Society for the Humanities.