This paper examines the literature on academic writing and collaborative learning and proposes, in the light of this literature, that the introduction of writers' retreats for academics represents a valuable professional development opportunity. It is argued that such an intervention can be an important initiative, helping to support more productive patterns of academic writing among participating academics. Findings gathered during a writers' retreat are presented, focusing on the positive and negative perspectives that participating academics expressed about writing for publication. The format and the structure of the retreat are described, along with the impact that such an intervention can be argued to have made on participants. Finally, a conceptual map is presented which relates the experiences and insights of the retreat to the 'motivation to write' among academics.