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Flights of imagination: Academic women be(com)ing writers

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For many academic women, making space in our daily lives to write is an ongoing struggle. We struggle, too, to make imaginative space in which we are central as writing subjects. It is important to find ways to intervene in this struggle, to make writing practices more personally pleasurable as well as more productive. Here two such interventions are described - a week-long writing retreat for women from several universities in New Zealand and an ongoing writing group in one university in Australia. While the interventions partly focus on practical matters like getting started on writing, increasing productivity and satisfaction, and getting published, we are particularly interested in exploring how women do and do not understand ourselves to be academic writers and the implications of this for our practices. In the first part of the paper, we explore the writing dilemmas that face many academic women. Then we go on to describe the interventions we are involved in and the positive outcomes reported by participants. We close with a brief discussion of the academic developer's role in enhancing the experience of writing for academic women.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/136014400410060

Affiliations: 1: Centre for Professional Development, The University of Auckland, New Zealand 2: Murcdoch University, Western Australia

Publication date: May 1, 2000

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