Shut up & write!

Osborne, Lindy, Caldwell, Glenda Amayo, & Mewburn, Inger (2013) Shut up & write! In Hamilton, Jillian G. & Carson, Susan J. (Eds.) Effective Supervision of Creative Arts Research Degrees Symposium, 7-8 February 2013, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, QLD.

Abstract (PDF 616kB)
Published Version.


This case-study exemplifies a ‘writing movement’, which is currently occurring in various parts of Australia through the support of social media. A concept emerging from the café scene in San Francisco, ‘Shut Up and Write!’ is a meetup group that brings writers together at a specific time and place to write side by side, thus making writing practice, social. This concept has been applied to the academic environment and our case-study explores the positive outcomes in two locations: RMIT University and QUT. We believe that this informal learning practice can be implemented to assist research students in developing academic skills.

DESCRIPTION: Please describe your practice as a case study, including its context; challenge addressed; its aims; what it is; and how it supports creative practice PhD students or supervisors. Additional information may include: the outcomes; key factors or principles that contribute to its effectiveness; anticipated impact/evidence of impact.

Research students spend the majority of their time outside of formal learning environments. Doctoral candidates enter their degree with a range of experience, knowledge and needs, making it difficult to provide writing assistance in a structured manner. Using a less structured approach to provide writing assistance has been trialled with promising results (Boud, Cohen, & Sampson, 2001; Stracke, 2010; Devenish et al, 2009). Although, semi structured approaches have been developed and examined, informal learning opportunities have received minimal attention.

The primary difference of Shut Up and Write! to other writing practices, is that individuals do not engage in any structured activity and they do not share the outcomes of the writing. The purpose of Shut Up and Write! is to transform writing practice from a solitary experience, to a social one. Shut Up and Write! typically takes place outside of formal learning environments, in public spaces such as a café. The structure of Shut Up and Write! sessions is simple: participants meet at a specific time and place, chat for a few minutes, then they Shut Up and Write for a predetermined amount of time. Critical to the success of the sessions, is that there is no critiquing of the writing, and there is no competition or formal exercises.

Our case-study examines the experience of two meetup groups at RMIT University and QUT through narrative accounts from participants. These accounts reveal that participants have learned: • Writing/productivity techniques; • Social/cloud software; • Aspects of the PhD; and • ‘Mundane’ dimensions of academic practice. In addition to this, activities such as Shut Up and Write! promote peer to peer bonding, knowledge exchange, and informal learning within the higher degree research experience.

This case-study extends the initial work presented by the authors in collaboration with Dr. Inger Mewburn at QPR2012 – Quality in Postgraduate Research Conference, 2012.

Impact and interest:

Citation counts are sourced monthly from Scopus and Web of Science® citation databases.

These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.

Citations counts from the Google Scholar™ indexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.

Full-text downloads:

203 since deposited on 14 Feb 2013
40 in the past twelve months

Full-text downloads displays the total number of times this work’s files (e.g., a PDF) have been downloaded from QUT ePrints as well as the number of downloads in the previous 365 days. The count includes downloads for all files if a work has more than one.

ID Code: 57219
Item Type: Conference Item (Presentation)
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Shut Up & Write!, HDR Education, Design Education, Informal Learning, Writing Groups, HERN
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Design
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Current > Schools > School of Media, Entertainment & Creative Arts
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2012 [please consult the author]
Deposited On: 14 Feb 2013 04:12
Last Modified: 14 Feb 2013 04:12

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page