Benefits of freewriting for academic staff engaged in writing retreat

  • J. Castle University of the Western Cape


Increasing pressures on academics, particularly early-career academics, to conduct research and complete higher degrees has led many institutions to offer writing retreats that focus on the end product of academic writing, typically a journal article based on a chapter of their thesis. These ‘product-oriented’ retreats give little attention to the creative processes involved in writing, including becoming a generative and confident writer. This article focuses on freewriting as a creative process in a ‘process-oriented’ writing retreat which enables the benefits of freewriting to be shared among participants. Analysis of three freewrites completed by academics during a retreat shows that focused freewriting can engage academics in re-imagining doctoral study. These academics’ writing shows clearly the attributes and benefits of freewriting.

Author Biography

J. Castle, University of the Western Cape
Jane Castle works at Wits School of Education and teaches learning theory to academic staff in the Wits PGDipEd(HE). She supervises postgraduate students in the broad field of adult education, and facilitates writing retreats and workshops for academic staff who are completing higher degrees


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How to Cite
Castle, J. 2017. “Benefits of Freewriting for Academic Staff Engaged in Writing Retreat”. South African Journal of Higher Education 31 (2), 124-37.
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