Addressing gender inequities in publication processes and promotion is essential to the success of NIU. The Faculty Writing Program supports success in academic writing and publication for women and gender-nonconforming faculty members. This program offers an opportunity for faculty members across ranks to join small groups to write side-by-side, make progress toward their writing goals, share and receive support and find joy in their scholarly writing.
Mutual mentoring and affirmative support: peer writing groups provide respectful peer mentoring that honors and affirms the knowledge and abilities of women and gender-nonconforming faculty researchers. The writing groups are based on self-trust and community support.
Clear and open communication about writing, publication and evaluation processes: mutual mentoring groups provide a supportive environment for open communication about the practices of writing and publication and how to reach professional goals.
Creating space for writing: writing and publication are paths to promotion as well as ways to develop and demonstrate excellence in research in academic settings. Scheduled co-writing time and communities for writing can increase production and long-term success.
Participants join a writing group of four to eight faculty members who meet weekly during one semester for two-hour, peer-facilitated sessions to devote regular blocks of time to writing. The groups provide a writing community and supportive atmosphere for faculty writers at all stages in their careers. Rather than a traditional writing accountability group that relies on external mechanisms for evaluating performance and can carry a negative connotation, the goals of the groups include fostering positivity and joy in writing, empowering and lifting up women and gender-nonconforming faculty, and creating space for faculty to write side-by-side.
During the semester-long program, participants from all groups come together periodically to attend interactive discussions and presentations on topics related to writing and publishing, such as writing practices and processes, review and publication processes, and writing pre-tenure and/or writing for mid-career success. The hope is that participants will form a network of peer support and mentoring that extends beyond the program.
A website resource is available to participants to access and share readings, podcasts, presentations and other materials to support their writing and publication.