'Shut Up and Write' Research Writing Group Meet-ups

The Learning Centre's 'Shut Up and Write' Cafe Group is on winter hiatus. However, why not start your own writing group? Grab a few interested colleagues, get that PhD moving and get writing! Start the year or the new term you mean to end it – make writing a routine part of your life

Writing with others can help you focus and stay motivated. You’ll be amazed at how much you can achieve in a short time: you may even build a habit of regular writing that will stand you in good stead throughout your research project.

How to set up a writing group

The Learning Centre recommends HDR writers form groups of 3 to 5 to meet on a regular basis. The idea is that you ‘shut up and write’ for an hour.

  • Try to meet weekly at least for 1 to 2 hrs of silent writing time.
  • Bring your writing equipment: laptop, tablet, ipad, pen and paper - whatever will help you be productive.
  • Begin with a few minutes of hellos and setting up, then start work.
  • Appoint someone to be time-keeper. Take turns doing this and nominate a different person each week.
  • Turn OFF your phone, email, Facebook and anything else that will distract you.
  • Start writing in silence and stop 25 minutes later for a 10-15 min break.
  • Then continue writing for another 25 minutes.
  • After the first hour, if you want to keep writing then continue.
  • Finish your writing time by noting down thoughts about what to deal with in your next writing session

Where to meet?

Choose a warm, dry place where you can sit in comfort and without too many distrations:

  • The on Level 4 has group study rooms that you can book during Library opening hours. Log in to  to book a . Study desks, computers and printers are available.
  • The has study rooms that members can book.
  • One of the cafes on campus.  has booth seating for 4 to 6 people with power points. (‘Bar Navitas’ ground floor, Tyree Energy Technologies Building (Lower campus, just near Anzac Parade). See H6 on the map:  )


If you’re interested, you can read how Shut up and Write! originated in the San Francisco Bay area and how it’s been taken up in countries all around the world. Here are some references:   and  Mewburn, I., Osborne, L. & Caldwell, G. (2014) ‘Shut up & Write: Some surprising uses of cafés and crowds in doctoral writing’ In C. Aitchison & C. Guerin (eds) Writing groups for doctoral education and beyond: Innovations in practice and theory Oxon: Routledge.