Find community in 2020 and experience five days of mindful writing at 

The Well Academic Early Career Writing Retreat

Writing is challenging, and the demands of academia can make it harder.

In the publish or perish culture of the neo-liberal university, self-care practices are often the first to go as we find ourselves under increasing pressure to produce. 

Rather than seeing these practices as competing with our precious writing time, this unique, research-based, mind-body oriented virtual writing retreat emphasises that instead, they are a necessary part of a sustainable writing practice. 

Join Sydney poet and scholar Dr Willo Drummond, The Mindful Researcher, Dr Michelle Jamieson, and international yoga teacher Lucien Nabbs for a week of writing, mindfulness and yoga, from the comfort of your own home.

Over five days you'll replenish the reserves of your creativity while developing takeaway skills to support a productive and sustainable writing practice.

The retreat is tailored to the needs of PhD Candidates and ECRs. 

You’ll come away with words on the page and the tools to maintain self-care as part of a balanced approach to writing.

Following the retreat, you'll receive access a virtual community for ongoing support in maintaining your practice after the five day program.

At The Well Writing Retreats, we believe a sustainable writing practice is comprised of three essential ingredients: Mindfulness, movement and self-compassion.

The Well Academic - Early Career - Writing Retreat is a unique program designed to assist you to incorporate these elements into your ongoing writing practice. So that you can write often and write WELL.

An investment in this program is an investment in your writing and your well-being (at TWWR we believe these are not mutually exclusive!) and it includes:

  • A semi-structured daily writing schedule facilitated by Dr Willo Drummond, with research based discussion sessions geared to foster reflexive and self-compassionate mental habits that encourage creativity and productivity

  • 4 x mindfulness workshops with ‘The Mindful Researcher’ Dr Michelle Jamieson

  • Live mindfulness meditation sessions that can be replayed and repeated as needed throughout the week.

  • Daily live yoga classes uniquely created for the cohort, that can be repeated on demand throughout the week

  • 4 x evening yoga nidra relaxation sessions to promote restorative sleep 

  • Ample unstructured time to write

  • Optional daily co-working sessions to bolster productivity and counter the isolation of the writing life 

  • The companionship of a small cohort of like-minded emerging scholars (max 20 participants)

  • Three months' access to all recorded materials to assist you to develop your practice

  • Following the retreat, three months of ongoing support and community with retreat alumni in our private virtual writers' club, The Well Writer’s Collective, to encourage your continued development.

Develop sustainable work practices, access your creativity, and get some writing done!

This program is for you if you

  • Struggle to find that elusive point of balance in your writing practice, wildly oscillating between distraction and grind, procrastination and burn-out

  • Would like to find — or re-discover — an easeful relationship with your writing

  • Struggle to 'switch off' and/or get to sleep after a productive day, and then suffer through brain-fog the next!

  • Feel that there *must* be a way to get significant amounts of writing done without sacrificing your well-being.... you just haven't been able to find it yet!

  • Would like to develop a more sustainable writing practice, and would like to access support to do it

  • Would like to participate in a retreat in the service of your writing, but 2020 has limited your options for travel

  • Are suffering from the creative block that arises from too much isolation (always a challenge in the writing life, and never more so than right now)

  • Would like to meet a bunch of intelligent compassionate emerging scholars grappling with the same challenges as you

  • Would like access to a private community of like-minded writers

  • Would just like some one in your corner, cheering you on to write often and write WELL!

Live sessions include:

  • 1

    Retreat Day 1: Monday

    • Community: Evening check-in

  • 2

    Retreat Day 2: Tuesday

    • Community: Morning check-in

    • Community: Evening check-in

  • 3

    Retreat Day 3: Wednesday

    • Community: Morning check-in

    • Community: Evening check-in

  • 4

    Retreat Day 4: Thursday

    • Community: Morning check-in

    • Community: Evening check-in

  • 5

    Retreat Day 5: Friday

    • Community: Morning check-in


$475// $450 Early bird

Registering for The Well Academic -- Early Career -- Virtual Writing Retreat is an investment in your writing and your well-being. Registration covers 5 days of semi-structured writing and reflection, all yoga, mindfulness and meditation workshops, PLUS three months' access to all recorded materials and The Well Writers' Collective community. Early Bird rate available to 19th October.

Feedback from our 2019 (F2F) retreat participants

...such an exciting and useful approach and set of tools [for managing] a work practice (academia) that can crush even the strongest. Everyone in university needs this!”

“Even though there was obviously a meditative, ‘wellness’ approach, it wasn’t overtly ‘hippy’ and was well informed and academic, with two intelligent and informed facilitators…”

“… the retreat was very worthwhile... great bonds were formed with people, intelligent discussions, much laughter and thinking time… perfect."

"An important, courageous and necessary thing to create and please keep doing it. ...thank you! You have helped me in so many ways!"


Lead facilitator

Willo Drummond

Dr Willo Drummond is a Sydney poet, sessional lecturer in creative writing at Macquarie and Deakin Universities and founder of The Well Writing Retreats. Her interdisciplinary research draws upon theories of distributed cognition to illuminate the dialogic materiality of creative writing cognition and practice. Formerly a poetry reader for Overland Literary Journal, and an executive committee member for the Australasian Association of Writing Programs, Willo’s writing is published in literary and scholarly journals in Australia and internationally. Her doctoral research was awarded a Vice Chancellor's commendation for academic excellence, and in 2020 she was awarded a creative development grant for her poetry from the Australia Council for the Arts. She is a trained massage therapist and has been a practitioner and student of yoga for over 20 years.

Mindfulness coach

Michelle Jamieson

Dr Michelle Jamieson is a mindfulness practitioner, mind-body researcher and HDR Learning Advisor for the Humanities at Macquarie University. Trained as a medical sociologist at the University of New South Wales, her research is guided by an enduring fascination with the relationship between mind and body in health and illness. Her work features in prominent international journals such as Body and Society and Parallax, and she is co-editor of the book Autoimmunities (Routledge 2018). At Macquarie University, Michelle specialises in working with research students. She has a particular passion for mindfulness, and is an advocate for its value in academic contexts. Her teaching explores how the practice of mindfulness can be used by students to develop balanced work practices, healthy ways of relating to themselves and joy in the research process. Michelle runs regular meditation workshops at the university, and is author of the blog The Mindful Researcher:

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Reach out at: [email protected]