Risman's Writing Retreats
The next workshop is in the Fox River Valley in Illinois. You can fly into Chicago and the retreat space easily reached by train. Writers arrive by 3:00 on Sunday, June 2nd and will write through lunch on Friday, the 7th. Optional recreation day with kayaking and/or cycling on Saturday the 8th.
About the CEO and writing coach:
Barbara J. Risman is a Distinguished Professor of Sociology in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She is an award winning sociologist who has been honored for her scholarship, her public engagement, and her mentorship of students and junior faculty. She has won the national award for mentorship from the Sociologists for Women in Society and the university-wide mentorship award from the Graduate College at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Dr. Risman's former students are now published authors and faculty at universities across the United States and Canada.
Professor Risman has taught writing classes to graduate students at her home institution, UIC. She has also taught or lectured about writing at Trento University in Italy, the Free University in Amsterdam, and the Universidad Rey Juan Carlos in Madrid. She has decades of experience as an editor. She co-edited the American Sociological Association’s journal Contemporary Sociology from 1998-2000, and is Editor Emerita of the book series The Gender Lens, for which she edited nearly a dozen books. She has also edited several textbooks, and the new Handbook on the Sociology of Gender (with Carissa Froyum and William Scarborough) She is incoming editor of the highly ranked journal Gender & Society.
Professor Risman has been Executive Office, Co-Chair, and President of the Board of the Council on Contemporary Families, an organization designed to translate new research for public conversation. She is also currently Co-Chair of the Chicagoland Scholars Strategy Network. Dr. Risman has won an award for advancing public sociology from the American Sociological Association. She is expert at writing for a popular audience and has a column Gender Matters at Psychology Today.com. She has published op-eds in the Seattle Times, CNN, Raleigh New & Observer, and the Chicago Tribune. She is frequently cited in the New York Times and the Economist. For more information about her public scholarship see the “In the News” tab on this website.
Professor Risman has also served as the Head of the Sociology Department at UIC for a decade. Before that she was Director of Graduate Studies in sociology at North Carolina State University, where she was a Distinguished Research Scholar and Founding Director of Women and Gender Studies. She is an expert on mentoring and faculty development.
About the Retreat Experience
The retreat is designed for academic writers whose audience is either their colleagues or the public. The accountability group process will be useful for graduate students struggling to finish dissertations, junior faculty feeling pressure to get a product “out of the door,” professors trying to jump start new projects, and administrators who can simply never find time to focus on their own writing. Any effort that is part of the writing process is appropriate for this retreat, from reading the literature, to finding the right target journal. Participants may be conceptualizing a new project, or doing final edits on a manuscript nearly finished. The retreat is also useful for academics trying to write for popular audiences. The retreat will help writers ask themselves the big questions: why are we writing, for whom? What are the barriers we face? Does writing increase our life satisfaction? How can we create a work life that is fulfilling?
Participants should plan to arrive by 3:00 on Sunday for our first accountability session and a few hours of writing before a late dinner. The retreat will end after lunch on Friday. The retreat includes five nights with writing from arrival day to departure. Participants are welcome to book a sixth night with the Inn, and remain for a day of organized recreation on the Fox River, including cycling and kayaking.
Accommodation rates depend upon room and occupancy, see below. Room choice by date of registration .
Basic Workshop package is $1250
Twice daily writing coaching/accountability group
One private 45 minute coaching session.
Opening and closing dinners (Sunday and Thursday)
All breakfasts and lunches
Intensive Mentoring/Editing Package an additional $300
3 additional 45 private coaching sessions
Includes 20 pages of line editing for both structural design and writing style
Instructional editing to teach how to improve writing
Mentoring on writing strategies
Academic Career Mentoring Package an additional $200
2 private 45 minute mentoring sessions
Focus on academic goals and priorities
Yoga Sessions $20 per class, available each evening
Cycling rentals on the Fox River Trail TBA
Kayak Trip (Saturday after retreat) TBA
About the Retreat Residence
The retreat will be held in a 1901 renovated mansion, The Oscar Swan Country Inn, http://oscarswangeneva.com on eight beautiful acres, all within the City of Geneva, Illinois, very close to the Fox River. It is less than an hour drive from Chicago, and can also be reached via public transportation, a flight to O’Hare, an El to the Metra, which comes to Geneva. We will pick up guests at the Geneva Metra stop.
There are 7 rooms which accommodate from one to five persons. Costs are based on occupancy. Participants may sign up for a particular room with their chosen room-mates or respondents can indicate their preference for private, double, triple or the dorm-style loft room and we will match roommates. Maximum participants will be 14 people. The cost of the accommodation is distinct from the cost of the workshop itself. All prices are room costs for five nights, from Sunday to Friday.
There are many private spaces to work in the inn and around the beautiful grounds. Some spaces have access to wifi while others do not. Some rooms have private writing spaces, and some do not.
The Swan Loft has 3 beds (king, queen & single) , private bath, and a small kitchenette. This room could hold up to five graduate students who are looking to cut costs. Or a couple, or colleagues, could rent it and have a private space for themselves in the evenings. $1250 for one to five people. There is a desk for one private writing space.
Oscar & Jessie room has 2 beds- Queen and single with private sitting room with view of garden. This room can be a private room or accommodate up to three people (in two beds). $1200.
Oscar’s Hideaway has a king with private bath. This room can be a private room or accommodate two people. $1075 for one or two people (sharing one bed). The room does have a private writing space.
Mary Jo Harding has queen bed with private bath. This room can be a private room or accommodate two people (one bed). $1075. This room does have a private writing space.
Twin Suites has two bedrooms that share a bath, one with a queen bed, another with a king bed. This can be shared by two people, or can accommodate up to four (in two beds). Each room $925.
Frank Harding has Queen bed, NO BATH, uses the hall bath. This room can be a private room or accommodate two people (one bed). $800