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Announcing AcWriMo 2013

acwrimo1-01It’s time to get planning your Academic Writing Month (AcWriMo) tasks for November 2013!

AcWriMo is a month-long academic write-a-thon that happens every November. It’s inspired by the amazing NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) but caters to the specific needs of academic writers at all stages of their career (from undergrads to the most distinguished of professors). It’s hosted by us – PhD2Published – and throughout the month we run dedicated posts about academic writing and share literally thousands of tips via Twitter.

The idea is that you set yourself a writerly goal and get stuck in with all the information, advice and support you’ll get from others taking part. The month helps us:

1)     Think about how we write,

2)     Form a valuable support network for our writing practice,

3)     Build better habits for the future,

4)     And maybe – just maybe – get more done in less time!

And if you can get a lot done in November – a busy time for us academics all over – think how easy it’ll be to get writing done the rest of the year!

So here’s how you get involved….

There are 6 basic rules:

1. Decide on your goal. You might count words, hours put in or projects achieved – it’s up to you. But try and push yourself a bit. (And if you need help counting our PhDometer app – the proceeds from which help fund this month-long writing extravaganza – was designed for just that!)

2. Declare it! Basically, just sign up on the AcWriMo 2013 Writing Accountability Spreadsheet and fill in the sections on what you’d like to achieve by the end of the month. Being accountable is key to this working for you. You need to feel a bit of pressure to get the work done. So sign up and add your goals as soon as you can.

3. Draft a strategy. Don’t start AcWriMo without doing a bit of planning and preparation. Get some reading done, carve out time slots in your schedule to dedicate to writing, even buy your favourite coffee. Sort out whatever you’ll need to write, and get it done now, there won’t be time when November comes around.

4. Discuss your progress. OK so being on Twitter and Facebook with us all day isn’t acceptable – you’ve got work to do – but checking-in at certain times is really important! We want to know how you’re getting on? What is working for you and what isn’t? Do you need help? Do you want to share a writing triumph? (You’ll find most discussion about AcWriMo on Twitter using the #AcWriMo hashtag, but if Facebook is more your thing, go there. Or use your own blog to keep in touch. You can even write little updates you want to share in the spreadsheet.)

5. Don’t slack off. As participant Bettina said of the first AcWriMo, you must ‘write like there’s no December!’ If you push yourself, you’ll quickly discover the tips and techniques that work best for YOU and that’ll save you even more time in the long-run.

6. Declare your results. It’s great to use the spreadsheet everyday (or as often as you can) to chart how you’re getting on, but even if you can’t do that, you MUST announce your results at the end of the month. Our writing community benefits not only from sharing in your achievements, but knowing what didn’t work and being reminded that, at the end of the day, we’re all human!

Last year, AcWriMo go so big that we’ve had to change things up a bit for 2013. We’re now excitedly presenting a team of AcWriMoAmbassadors who’ll all be on hand to help you and cheer you on throughout the month! They include:

Anna Tarrant, Charlotte Frost, Eljee Javier, Ingrid Marais, Jennifer Lim, Jodi Campbell, Linda Levitt, Lorry Perez, Melanie Boeckmann, Nadine Levy, PhDForum, Rachael Cayley, Sarah Rowe, Virginia Yonkers

There’s lots on the way, it’s going to be the biggest and best AcWriMo yet!

  1. I’m in! Hopefully this will provide a dissertation-themed kick, like NaNo does for novelling. Thanks for starting this initiative.

    Take care,


  2. Although Nov will be very busy at work, I love this idea so I’ve added my goals to the spreadsheet to finish 2 articles and follow up an offer to turn my successful PhD thesis into a book readable for the public by pulling together the necessary first chapter and an outline. OK now that’s seriously insane! I’m not a social media person (who has time??) but will check back here through the month.

    Can I be the first to offer a tip for the thesis writers that I found very helpful? When writing mine last year I left some spare space on some pages, by pushing sections to the next page leaving 2-3 lines here and there, or a bit of extra space after graphs and figures. That came in REALLY HANDY after examination when I had to make a few minor changes (mostly small additions, a sentence here and there). Having spare space meant minimal disruption to pages and so the index, page numbers for figures etc stayed intact. It meant I got these tweaks done in a weekend without having to go through and re-check all of that and was ready to send it back to my supervisor and then it passed speedily! Hold on to that goal of seeing it all finally bound, it’s very precious! Good luck all!

  3. Thank you very much for sharing and yes, do keep us updated in the comments on here. As for social media in general, you’re right it is an extra time-strain but it’s worth checking in with the #acwrimo hashtag on Twitter – even if you just do the occasional search and read a few tweets – because we share A LOT of information on there. We use Twitter because in many ways its the least draining time-wise. But if that’s too much, we do create Storify summaries of a lot of Twitter goodness and post it on this website.

  4. Count me in! Just wrote a blog post about it, in fact.

    Thanks, AcWriMoAmbassadors! November is going to be awesome.

  5. I’m in too, if a couple days late. I plan to write until my fingertips are bloody!


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