What is AcWriMo?

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!

A bit more background:

AcWriMo was started in 2011 by Charlotte Frost (founder of PhD2Published) and was originally called AcBoWriMo (Academic Book Writing Month). Charlotte established a set of 6 ‘relatively relaxed’ rules and used this website, our Facebook Page and Twitter (plus the hashtag #AcBoWriMo) to co-ordinate (and cheer on) participants. When the month was over, those involved agreed upon the #AcWri hashtag to continue a channel for focused discussion on academic writing. And following this, PhD2Published managing editor Anna Tarrant was part of the founding team for the regular AcWri live chats. In 2012 we dropped the ‘Bo’ to make the project more inclusive (and so tweets would show up in the regular #acwri Twitter stream) and we refined the rules/sign-up methods and developed the PhDometer.


 AcWriMo 2013, the links:

Charlotte’s 2013 announcement

This year’s accountability spreadsheet

Advice on how to use the spreadsheet

Where to get the PhDometer

AcWriMoAmbassadors: 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

What you’ve been saying about AcWriMo 


AcWriMo 2012, the links:

Original Announcement for AcWriMo 2012  by Charlotte Frost

Guardian article about AcWriMo by Anna Tarrant

Twitter stream (#AcWriMo) – where most of the chat happens (or if you’re new to Twitter you might prefer watching this TweetChat room version of discussions.

AcWriMo Accountability Spreadsheet – where you can track your own progress and see what everyone else is up to

AcWriMo 2012 Twitter List – a list of the first wave of Twitter users  signed up to AcWriMo 2012

AcWriMo 2012 (2)  Twitter List – a list of the second wave of Twitter users signed up to AcWriMo 2012

What you’ve been saying about AcWriMo – a Scoop-It of articles and blog posts on AcWriMo 2012


AcWriMo 2011 (when it was called AcBoWriMo), the links:

Original Announcement for AcBoWriMo by Charlotte Frost

The original rules for AcBoWriMo

Wikipedia page on AcBoWriMo

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee news report on AcBoWriMo


1 Comment

One Comment

  1. Dear Charlotte

    I’m planning a 2013 AcWriMo at my institution and was hoping to link to the official event. Any chance you can get it up and running early so I can start my marketing?


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