Shut Up & Write, a movement that started in San Francisco, is a way for writers to structure their time and connect with others. The formula is simple: meet in a convenient location, write in silence for an hour, and catch-up over coffee afterwards.

For academic types, who have embraced the idea, it’s a great way to carve out dedicated writing time and make progress on thesis chapters, journal articles, and grant applications. While an hour doesn’t sound like much, it’s amazing what you can get done if you really focus. The discipline and shared sense of purpose that comes from writing with others also keeps you accountable and reminds you that you aren’t alone.

Although it’s great to write with a group of people and have coffee afterwards, at Shut Up & Write Tuesdays we understand that it’s not always practical. So we developed a virtual Shut Up & Write that allows you to get all the benefits* of a traditional Shut Up & Write without leaving your home or office.

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On the first and third Tuesday of each month, we host three virtual Shut Up & Write sessions on Twitter. The first session is at @SUWTues and is scheduled to suit people in the Asia-Pacific region (including Australia, New Zealand and PNG). The second session is at @SUWTUK and is scheduled to suit people in the UK and Western Europe, as well as folks in Perth. The third session is at @SUWTNA and is scheduled to suit people in the US and Canada.

Each session follows the pomodoro format – two 25-minute blocks, separated by a 5-minute break. Your host tells you when to start, when to rest, when to start again, and when to stop. You can engage with others by responding to the @SUWTues / @SUWTUK / @SUWTNA tweets with information about what you’re working on and the progress you made during the session. Be sure to use the hashtag #suwtues / #suwtuk / #suwtna so others can see you, cheer you on, commiserate, and offer advice. By engaging with your hosts and the other participants you have an opportunity to connect with an international network of academics and PhD students and be part of a thriving community of practice.

*Try as we might, we cannot figure out how to send coffee through Twitter. So until our boffins make a breakthrough, that part of the experience unfortunately remains BYO.

25 thoughts on “About

    1. Siobhan O'Dwyer says:

      Hi Nidhi,

      Thanks for your interest. You can definitely still get involved if you don’t have Twitter. Just go to the account that best suits your timezone (either if you’re in the Asia-Pacific; if you’re in North America; or if you’re in the UK or Europe) at the scheduled date/time and follow along.

      We’d encourage you to get a Twitter account though, because it would allow you to engage more fully in the sessions – saying hello, telling us what you’re working on, sharing your progress at the end, and encouraging the progress of others. This helps to keep you accountable and makes you feel part of a supportive academic community.

      We hope you can join us soon. And in the meantime, Happy Writing!


    1. Siobhan O'Dwyer says:

      Hi Rob, thanks for your question. What you do during the sessions is entirely up to you. Some people write journal articles or thesis chapters, others write lectures or blog posts. Some do data entry or coding, others tackle creative works or map out new projects. Hope you can join us soon – our next session is 15th September.

  1. Mark Jepson says:

    This is an amazing idea… My writing day is Wednesdays (no lectures to give on that day). Might replicate this approach locally on a Wednesday.

    Keep up the good work.
    Was this page set up when you should have been writing by any chance? I found it during my “writing time”.

    1. Siobhan O'Dwyer says:

      Thanks for the enthusiasm, Mark. We love it when people love what we’re doing and we love it even more when they take the initiative to adapt it locally.

      Although SUWT was born out of an offline writing group, all administration was (and continues to be) conducted in non-writing time. Scouts honour! 😉

  2. Ahmad says:

    This is great. I should try it. I really need to SHUT UP & WRITE. Being a part-time, off-campus student, having such a virtual writing group is a blessing. Thanks guys for setting this up. I will hopefully join the @SUWTUK next session.

    PhD student at RGU

  3. arenag14 says:

    Hi there, this is so awesome! Is there a virtual session for us African academics? I’m sure there are a bunch of us who would love to take part 🙂 Great initiative!

    1. Siobhan O'Dwyer says:

      Unfortunately we don’t have an account specifically for academics in Africa, but you would be most welcome to participate in our UK account. Although the account is located in the UK, it is open to everyone and the time difference with Africa should only a few hours. We often have people join us from Australia, the US, and other parts of Europe, so we would love to have some folks from Africa too! Happy writing!

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