n South African Journal of Higher Education - Quiet writing : retreat as pedagogy

Volume 31 Number 2
  • ISSN : 1011-3487



In a climate of increased pressure on academics to publish, some writing retreats have become crash-courses on writing, or bootcamps for getting words on paper. I argue rather for a writing pedagogy that deliberately aims to restore a sense of well-being in writers, draws on creative writing (Haarhoff 1998) and is situated in a paradigm of mindful inquiry (Bentz and Shapiro 1998). Based on observations, reflections and evaluations of 18 retreats run over the past six years, for staff at a university in Johannesburg, I argue that the structure and process of the retreat is an integral part of the writing pedagogy. A retreat traditionally includes mindfulness, with a balance between effort and reflection. The writing retreat pedagogy I propose is a flow between being productive and restoring a sense of life-balance: quiet writing – meaning coming from a place of inner calm.

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


Article metrics loading...


This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error