NCA Mid-Career Scholar’s Writing Retreat

January 12, 2017

Application Deadline: January 12, 2017

Retreat dates: June 26-June 30, 2017

Retreat Location: Chapman University Orange, CA.

Finding it difficult to get time to work on that project that will get you promoted to Full? The NCA Mid-Career Scholars' Writing Retreat (MCSWR) is designed to provide the opportunity for intensive writing time in a non-distracting environment and to provide guidance from mentors during the process. This retreat is specifically targeted to faculty that hold the rank of Associate Professor in order to support significant progress toward the completion of an in-progress writing project.  Applicants are not limited by area of inquiry, topic, or method.  Applications reflecting the diversity of scholarship in the discipline are encouraged. This NCA-sponsored Mid-Career Scholars’ Writing Retreat is based in part on the good work of Drs. Sonja Foss and William Waters, whose Scholars’ Retreats have been so helpful to so many colleagues over the years.

MCSWR participants will present their projects on a panel at the 2017 NCA Convention in Dallas, Texas.

You are eligible for the MCSWR if you have already begun a research project (e.g. have at least an outline of an essay or longer writing project, or have data collected). The MCSWR offers an excellent opportunity to make progress on your project and also get feedback from other scholars on your ideas.

During the Retreat, facilitators Dr. Michelle Miller-Day and Dr. Tammy Afifi will serve as on-call mentors, working individually with participants to maximum productivity, including assistance in:

  • providing feedback on ideas
  • writing techniques
  • time management
  • organizing ideas
  • coding qualitative data efficiently
  • writing up qualitative and descriptive research
  • analyzing and reporting quantitative data

Date and Location 

The 2017 MCSWR will held on the campus of Chapman University in Southern California on June 26-30. There will be an optional beach day or Disneyland day on July 1st. Transportation will be provided to these optional excursions. 

Chapman University is located in the heart of Orange County, California and approximately 10 minutes from Disneyland.  Chapman offers traditional undergraduate programs in the arts and sciences and select pre-professional and graduate programs. Ranked in the top tier of western universities by U.S. News and World Report, Chapman has gained national recognition with its commitment to excellence through research and innovative teaching.


Each MCSWR participant will receive a travel stipend to travel to the retreat.

Participants should fly into the SNA (John Wayne, Santa Ana) airport in Orange County, CA.

The airport is 12 miles away from the University and easily accessible via cab or Uber.

Living Conditions 


MCSWR participants will be housed in private dorm rooms on the campus of Chapman University in Orange, CA.   You will have your own room but may share a bathroom with one other person (some participants may have their own bathrooms).  The dorms are air conditioned with wireless internet throughout.  There is also an Olympic size swimming pool for participants to use if desired. (Fun fact: The U.S. Olympic Swim Team practices in this pool!).  Housing is provided at no cost to the participant.


All breakfasts and lunches will be provided at the Retreat, with participants responsible for covering the cost of their dinners.  There are a variety of nearby restaurants for dinner.  Feel free to bring snacks with you to munch on during the writing times.  A trip to the grocery store will be arranged on the first or second day of the Retreat so that those from out of town can get food or other items. 


Smoking is not allowed on the campus.  If you are a smoker, you can walk half a block to get off campus, where you may smoke.  You also will be able to smoke before or after lunch and dinner, which are held off campus.


Plan to arrive at the Retreat no later than 4:00 pm on June 26th.  Participants will meet for dinner and an orientation session.  The schedule for the Retreat is:

            6:15     wake up
            6:30     exercise
            8:00     breakfast
            8:30     writing
          12:30     lunch
            1:30     writing
            5:30     dinner
            8:00     meetings with mentors
            9:00     social hour
          10:00     to bed

To enable participants to accomplish their writing goals, the schedule is rigorously enforced.  The Retreat ends with a celebratory dinner on June 30th and an optional day at Disneyland or the Beach on July 1st.  All participants must be checked out of the dorms by 5 pm on July 1st

To Apply: 

  • Submit a letter that includes: (1) a brief project description (project summary, primary argument and/or research questions, text(s) and/or location(s) and/or data, and method); (2) a statement about the current status of the project/ the amount completed on the project; and (3) an articulation of any obstacles you are encountering in completing the project.
  • Provide your name, address, telephone number, and e-mail address
  • A copy of your vita

Eight participants will be selected to participate.  If more individuals apply to participate in the Retreat than spaces are available, the following applications will be privileged: (1) Applications submitted earliest; and (2) Applications of individuals who appear most able to benefit from the services offered at the Retreat. If your application is accepted, you will receive an acceptance letter and additional details about the Retreat.

Applications should be sent to: Applications should be sent to: Dr. Michelle Miller-Day, Chapman University,