Today I attended the Academic Writing Workshop given by Helen Fallon and organised by the Library Association of Ireland’s Career Development Group.
I would say that the three most important points that I took from today’s workshop were:
1. How to write a query email to an editor, briefly outlining your experience and the article you intend to submit.
2. Setting yourself a goal of writing for just 15 minutes, not trying to clear a whole day for writing (number one thing I am guilty of).
3. Be clear about the outcomes or impact of the practice or research you are writing about to ensure focus.
These are just three things that are relevant and helpful to me at this stage in my writing. The workshop was rich in advice covering all aspects of writing. Helen spoke to us about her experience of submitting articles to various journals and other publications. Everything from how to write an outline and abstract, to how how to deal with feedback, re-writes and permission to deposit in an institutional repository was covered. The workshop was not solely focused on publishing journal articles, with Helen detailing the value of contributing to blogs such as Libfocus, writing for practice based publications and presenting papers or posters at conferences (such as the upcoming LAI A&SL Conference).
Throughout the day Helen set us writing tasks, proving to us that a lot could be achieved in short 5 – 10 minute bursts if we could put aside our worries about final edits and so on. I amazed myself by writing a little over 200 words on “I am most creative when I write about…” in just 5 minutes.
An excellent edition was having Marjory Sliney, editor of An Leabharlann, give a session on the types of writing that can be submitted to them for publication. This included advice on how to approach writing a book review and conference summary.