Writing Groups

Need motivation to write? Having trouble reaching your writing goals on time? Joining a writing accountability group may help!

Whether you’re working on a dissertation, journal article, or other writing project, forming a group with other students working on writing projects is a great way to help one another make progress and meet deadlines, by providing accountability and encouragement along the way.

Check out our resources for existing writing groups or fill out the group matching form below and we will help connect you with a writing group or partner! 

This program is for current Penn graduate and professional students only. Others are welcome to use the writing group resources below, however we do not have capacity to match or support faculty or postdoc writing groups. 

Join or Register a Writing Accountability Group

To sign up for or register your writing group, please use one of the following Peer Accountability Group forms: 

Peer Accountability Group Matching Form 
Submit this form to be matched with a new or existing accountability group 

Accountability Group Registration Form 
Use this form to register a group you have established 

Whether you’re working on a dissertation, journal article, or other writing project, writing groups are a great way to help one another make progress and meet deadlines, by providing accountability and encouragement along the way.

Set Expectations and Ground Rules

We encourage you to schedule a meeting with the group to discuss why you joined and what you hope to gain from participating in a writing group. You may also want to share the challenges or habits that affect your writing. Finally, you should discuss preferences for how – and how often – the group with meet. If it’s helpful (we think it is), you can write up a set of “ground rules” and a set of shared goals for the group. These steps will help set the tone and clarify shared expectations for future sessions.

Your group may decide to schedule a regular meeting time or you may close each meeting by scheduling the next meeting. We recommend setting a rough agenda for each meeting (what goals you hope to reach, what you will be discussing, location/format), you will make it easier for group members to start helping each other with setting – and reaching – clear writing goals.

  • How often will you meet as a group? 
  • When will you meet? What days and times - and for how long? 
  • Where will you meet? You may choose to meet in person (in a coffee shop, the library, etc.) or virtually via Zoom or a similar video chat. 
  • What will you do during the meetings? What activities or topics will you cover? 
    Options could include: 
    • Writing silently together
    • Reporting on goals and progress
    • Setting and discussing goals
    • Exchanging and providing feedback on your written materials
    • Sharing challenges and tips related to productivity and writing habits
    • Social or personal conversations 
  • How will you track and measure the success of the group? 
  • Would you like assistance or support from the Grad Center?