Pen to Paper Writing Retreat

A retreat focused on preparing scholars to publish their community engaged work.

Pen to Paper is an academic writing retreat designed to provide time, space, and resources to guide faculty, professional staff, graduate students, and community partners working on manuscripts related to service-learning and community engagement.

We at Indiana Campus Compact are committed to supporting engaged scholars through every stage of the publishing process. During this disconnected time of the pandemic, we continue to work with our editorial partners to ensure that Pen to Paper participants, at all levels, receive a quality experience.

Updated format for a virtual 2021 Pen to Paper!

Pen to Paper 2021 has been redesigned to meet the needs of today’s virtual environment, while still offering participants the things that are unique to the Pen to Paper experience—individualized feedback from our journal editor partners and senior Retreat facilitators, as well as building your network and receiving peer feedback from colleagues near and far through plenary and small group learning experiences.

For more information, contact Laura Weaver, Director of Professional Development and Engaged Learning at laura {at} incampuscompact(.)org.


Pen to Paper 2021 will kick-off in May 2021 with an opening plenary workshop and continue throughout the summer months, concluding in early August 2021. This extended timeline allows for participants to work throughout the summer on their engaged scholarship while simultaneously receiving feedback from senior Retreat facilitators, peers, and journal editors.

This completely virtual experience will include:

  • 2 facilitated half-day (4 hour) virtual workshop
  • Facilitated, cohort-based writing meetings occurring every 2 or 3 weeks—organized based on the availability of participants
  • Four exclusive webinars with editors of the leading community engagement publications
  • Individualized feedback from a senior Retreat facilitator on your scholarly project
  • Access to exclusive Pen to Paper resources


Pen to Paper 2021 is appropriate for most engaged scholars and practitioners including:

  • all level of faculty (tenure and non-tenure track),
  • community engagement professionals and other engaged professional staff (e.g., student development/affairs staff, institutional research professional staff),
  • senior administrators,
  • graduate students, especially doctoral students,
  • community partners and community members partnering with campus stakeholders

The 2021 Retreat has been designed for those participants who will be actively working, during the summer of 2021, on a manuscript (or multiple manuscripts) for publication. The 2021 Retreat is still featuring two participant tracks, Ready to Write and Ready to Publish, (see the WHAT IS PEN TO PAPER section for more information).

Additionally, because of the virtual format and supportive nature of Pen to Paper 2021 is appropriate for participants who have previously attended a Pen to Paper Writing Retreat.

As a reminder, attendance for Pen to Paper is intentionally kept to a minimum as a way of fostering personal connections between participants, senior facilitators, and editors. We recommend early registration.


Registration closes on Sunday, May 9, 2021, at 11:59 PM (ET), or once the participant capacity is met.

Registration for Pen to Paper is a three-part process:

  1. Complete the registration and payment via the Indiana Campus Compact Engagement Portal. Find detailed instructions on how to register via the Engagement Portal here.
  2. Complete the Pen to Paper In-take Questionnaire (forwarded following successful registration and payment)
  3. Submit an abstract (sample) of your manuscript

Steps 1 and 2 of this process should be completed as soon as you decide you are able to attend Pen to Paper 2021. By doing so, you will reserve your spot as a participant. Step 3 can be completed as late as May 9, 2021.

Registration Rates

*Individuals who register using the incorrect registration type (e.g., non-Indiana Campus Compact partners who register using the Indiana Campus Compact partner code) will be invoiced for the correct registration fee. All payments must be made prior to April 30, 2021.


Pen to Paper (in-person experience)

Pen to Paper is a two and a half-day retreat providing participants with time to discuss ideas with and receive feedback from editors, receive mentoring from retreat facilitators, share ideas with peers, and write.

Each year attendance is intentionally kept to a minimum in order to foster personal connections between participants, editors, and senior faculty coaches. The small group also provides the space participants need to focus on engaged scholarship.

Pen to Paper, our original Writing Retreat program, has been called “the best professional development opportunity of my career” by a past participant.

The Retreat is organized in such a way as to offer participants two tracks—the Ready to Publish track and Ready to Write track.

  • The Ready to Publish track is for those who have a complete or nearly complete manuscript. These participants will receive feedback from journal editors and learn more about the various avenues available to publish their work.
  • The Ready to Write track is for those whose research is complete or nearly complete and have a writing plan, but who have not yet begun the writing process. These participants will focus on developing their writing strategy and receive guidance as they begin the writing process.

The typical in-person experience includes:

  • Facilitated 2.5 day Pen to Paper programming
  • Feedback from editors from the top engagement journals.
  • Complete access to the Retreat facility, which provides ample writing spaces
  • Modest hotel-style overnight accommodations
  • Meals during the Retreat

Indiana Campus Compact encourages faculty, community engagement professionals, graduate students, and community members who are interested in further developing their community engagement practices and research methodology to attend the Colloquium on High-Impact Community Engagement Practices before attending Pen to Paper.

Pen to Paper 2.0 (in person experience)

Pen to Paper 2.0 is not being offered in 2021. Stay tuned for updates on when this experience will be offered again.

One of the things Pen to Paper participants have consistently asked for year after year is, “more writing time” even after the facilitated gathering is over. Well, we listened, and have developed Pen to Paper 2.0 with this specifically in mind.

Open to any Pen to Paper 2019 (and before) alums, Pen to Paper 2.0 is two-and-a-half days of uninterrupted writing time in a secluded space, but in the company of other engaged scholars. Those wishing to participate in Pen to Paper 2.0 will be asked to submit a draft of a writing project they will be working on during the Retreat, prior to registration. Each participant will receive anonymous peer feedback from another participant upon arrival. Participants have the opportunity to interact as much or as little with fellow Pen to Paper 2.0 participants as they feel necessary.

This in-person experience includes:

  • Peer feedback on your engaged writing
  • Complete access to the Retreat facility, which provides ample writing spaces.
  • Modest hotel-style overnight accommodations
  • Meals during the Retreat