'Shut Up and Write' with the National School of Arts

Published: Monday 15th June 2015

Writers are strange creatures. 


When penning his novels, Haruki Murakami is said to wake promptly each day at 4am. Without variation, he works for five to six hours, and no more. In the afternoons, he runs, swims and listens to music. By 9pm, he is in bed. Marcel Proust, on the other hand, slept all day and woke only at night to scribble away in bed. During much of the 1960s, at the peak of his creative productivity, Kurt Vonnegut frequently interspersed periods of writing with scotch and water, and many, many push-ups.


Writers each have their own routines and rhythms. Whatever they are, it’s important to keep to them.


In 2015, the National School of Arts will institute two ‘shut up and write’ periods to help staff to make significant progress toward the completion of their next publication. 


Originating in San Francisco, the 'shut up and write' movement has spread across the globe, becoming popular among writers of all varieties. This year, the National School will allocate three consecutive days in early July and another three days in early December to help researchers to ‘write, write, write’. No excuses!


‘Shut up and write’ will be a national initiative. Interested staff can sign up with their local ‘shut up and write’ coordinators (Melissa Bellanta NSW; Maggie Nolan QLD; Mark Chou VIC). While some staff may inevitably want to work to their own rhythm and in their own space, we will be setting up dedicated on-campus ‘writers retreats’ in Strathfield, Brisbane and Melbourne for staff more accustomed to ‘conventional hours’.


There will be no talk of marking, meetings or teaching and learning during these times. By signing up, you will be committing to writing, and hopefully finishing, a high-quality publication.


As well as working toward your next publication, these sessions will provide opportunities to share ideas and research tips across disciplines with a view to possible interdisciplinary collaborations in the future.




1 July 10am - 1pm (meet up and write on campus)


2 July (Independent writing - in your office, at home or in a cafe...)


3 July 1pm - 4pm (meet up and write on campus) 



Campus Locations


Strathfield: S3.23 

Brisbane: IB.04

Melbourne: 2.21AB (Mary Glowrey)  





NSW: Melissa.Bellanta@acu.edu.au 

Brisbane: Marguerite.Nolan@acu.edu.au

Melbourne: Mark.Chou@acu.edu.au