Flourish: A Free Electronic Newsletter for Scholarly Writers

Flourish is a free, monthly, electronic micronewsletter to encourage and connect graduate student, faculty, and independent scholarly writers. I published it for five years (2005-2011). In it, I told the stories of those who were surviving and even thriving as writers in academia. Some of the topics addressed were developing good writing habits, sending essays to journals for submission, organizing research material, working with editors and advisors, persevering on books or dissertations, and using citation and presentation software. It had around 3,000 subscribers.

My intention in creating Flourish was to inspire scholars to write more and to write better. Once a month, when they saw the micro-newsletter in their inbox, I hoped they would use it as an opportunity to do a gentle internal check: “Have I been writing? Have I been thinking about publication?” I recommended that, whenever they got the newsletter, they write an email to themselves about where they were in terms of writing and what they wanted to do over the next month. This way, they could use the newsletter to keep their scholarly writing on the front burner instead of in the deep freeze.

All the issues are posted below, because they all still provide a lot of good information and stories. Some of the highlights were Liz filing her dissertation (about how a graduate student strategized and wrote her whole dissertation in one year) and Tim filing his dissertation (about how a graduate student suffered a horrifying and life-threatening trauma and survived to complete his dissertation).


Volume 6  
June-2010-Feb 2011 On getting writing done
April-May 2010 On good news
Feb-Mar 2010 On time
January 2010 On being mindful
Volume 5  
December 2009 On setting a good example
Oct-Nov 2009 On fear of finishing
September 2009 On writing apprenticeships
August 2009 On the perils of revising
July 2009 Stop getting ready!
May-June 2009 On the importance of perseverance
April 2009 On the dangers of interesting research
March 2009 On productivity research
February 2009 On enemies
January 2009 On the privilege of writing
Volume 4  
December 2008 On fooling ourselves
Oct-Nov 2008 On anxiety dreams
Aug-Sept 2008 On the importance of not acting
July 2008 On setting life writing goals
May-June 2008 Completion!
April 2008 On editors’ minds
March 2008 Manuscript delivery!
Jan-Feb 2008 On the benefits of connection
Volume 3  
December 2007 On morning and evening types
November 2007 On sharing writing with peers
October 2007 On finding balance
September 2007 On ambivalence
August 2007 Experienced author’s rejection experiences
July 2007 Gender differences in productivity
May-June 2007 Sharing publication experiences
April 2007 The benefits of specialization
March 2007 The neatly boxed failure
February 2007 Sexy dress fund
January 2007     New Year’s resolutions
Volume 2  
December 2006   Depression     
November 2006   Tricks for the busy
October 2006       On getting shut down or hung up
September 2006   Summer ending
August 2006       Tim filing his dissertation
July 2006      On research on peer review
June 2006      On periphery scholars
May 2006    On Samuel Johnson
April 2006    On journal rejection
March 2006    On getting publishing courses set up
February 2006     On losing your groove
January 2006     Father’s first article (and Liz part III)
Volume 1  
December 2005     On eating a car
November 2005  On implosion
October 2005    Liz filing her dissertation (part II)
September 2005    Liz filing her dissertation (part I)
August 2005      On draft saving protocols
July 2005         On the finiteness of summer
May/June 2005   On time management
April 2005       On sharing drafts
March 2005    On feeling guilty
February 2005   On famous rejections