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Professors As Writers

The Teaching Resource Center offers the Professors as Writers (PAW) Program to support U.Va. faculty in their academic and professional writing. Funded by the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty Recruitment & Retention, PAW was developed in response to faculty concerns about writing and publishing. Through workshops, grants for editorial or coaching support, and resources and support for writing groups, PAW aims to address writing challenges both new and old—including those posed by the changing nature of academic publishing in the twenty-first century as well as the very practical challenges to writing often experienced by those who write, think, and teach for a living.

PAW offers support for faculty throughout their careers, whether tenure-track faculty turning a dissertation into a book, publishing articles or writing grant proposals; mid-career or senior faculty starting a new research project, second or third book, or returning to research after devoting time to administrative work; or, full-time, General Research & Teaching Faculty at any level of experience looking for extra assistance with writing-related concerns.

Components of the PAW Program address the common, but seldom discussed, problems and complexities of writing and publishing. The program is designed to foster conversations about the writing process, destigmatize the writing difficulties faced by many, and provide practical advice from U.Va. colleagues and nationally known experts on the practice of writing and academic publishing. In short, the Professors as Writers Program is designed to help faculty write more easily, more productively, and more happily.

As former Grant winners and Program participants report,

  • The PAW program’s activities in general helped me to realize that everyone, even seasoned writers, experience the same dreadful writer’s block.
  • I was amazed to discover that they [faculty in other departments] agonize over their writing, just like I do.  Thus, I discovered that I was not alone in my anxiety towards the writing process.
  • The most effective aspect of the program was the fact that it was flexible enough to allow me to decide what kind of help I needed and how to set everything up.
  • My editor helped me in clarifying my authorial voice and relating my arguments to the on-going discussions in my field. Furthermore, her questions opened new ways of inquiry for me.
  • Working with my editor was instrumental in me winning an NSF grant for $411,000. That is quite a payoff from a $1,000 investment!