Writeshops
Paul Mundy
Independent specialist in development
communication
[email protected]
www.mamud.com, www.writeshops.org
Outline
1. Writeshops
2. Details of the process
3. Adaptations
1. Writeshops
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Combines benefits of
conference, reporting
and team writing
Ways to produce information
materials
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Single author
Small team of writers
Multiple authors who submit manuscripts to
an editor
Journalistic reporting
Conference or symposium
Writeshop
Types of products
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Information kits
And why not…?
Source books
 Project design
documents
How-to manuals
 Project reports
Extension materials
 Annual reports
Case-based texts
 Video and audio
Policy briefs
scripts
Training curricula and
 Scientific articles
materials
Textbooks
Online training courses
Publications
produced through
writeshops
Subject areas
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Livestock, veterinary medicine
Sustainable agriculture, agroforestry
Natural resources, environment
Public awareness
Value chains, marketing
Land management, tenure
Rural extension
Policy
Health, family planning
Gender
Languages
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English
French
Spanish
Burmese
Indonesian
Nepali
Sesotho
Vietnamese
How does it work?
1 Preparation
2 Writeshop
3 Revisions
4 Publish
1 Preparation
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Identify audience and objective
Identify broad theme
Identify topics
Select resource persons
Assign topics
Prepare logistics
2 Writeshop
Draft 1
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Present
Critique
Edit
Draw
Draft 2
•
•
•
•
Present
Critique
Revise
Redraw
Draft 3
• Comments
3 Revisions
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Editing
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Revise text
Check back with authors
Peer review
Desktop publish
4 Publish
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Print
Distribute
Use
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Evaluate, follow-up
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Typical timetable
CTA/East Africa Grain Council, Arusha, July 2012
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Monday
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Tuesday
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Introductions
One or two 1st presentations
and comments
19:00: Welcome dinner
Rest of 1st presentations
and comments
Wednesday
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(EAGC training plans)
Small groups/writing
Meetings with editor
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Thursday
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2nd presentations
(EAGC training curriculum)
Writing, meetings with editor
Friday
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(EAGC materials)
Rest of 2nd presentations
Writing, meetings with editor
Close: 12:30
Features of a standard writeshop
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Long lead-time for planning and
logistics
20–50 participants from different
organizations
Participants stay throughout
writeshop
Staff: coordinator, facilitators,
editors, artists, photocopying,
logistics
5–10 days
In hotel or conference centre
Relatively expensive
Writeshop advantages
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Fast, efficient, flexible
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Document experiences & best practices
Translates science into practice
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Easy to understand, illustrations
Involves multiple stakeholders
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Write a book in a few days
Scientists, extension, NGOs, farmers, audience members
Wide distribution through multiple institutions
Builds capacity
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Helps people write
Promotes networking
Training and info exchange
How much does it cost?
Depends on…
Number of participants
Where they come from
Air fares
How long they stay
Accommodation, per diem
Whether you pay them
Author fee, per diem
Where it is
Venue, country
How big the product is
Editing, design, printing
Cost = about the same as conference or training course,
plus publication costs
How much does it cost?
Top end
 250-page book
 2 weeks
 50 international
participants
 $150,000 – $200,000
Bottom end
 8-page extension
brochure
 2 days
 Staff, donated time
 $ 0
2. Details of the process
Presentations
and comments
Information
exchange
Editing and
rewriting
Information
transformation
Small
groups
Information
generation
Presentations and comments
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Like academic peer
review
Validate info, expand
on it based on own
knowledge
Steered by facilitator
Horizontal
communication or
information
exchange
Presenter
Authors
Facilitator
Editing and rewriting
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Critical, detailed look at draft
Convert into form suitable for
audience
Simplification (or elaboration)
Managed by editor
Rewriting rather than
copyediting
Focus on content and
structure, not words
Information transformation
Presenter
Editor
Artist
Two rounds of presentations and editing
Presenter
1
Presenter
2
Editor
Authors
Artist
Editing and rewriting
Facilitator
Presentations and comments
Small groups
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Brainstorm new
information based on
presentations and
experience
Often used in analysis
or recommendations
section
Steered by facilitator
Information
generation
3 processes
Presenter
1
Presenter
Editor
Artist
2
Editing and rewriting
Authors
Facilitator
Presentations and comments
Small groups
3. Adaptations
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Sub-plenaries
Resource persons
Participants as facilitators
One presentation
No presentations, no
comments: writing
writeshop
Multiple languages
No electricity?
Piggyback on another event
One organization
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Fewer people, shorter time
More spontaneous
More than one information
product
Scoping study before the
writeshop
Heavy-duty analysis after
the writeshop
Combine it with training:
training writeshop
No authors present
Resource persons
1
2
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Resource person
helps author and
editor revise text
One presentation
1
2
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Reduces time
needed
Requires more
work after
writeshop
No presentation, just comments
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People can read
faster than they
listen
Saves time
Useful for second
draft
No presentations, no comments
1
2
Writing clinics
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Presentations and
participants’
comments may have
little value – eg for
non-overlapping
subject areas
No initial manuscripts
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Authors write individually
or in small groups
Then present, discuss and
edit
Useful where sections are
short and have parallel
content & structure
Multiple languages
c
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ж
‫ش‬
1
2
A
?
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Simultaneous
interpretation
Consecutive
interpretation
Whisper
interpretation
Software translation
(Google Translate)
No electricity
1
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Use notepads and
flipcharts
Piggyback on another event
Conference
Writeshop
One organization
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Can hold meetings
in organization’s
own office
Can spread out
over long time
Fewer people, shorter time, less planning
1
2
More than one product
1
2
Scoping study before writeshop
1
2
Heavy-duty analysis after writeshop
1
2
Combine it with training
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Lead authors
through the writing
and editing process
Combine training
sessions with work
on their drafts
Get them to critique
each others’ work
No authors present
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Review writeshop
Obtain drafts before
writeshop
Ask experts in
writeshop to review
the drafts
More information
www.writeshops.org
A guide to organizing writeshops
Gonsalves and Joven
2010
www.mamud.com/writeshops.htm
More information
IIRR International Institute of Rural
Reconstruction
 Nairobi, Addis, Philippines
 www.iirr.org
KIT Royal Tropical Institute
 Amsterdam
 www.kit.nl
More information
Julian Gonsalves
 Philippines
 [email protected]
Paul Mundy
 Germany
 [email protected],
www.writeshops.org
www.mamud.com
Three rules for writeshops
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Prepare everything in great detail
Make it up as you go along
Have fun!