Sam Pulman is a postgraduate researcher, School of Education, University of Exeter. Her research is about social work education, and helping children be curious and confident in nature. Sam regularly facilitates of Shut Up and Write, and Lego Serious Play. You can contact Sam on:

The Doctoral College has sent out several tweets over the last few weeks about Shut Up and Write (SUAW) but you may not know what SUAW is about. In brief, SUAW supports a vibrant postgraduate research culture. The online daily chat room offers greater inclusivity and engagement with the research community by supplying short, focused study sessions using the Pomodoro technique of 25-minute slots, to work on a paragraph- reading, thinking, planning, and as the name suggests, writing- followed by a five-minute break, and repeat of the cycle, usually in two-hour slots. The postgraduate journey is never alone. We all share similar struggles and frustration about getting work done, however, a short session with SUAW can make small steps to success and can be the motivation for the rest of the day.

As part of the SUAW re-launch, there is a 30-day writing challenge for May, with an aim to write 500 words a day! See the Doctoral College or SUAW Twitter pages for more details. Additionally, there will be a PGR Coffee, Cake & Conversation event on Tuesday 27th June (10:30-12:00) on the topic of Shut Up and Write. Do come along and meet some of the facilitators and learn more about SUAW.

If you can’t wait and want to know more, check out this recent article written by Kelly Louise Preece, original founder of SUAW at the University of Exeter, and Jo Sutherst who currently oversees the SUAW channel, which was published last week in Times Higher Education.

Alternatively, here is a poem I wrote that tells you all about SUAW (published in the Open Review, 2023).

Poem about Shut Up and Write (SUAW) 

Shut Up And Write is all I heard,

that’s great, I need to write some words.

But I’m stuck, I can’t think, my mind in unravelled,

I want to write something, but the letters are scrabbled.

Writing, my friend, is a road well-travelled.

Don’t worry, SUAW is at hand to get you going.

You’ll soon get those words without even knowing.

Welcome along to the PGR community,

no barriers, no blocks, online and accessible,

through lockdown, remote working, nothing is impossible.

Sharing experience to get motivated,

SUAW is peer support that is uncomplicated.

It started with the researcher development team,

but now it’s a vibrant peer led resource,

many people run sessions to keep us on course.

The facilitators are about getting it done,

learning, inclusive, diversity, and fun.

No judgement, SUAW is for everyone.

No booking, no form, just pop in and out,

Boosting productivity is what it’s about.

Collaboration, contribute, inclusion, and grow,

develops our research community via Pomodoro.

Get your ducks in a row is a popular race,

it’s a ‘Teams thing’ so can be in any place.

Coffee and chomp are the monthly drop in,

we can have a chat with an actual person!

Hybrid retreats are a new direction,

its online, and sometimes face to face,

expanding the SUAW group, in any case.

So far so good, sounds like a hit,

everyone knows Jo made us do it!

Thinking, planning, reading, maybe meditate.

Anything but procrastinate, don’t let the mind stagnate.

Be a wordsmith, step up to postgraduate.

Be yourself, tell your story, be legitimate.

Here is the magic formula for SUAW particulars,

500 words complete in one day.

2,500 words in a week, now you are well on the way.

10,000 words in just a month, and you thought it couldn’t be done.

120,000 words in a year, more than a thesis, have I made that clear.

Edit and rewrite, that’s what we do,

building the GW4 research portfolio.

We are creative, hard-working, and dedicated,

many have tried but SUAW can’t be replicated.

So why not join us in the SUAW chat box,

one small step is better than not.

That’s all I want from you today,

have a go in this slot and start right away.

8 am to 10 pm, we are open all hours,

it’s our USP that makes you empowered.

That’s a taster of SUAW,

why not try it, you can’t go wrong.

Hey, hey, good people,

what took you so long?

SUAW Joining details: