School of Graduate Studies

School of Graduate Studies
School of Graduate Studies

Dissertation on the Lake

Person sitting on a pier over the water, writing in a notebook.

"Dissertation on the Lake came at a very anxiety ridden time in my writing – I needed to make substantial revisions to one of my theoretical chapters and I accomplished that during the week. It helped me relax and focus on my task."

Dissertation on the Lake is a five day, four night writing retreat on the shores of Elbow Lake, 30 minutes north of Kingston. This program was first offered in 2014 by the School of Graduate Studies to provide graduate students the opportunity to write in a relaxing and inspiring environment, setting aside the distractions of daily life at home. Ten two-bedroom cabins will provide accommodation and some writing space. A central meeting room is available for writing. Three meals a day will be provided.

Space is limited and preference will be given to those who have not participated before and PhD students.

The day will be loosely structured around two writing sessions: three hours in the morning and three hours in the afternoon (you can always write for longer!). Although writing will be the primary activity, there will be ample opportunities for relaxation including swimming, canoeing and hiking (all unsupervised).

Daily Schedule

Although this is a more informal writing event than the Dissertation Boot Camp, the retreat will follow this schedule:

Monday

8:30 am: Departure by van from Queen’s Campus (outside Gordon Hall).

9:00 am: Arrival and introduction to the Elbow Lake facility and the retreat. Settle into cabins.

10:00 am: Writing begins.

12:00 pm – 2:00 pm: Lunch (make your own sandwich) and recreation.

2:00 pm – 4:45 pm: Writing Time.

4:45 pm – 5:00 pm: Goal Setting for the next day.

6:30 pm: Meal and recreation.

Tuesday

8:00 am: Breakfast and recreation.

9:00 am – 12:00 pm: Writing Time.

12:00 pm – 2:00 pm: Lunch (make your own sandwich) and recreation.

2:00 pm – 4:45 pm: Writing Time.

4:45 pm – 5:00 pm: Goal Setting for the next day.

6:30 pm: Meal and recreation.

Wednesday

8:00 am: Breakfast and recreation.

9:00 am – 12:00 pm: Writing Time.

12:00 pm – 2:00 pm: Lunch (make your own sandwich) and recreation.

2:00 pm – 4:45 pm: Writing Time.

4:45 pm – 5:00 pm: Goal Setting for the next day.

6:00 pm – 8:00 pm: Family BBQ.

8:00 pm: All visitors depart.

Thursday

8:00 am: Breakfast and recreation.

9:00 am – 12:00 pm: Writing Time.

12:00 pm – 2:00 pm: Lunch (make your own sandwich) and recreation.

2:00 pm – 4:45 pm: Writing Time.

4:45 pm – 5:00 pm: Goal Setting for the next day.

6:30 pm: Meal and recreation.

Friday

8:00 am: Breakfast and recreation.

9:00 am: Writing Time.

12:00 pm – 1:00 pm: Lunch (make your own sandwich).

1:00 pm – 3:00 pm: Writing Time.

3:00 pm – 4:30 pm: Recreation and Pack-up or More Writing.

4:30 pm – 4:45 pm: Conclusions, Debrief and Departure. Arrival in Kingston around 5:30 pm.