Economic development writing retreat: three days to done

Writing retreat workshop. Huntsville. October 22-25, 2015.

Date Location Tuition Economic Developers Association of Canada (EDAC) Points 
Oct 23-25, 2015 University of Waterloo Summit Centre Huntsville, ON See below 5

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Description and testimonials

This seminar creates the ideal conditions to complete or get a strong start on a Year one, two, or three research paper in only three days. Participants will be sequestered at the University of Waterloo’s scenic and serene Summit Centre in Huntsville, Ontario, where Economic Development Program staff will provide a balance of instruction, resources, and independent writing time. The retreat will also provide an opportunity for peer-learning as participants will share their work with other participants for feedback. Please note that 20 page papers are less likely to be finished in the allotted time.

This was a great opportunity to re-affirm that I was not alone in the writing process. Having a resourceful and approachable facilitator to ask questions that has previously stumped me (and my writing progress) was extremely helpful.

After having been out of academia for 15 years, writing a paper seemed a bit of a lost skill to me, but this workshop reminded me that it isn’t 'rocket science' (unless writing a paper about rocket science), and how to break down the process into logical, meaningful steps.

Supplies and pre-requisites:


Pre-retreat webinar, Monday, October 19

This 30 minute webinar will help you find the right topic and learn the secrets to writing an outline and introduction quickly and effectively. It is required for all participants (recording available to late registrants).

  • Structure
  • Choosing a topic
  • Crafting a research objective
  • How to write a great introduction

Friday October 23

Welcome and getting started

  • Exchange outline with a partner, revise based on feedback
  • Exchange introductions with a partner, revise based on feedback
  • Friday morning deliverables: revised introduction and outline 

Research and literature reviews

  • Overview of a literature review
  • How to research
  • Referencing
  • Independent time for research, writing literature review
  • Sharing of everyone’s top source – why is it the best?
  • Friday afternoon deliverables: five sources, expanded lit review outline

Saturday October 24

Independent writing time

Data 101

  • Finding and analyzing data in 3 steps
  • Overview of a methods section
  • Overview of a results section
  • Overview of a analysis section
  • Tips for writing about a case study
  • Writing time
  • Saturday deliverables: literature review, methods section (if applicable), beginnings of a results section (continue writing into the evening if necessary)

Sunday October 25

Conclusions and recommendations

  • What should a conclusion say?
  • How are recommendations framed?
  • Write draft conclusion (and recommendation section if appropriate)
  • Exchange conclusions with a partner, provide comments
  • Revise line of argument/analysis in the paper and conclusion
  • Sunday afternoon deliverable: rough draft conclusion

Proofreading and review

  • How to proofread
  • Independent proofreading and revision of paper
  • Revise introduction to match conclusion
  • Share best paragraph from conclusion
  • Refine papers as necessary
  • Sunday afternoon deliverable: complete paper (submit or take home for finishing touches)


Michelle Madden - Economic developer program outreach manager; Editor of Papers in Canadian Economic Development and The Higher ED Blog.

Accommodations and pricing

All inclusive Option

  1. Private dorm room, shared bath for three nights*
  2. Breakfast, lunch and refreshment breaks for three days (supper not included)
  3. Tuition

Waterloo Summit Centre for the Environment      
87 Forbes Hill Drive, Huntsville, ON P1H 0B6

No room option

  1. Breakfast, lunch, and refreshment breaks for three days (supper not incl.)
  2. Tuition


  All inclusive No room
EDAC member Early bird: $495 Early bird: $395
After Sept 11: $545 After Sept 11: $445
Non EDAC Early bird: $595 Early bird: $495
After Sept 11: $645 After Sept 11: $545

*Linens and pillows are provided