The Intensive Low-Residency Workshop for Individuals

     I no longer teach this course. This workshop is a guide to the complex world of academic article publishing and is designed to give writers practical experience in publishing essays in academic journals.

    One of the first course-length workshops in the country with such a focus, it has helped participants get work into such leading journals as Political Geography, World Politics, World Development, PMLA, Journal of Asian Studies, Journal of American History, Journal of Gerontology, Semiotica, Language in Society, and Popular Music, to name just a few. The goal of this workshop is to aid participants in taking their papers from classroom or conference quality to journal quality and in overcoming anxiety about academic publishing in the process.

    The workshop consists of eight sessions during an intensive four-day residency in Los Angeles , followed by a three-month, nonresidency revising period. During the residency sessions, the instructor explains the publication process and shares strategies for achieving success in the academic writing arena, including setting up a work schedule, identifying appropriate journals for submission, clarifying arguments, organizing material, working with editors, using citation software, and writing query letters. During the nonresidency period, participants are led through a rigorous revision of an already written academic paper. They complete weekly assignments of reading and writing, receive feedback on that writing from the instructor, and then actually submit a final draft of the article to an academic journal.



    Wendy Belcher has taught this workshop to hundreds at UCLA and around the world since 1998. Belcher designed the workshop based on her long-term experience as an editor, author, and student. She has worked for over a decade editing peer-reviewed journals and books for academic presses (including Oxford University Press, the University of California Press , and Routledge) and is currently the director of a small press at UCLA that publishes books and journals in ethnic studies. She is an award-winning scholarly writer who has published numerous articles and a book on West Africa. She has three master's degrees, two in the social sciences and one in the humanities.


   Those interested in submitting an article to a peer-reviewed journal for publication are welcome to enroll. Typical participants are (1) graduate students who want to publish an essay they wrote for the classroom, (2) doctoral candidates hoping to publish a chapter from their dissertation in progress, (3) recent doctorates and junior faculty under pressure to publish for jobs or tenure, and (4) tenured faculty seeking to improve their writing skills or habits. Enrollment is limited. No more than six participants will be accepted into each workshop.


    The next workshop starts in September 2005. Participants arrive in Los Angeles on a Wednesday evening and stay at the Culver City Hotel (within three blocks of movie theaters, restaurants, grocery stores, cafes, and the instructor's home). They must have in hand a draft of a paper to be submitted for publication (e.g., a classroom paper, dissertation chapter, master's thesis, conference paper). For the next four days, participants attend workshop sessions twice a day ( 10:00-12:30 and 2:00-4:30 ) and have an individual one-hour session with the instructor. Early Sunday evening, the participants return home. Over the next twelve weeks, participants read and fill out the writing workbook, revise their article, email assignments to the instructor every Sunday evening, and finally mail their article to a journal. The instructor is available for consultation by email once a week and by phone once a month.


    Participants are responsible for the costs of transportation, lodging, and food during their residency. The four-day residency fee-which includes eight workshop sessions and individual time with the instructor-is $995. (Some participants pay the fee from research funds or out of publication grants.) This includes the latest edition of Belcher's workbook titled Writing and Publishing the Academic Article: A Step-by-Step Workbook for Sending Your Essay to a Journal in Twelve Weeks. The distance revising fee-which includes weekly email contact, monthly phone contact, and detailed instructor feedback on assignments for twelve weeks-is $1,990.

    Total writing workshop cost: $2,985. Getting a job or tenure because you have publications: priceless.

    Payment of the residency fee is due thirty days in advance of the residency. Payment of the distance revising fee is due in two installments: half must be paid on the last day of the residency, half must be paid thirty days later. At each stage, participants may decide whether or not to pay the next fee and commit to the ensuing work. No refunds will be made (as the payment is an incentive to complete the work). Those prevented from attending the residency portion of the workshop due to emergency will be enrolled in the next residency session. Belcher has the right to cancel the course due to emergency; in such an event, she will refund participants' money.


To inquire about the workshop, email the instructor. To reserve a place, request a registration form from the instructor and send it with a nonrefundable deposit of $95. Participants will be enrolled on a first-come, first-served basis and the workshop will be closed after six enrollments.


A professional copyedit of the final manuscript is available, but will be charged separately. Any contact after the twelve-week period will be an additional cost. This workshop is intended to teach participants the skills to revise their work for publication on their own; participants expecting the instructor to write their essay for them, or do their revising for them, will be dropped.