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NCFDD Newsletter - May 2017
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How to Embrace Rejection and Publish More


A Note From The NCFDD Team

This spring has been a big growth spurt for us at the NCFDD! We’ve welcomed 8 new universities as 
Institutional Members and our Workshop Facilitators have traveled to 10 campuses to present 12 NCFDD workshops face-to-face with faculty. And this month, we have our busiest month for campus workshops ever. We'll be traveling to 8 campuses to give 10 workshops. We also hosted our biggest 14-Day Writing Challenge that supported more than 2,800 academic writers in experimenting with developing a daily writing practice, and we just completed our most successful Faculty Bootcamp ever (95% of participants increased their productivity as a result of the program).

Campus Workshop Facilitator Professor Erin Furtak at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.


We're carrying that momentum into the summer with some exciting training opportunities this month!


By popular demand, Professor Rachel McLaren (University of Iowa) will teach an open webinar for everyone to jump-start their summer of productivity: Every Summer Needs A Plan. We're kicking off our summer multi-week courses with How to Craft and Submit a Winning Book Proposal in 4 Weeks, taught by Professor Badia Legardy (Loyola University, Chicago). And our feature article previews this month's guest expert webinar with Kim Liao on Embracing Rejection: De-Stigmatizing Submissions and Purifying Your Writing Process.

Additionally, if you missed the registration for the summer session of our Faculty Success Program you can sign up on the Waiting List. Sometimes we need a few people at the last minute to round out our small groups, so there's a chance you may get a spot.


We are so excited about all of the resources we have planned for you this summer, and hope you'll find exactly what you need to boost your productivity!



The NCFDD Team


Faculty Success Program Spotlight



"Since participating in NCFDD's Faculty Success Program, I now see my job as sustainable. Through the support of the weekly videos, small group sessions, and feedback from my coach, I have learned strategies that I now draw on to make conscious choices about how I am spending my time. This has allowed me to consider how I might best meet the expectations of my university while simultaneously achieving work-life balance. I am so thankful that I have had the opportunity to learn from NCFDD. It is definitely a community in which I will participate throughout my academic career, as I know it is one that will continue to meet me where I am to support me in my professional growth."

Michelle Fowler-Amato, PhD
Assistant Professor of English
Old Dominion University


Are you interested in the Faculty Success Program? Registration for the summer session is closed, but we've opened up a waiting list! Click here to add your name. And if you want to learn more, click on any of the links below.

Program Description

Meet Our Coaches

FSP Alumni Testimonials

Making the Ask: University Investment


Institutional Membership Spotlight



Welcome to our newest Institutional Member:

Florida Atlantic University


Click here for information about how your college or university can join a rapidly growing list of NCFDD Institutional Members. Or, if your college or university has purchased an Institutional Membership and you'd like to register as a member, click here. If you have any questions, contact Institutional Membership Program Administrator, Amy Johnson.


Upcoming Training


Rachel McLaren, PhD

University of Iowa

    Core Curriculum Webinar:

Every Summer Needs a Plan

  • Do you often start the summer with high hopes for your writing projects, but end disappointed by your actual productivity?
  • Do you desperately want (or need) to write a lot this summer?
  • Do you want to figure out how to be more productive AND enjoy your life this summer?

Join us for a hands-on planning webinar! We offer our planning webinar at the beginning of each term so that you can take time out of your schedule to identify your personal and professional goals for the summer, create a strategic plan to accomplish them, and identify the types of community, support, and accountability you need to make this your most productive and balanced summer ever! Get ready to create a work-plan for your summer that you can immediately share with your mentors. 


2:00-3:30pm ET

Kim Liao

    Guest Expert Webinar:

Embracing Rejection: De-Stigmatizing Submissions and Purifying Your Writing Process

This workshop-style webinar will examine ways to avoid feeling trapped or stigmatized by rejection, and instead embracing rejection as an important and necessary part of the writing process. Participants will explore how opinions about rejection can infiltrate the writing, submission, job and grant application processes, and develop strategies to take the bite out of rejection in our lives.



2:00-3:30pm ET

Badia Ahad, PhD
Loyola University, Chicago

    May Multi-Week Course:

How to Craft and Submit a Winning Book Proposal in 4 Weeks

You may have a completed dissertation, a few rough book chapters, or even journal articles you’d like to transform into a coherent book project—but where do you start? The path to getting your book published begins with a clear, well-crafted, and persuasive proposal. You will be guided through a step-by-step process to complete your book proposal within four weeks, learn how to translate your research projects for a broader market, and receive invaluable advice about how to approach acquisitions editors at academic presses.


Dates: 5/11, 5/18, 5/25, 6/1

12:00 - 1:30pm ET


Upcoming On-Campus Workshops


     California State University, Los Angeles

Tenure & Time Management: How to Manage Your Time so You Can Publish Prolifically AND Have a Life Beyond the Ivory Tower

Facilitator: Anthony Ocampo, PhD (California State Polytechnic University, Pomona)

Date: Friday, May 5
9:00am - 4:00pm

    University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Solo Success: How to Thrive in the Academy When You're the Only ____ in Your Department

Facilitator: Joy Gayles, PhD (North Carolina State University)

Date: Monday, May 8
1:00pm - 4:00pm

    University of Massachusetts Amherst

Mentoring 101: How to Get What You Need to Thrive in the Academy

Facilitator: Joy Gayles, PhD (North Carolina State University)

Date: Wednesday, May 10
8:00am - 11:00am

Writing Your Next Chapter: How to Find Your Mojo and Move Forward at Mid-Career

Facilitator: Joy Gayles, PhD (North Carolina State University)

Date: Wednesday, May 10
1:00pm - 4:00pm

    University of San Diego

Tenure & Time Management: How to Manage Your Time so You Can Publish Prolifically AND Have a Life Beyond the Ivory Tower

Facilitator: Anthony Ocampo, PhD (California State Polytechnic University, Pomona)

Date: Friday, May 12
1:00pm - 4:00pm 

    University of Notre Dame

Re-Thinking Mentoring: How to Build Communities of Inclusion, Support and Accountability

Facilitator: Mindi Thompson, PhD (University of Wisconsin-Madison)

Date: Tuesday, May 16
9:15am - 10:45am

     Colby College

Writing Your Next Chapter: How to Find Your Mojo and Move Forward at Mid-Career

Facilitator: Rosemarie Roberts, PhD (Connecticut College)
Date: Thursday, May 18

9:30am - 4:30pm

 Solo Success: How to Thrive in the Academy When You're the Only ____ in Your Department

Facilitator: Rosemarie Roberts, PhD (Connecticut College)

Date: Friday, May 19
9:30am - 4:30pm

    Hunter College of the City University of New York

Building a Publishing Pipeline: Concrete Strategies to Increase Your Writing Productivity

Facilitator:  Erin Furtak, PhD (University of Colorado at Boulder)

Date: Friday, May 19
10:00am - 1:00pm


    Macalester College

Solo Success: How to Thrive in the Academy When You're the Only ____ in Your Department

Facilitator: Anthony Ocampo, PhD (California State Polytechnic University, Pomona)

Date: Friday, May 19
9:00am - 4:00pm


If you would like to host an NCFDD workshop on your campus, click below!


Recently Published by Bootcamp Alumni


    Embodiment in Qualitative Research

by Laura Ellingson, PhD

Embodiment in Qualitative Research
connects critical, interdisciplinary theorizing of embodiment with creative, practical strategies for engaging in embodied qualitative research. Ellingson equips qualitative researchers not only to resist the mind-body split in principle but to infuse their research with the vitality that comes from embracing knowledge production as deeply embedded in sensory experience.

Grounded in poststructuralist, posthumanist, and feminist perspectives, this innovative book synthesizes current interdisciplinary theories and research on embodiment; explores research examples from across the social sciences, education, and allied health; and features embodied ethnographic tales and evocative moments from everyday life for reflexive consideration.


Coming Soon to!


To better serve our membership and increase engagement, we're building a new mentoring platform to replace the current site. We're completing work this month, beta-testing in June, and officially going live with the new site in July. We're excited about this new platform because you can expect a greatly-improved user experience, including easier navigation across all resources, guided webinar curricula and learning pathways, integrated webinar functionality, seamless connection to our "WriteNow" platform (for FSP participants and alumni), increased community-building, networking, writing accountability buddy matching capability, and much more.

Do you want to help us as a beta-tester on the new platform? If so, fill out this form and let us know.


Feature Article

Embracing Rejection is a Crucial Component of Publication Success

By Kim Liao


Kim is the author of “Why You Should Shoot for 100 Rejections a Year.”

Anyone who has ever sat down at a blank screen to start a new piece of writing has felt it: that terror in the pit of your stomach. The nagging fear that regardless of how successful your other articles or books have been, What if this is it, the day the well runs dry? What if I have nothing new to share with the world? What if my ideas are shit? I should just go hide under the covers and never come out. Early retirement is a thing, right?

I feel this way every day when I sit down to write. Of course, on some days I might sit down in a caffeine-fueled haze of excitement, or in a storm of frustration with my characters, or a tentative blue pen in my hand, ready to delicately line edit a piece. But most of the time, generating new writing is fighting back the daily terror. And what are we all afraid of, after all? One of scariest demons is rejection.

The nagging threat of rejection can so easily derail the writing and creative problem-solving process, with the trauma of past rejections stymieing us from starting new work, submitting to prestigious publications, or applying to competitive grants. So, how do we uncouple rejection from the stigma of failure, and see it as a necessary and even beneficial part of the publication process?

As a legal technical writer by day and a freelance creative nonfiction and fiction writer by night (and by early mornings and weekends), coming to terms with rejection was a crucial part of advancing my professional career. Numerous successful writers I knew counseled me on the importance of rejection, explaining that it’s not a sign that you’re on the wrong track. In fact, it's quite the contrary. Every successful writer has been resoundingly rejected, and seeing rejections as steps on the ladder of a good publication career takes the sting out. Approaching rejection as a necessary part of being a writer helped me submit my work more strategically, which led to more frequent publications.

In particular, I’ve developed a few strategies to re-frame my relationship with rejection:


Taking Control of the Submission Process
The submissions process doesn’t have to own you or feel daunting in addition to everything else. Once I took control of my own submissions experience, I felt much calmer about it.

  • I collect rejections like talismans of experience.
    In my article “Why You Should Shoot for 100 Rejections A Year,” I explain how I developed a yearly goal of reaching 100 rejections, and how every year since then, I have received at least one or two acceptances thrown in. But since my goal is accumulating rejections (and gaining experience in writing, revising, and re-working a piece), then I’m not disappointed by not meeting expectations for acceptance. Acceptances – or lack thereof – are sometimes not about you, no matter how great you or your work is, so it is dangerous to hang your ego on acceptance. Collecting rejections, on the other hand, is surprising gratifying.

  • I make the submission process its own separate task from writing time.
    Writing time is sacred for me, and I need my ego to be protected and sheltered in order to create the next imaginative world or descriptive narrative. Submitting, on the other hand, requires research, careful analysis of a journal’s submission guidelines, and pragmatic things like formatting and filling out forms. I set aside separate times of the day/week/month for submissions, so I can tackle them with the same type of energy I would use for vacuuming my apartment or cooking a new recipe or sorting through my closet. Let’s do this! If I am writing and thinking about submitting it at the same time, the insecurity of a looming rejection can quickly sink the creative writing inspiration.

  • I submit to literary journals and popular magazines in tiers.
    First, I submit to the absurdly high numbers-game type of places, like Tin House (which accepts approximately 0.11% of its unsolicited submissions, meaning you have a better chance of getting hit by a bus than getting accepted), and then I submit to well-known publications that feel like a slight reach and where I would be thrilled to have my work appear. Sometimes, after getting rejected from most or all of them, I do a third round of submissions to places that seem like a truly good fit for my work. 

Drain the Fear Out of the Writing Process
I don’t believe in writer’s block. I do believe in the pervasive power of fear, which can trip us up, especially when we are trying to push ourselves out of our comfort zones and into new territory—which is where all new knowledge and great ideas come to fruition. How to drain fear from writing? Everyone has different strategies, but here are a few that worked for me:

  • I freewrite in the mornings before I get started on my writing work with “Morning Pages.”
    In The Artist’s Way, Julia Cameron introduces the idea of Morning Pages, three handwritten pages of longhand writing that is purely composting. This is a meditative practice, a place to vent or clear the brain before getting started. While it’s certainly a place where you can brainstorm, the Morning Pages are not for other people or trying to “be” anything more than a supportive place to start the day being kind to your own thoughts.

  • If I’m stuck, I completely shift gears and work on something else, before circling back around to the writing project that is currently looming.
    Sometimes tiptoeing my way back into a project is a way to bargain with or trick my subconscious into getting back to work. Other times, when I am feeling blocked on a particular project, I have gotten great work done by starting something completely new, with a different energy and inspiration. Writing is not linear, even though we often try to force it to be!

  • I set a timer and let my fears have free rein for a limited time, before turning the page and getting on with it.
    In Writing Down the Bones, Natalie Goldberg says that if you can’t shake the fear from your writing voice, just give the fear full voice. After a few minutes of venting on the page, “You are a jerk, whoever said you could write, you have nothing valuable to say,” eventually the judgmental editor gets tired and even sort of boring. Then, turn the page and get on with the real writing at hand. Another use of a timer is to set it for 30 minutes (or 10, or 15) and just freewrite longhand without stopping, with or without a prompt. Sometimes the most surprising insights emerge from the practice of timed writing.

Developing a community of other writers is so important for fostering a healthy relationship with rejection over the course of a publication career, as is fueling an honest conversation about rejection as a foundational part of the academic life. So I hope that you’ll join me on May 30 for the Webinar, “Embracing Rejection: De-Stigmatizing Submissions And Purifying Your Writing Process,” when we’ll tackle these issues in a workshop-style format. We’ll discuss helpful tips for strategic submissions and purifying the writing process, and you’ll have the opportunity to develop your own goals and strategies for defining a healthy relationship with rejection on the path to publication.

I believe that rejection is a fundamental ingredient in success. The novel The First Wives Club was rejected 26 times before becoming a national bestseller, while Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance was rejected 121 times before selling more than 3 million copies. As we travel down the long path of future publications, rejection will always be our companion along the way. It’s entirely up to each of us whether this companion will be an enemy or a friend.


Embracing Rejection: De-Stigmatizing Submissions and
Purifying Your Writing Process


2:00 - 3:30pm ET

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