Winter Writing School

for PhD candidates in the humanities and the social sciences

26 February–1 March 2024, Stift Seitenstetten

Writing a doctoral thesis can be a lonely experience. Everything else seems to be more important than your own writing project. Against this backdrop, the Vienna Doctoral School of Social Sciences (ViDSS) and the Doctoral School of Historical and Cultural Studies (DSHCS) offer a five-day writing retreat in which doctoral candidates can dedicate themselves to their writing projects with professional coaching and support.

The Winter Writing School at Stift Seitenstetten is for doctoral candidates in the final active writing phase who want to or need to focus on writing – be it their monograph or a paper. The aim is that participants progress in their proposed projects over the course of the retreat. They will spend most of the time writing their individual texts and will have the opportunity to address questions and receive advice according to their needs.

The participants will be accompanied by writing coach Dean Vuletic who provides structure and is available with expertise for any questions and problems related to writing. There will be space for one-to-one sessions, peer-to-peer exchange and self-assessment rounds.

In the one-on-one sessions, the writing coach will meet with each participant for one hour to discuss their writing. Each participant will send him an example of their writing beforehand, which the coach will edit and comment on and then discuss with the participant during the session. Participants also have the opportunity to inform the writing coach beforehand about any other issues that they would like him to discuss with them personally or in the group setting.

The Winter Writing School will be held in English but is open to all doctoral candidates regardless of the language in which they are writing their texts.

Coach: Dean Vuletic is a historian of contemporary Europe and the author of the book “Postwar Europe and the Eurovision Song Contest” (London: Bloomsbury, 2018). He holds a PhD from Columbia University. Dean has experience in writing instruction at different levels, having taught at institutions such as Columbia University, New York University, University of Vienna, the European University Institute and Charles University.

Target group: The Winter Writing School is open to all members of the ViDSS and the DSHCS. Participants must have successfully passed the public presentation at the Faculty (FÖP) and submitted the doctoral thesis agreement. The Writing School is designed for doctoral candidates in their active writing phase to work on a specific writing project, such as dissertation chapters or a paper. It is not designed for doctoral candidates in the final phase who have already completed their dissertation.

Costs and practicalities: The ViDSS, the DSHCS and the respective Faculties cover the costs for accommodation, breakfast, lunch, dinner, and the writing coach. Participants cover their own travel costs and will be asked for a cost contribution of € 50 which needs to be paid in advance.
Please note that PCs or laptops cannot be provided. In addition to your laptop, bring whatever you need to feel comfortable while writing.
The Winter Writing School cannot be credited as an external achievement for the degree programme.

How to apply

Please send the following information until 15 January 2024 to

  • Name
  • Discipline
  • A paragraph about your motivation to join the Winter Writing School including information about which part of your dissertation you are planning to work on (brief, realistic work plan).

The participants will be selected based on their motivation and the work plan they submitted. All applicants will be informed after the end of the application period. Please note that selected applicants need to pay the cost contribution in order to reserve their place in the Winter Writing School.