Shut up and write

Professional skills courses

Workshop information

Number of session: 1
Hours per session: 4
Course fee:

  • free for PhD candidates of the Graduate School
  • €195 for non-members
  • consult our enrolment policy for more information


Telephone: +31 (0)10 4082607 (Graduate School).

November 12 (Tuesday) 2019
Mandeville building (directions), room T19-01


Writing an article or producing other types of output can be a struggle. There are different threats to effective and efficient writing, including distractions, lack of time and limited ability to share struggles and solve problems, often leading to a loss of motivation and delayed output.

In this workshop, we will practice applying the so-called Pomodoro technique in the “Shut Up and Write” group setting, which is an approach that promises to make writing more focused, more social, more fun and – eventually – more productive.

Aims and working method

The workshop comprises an introduction to the Shut Up and Write approach (15%); an exercise in applying this approach through subsequent working sessions (75%); and finally a reflection on the experienced advantages and challenges of the approach (10%).

Please be aware that the purpose of this workshop is primarily to give you the time, space and tools to work, rather than giving you advice on the content or style of your output.

Learning objectives

After completion of this workshop, you will:

  • Know how the Shut Up and Write approach works;
  • Become aware of the pros and cons of this approach and be able to decide whether it might benefit you.

How to prepare

  • Bring with you any type of work that involves writing. You might write parts of an article or a report, but you could also transcribe interviews, do administration, respond to e-mails, make a blogpost or do any other type of work.
  • Also bring the means with which you can do your work, such as a laptop. 

About the instructor

Dr. Fadi Hirzalla is the Graduate School senior lecturer and methodology consultant. He specialises in quantitative and qualitative methods and methodology, next to his substantive interests in citizenship and new media, with a particular focus on intercultural relations and young people. Prior to joining the Graduate School, he worked at the University of Amsterdam and Utrecht University.