FAQ

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General Information

Do I need to pay to use the Writers Workshop?

No. All of our services are free to undergraduate and graduate students, post-doctorates, faculty, and staff.

How many times can I use the Writers Workshop?

You may have three appointments per week, across all schedules. You may have only one Written Feedback Appointment per week. The week begins on Monday. Appointments can be reserved up to 10 days in advance. See our Policies page for more information.

Our workshops, writing groups, and other events do not count toward your appointment number.

You may have as many drop-ins as you’d like. If you’d like to have multiple drop-ins on any given day, you’ll need to sign in for each one separately.

The Writers Workshop will sometimes bend our appointment-per-week policy. If you are working on something especially long, complex, or high stakes, talk with your consultant or call our main line (217-333-8796) to inquire about the possibility of an additional appointment. If we are not too busy (e.g., during midterms and finals), we will do our best to accommodate your request.

What are the Writers Workshop policies?

See our Policies page for our most up-to-date policies.

Can I choose the consultant I work with?

Yes. You can visit our Meet the Staff page and find out more information about our consultants. Then, find the consultant’s name on our scheduling system.

Does the Writers Workshop work with groups?

Yes. If you want to make an appointment for a group project, please indicate that on the appointment form. We can also work with your group during drop-ins, just let the desk staff know you’re there for a group drop-in. We require that at least half of a group’s members are present for the consultation.

Can an alumnus of UIUC schedule a session at the Writers Workshop?

The Writers Workshop offers limited one-on-one writing consultations to recent alums of UIUC. To learn more and schedule an appointment, please contact the Writers Workshop directly by email wow@illinois.edu or by phone (217) 333-8796.

The Writers Workshop is typically booked from midterms through finals, so you may not be able to see a consultant during this time.

Does the Writers Workshop work with multimedia writing?

Yes. We’re happy to work with all types of writing. Be aware that our computers only have basic programs so you may need to bring your own device depending on the software you’re using.

What should I do if there are no available appointments on the date and time I want?

If we’re booked on the time and day you’d like to make an appointment, you may join our waitlist by visiting our appointment system and clicking on the “waiting list” link at the bottom right of each day’s schedule and filling out the form. You may choose to receive a notice when an appointment opens by email or text. The system will send an automatic notification to every person on the list; the first person who books the appointment will get it.

We also have drop-in consultations that don’t require making an appointment.

What should I do if I can’t log in for my appointment?

The most common login problem stems from forgetting or mistyping the password you created in our appointment system. If you enter the incorrect password three times, the system will freeze your account for 15 minutes. If that happens, call (217-333-8796) or email (wow@illinois.edu) us, and we can help you reset your password and/or send you a link to your online appointment.

What should I do if I need accommodations?

To request disability-related accommodations for our services, please contact Dr. Carolyn Wisniewski at wow@illinois.edu or call 217-333-8796.

Please see our Accessibility page for more information.

Can my consultant proofread my writing?

The Writers Workshop is a teaching service, which means we use your writing as a tool to teach you how to write. In your consultation, you should expect to work closely with your consultant and to apply the advice they give to your writing in general (both the current text you’re working on as well as future writing). We can work with you at all levels of your text, whether it’s prewriting and outlining, assessing your organization, or adding clarity at the sentence-level. While we don’t necessarily proofread your writing line-by-line, we will work with you on grammar and syntax with the goal of helping you develop effective self-editing strategies.

What should I do if I need an academic editor?

If you would like to hire an editor, see the English Department’s list of Editors for Hire. These editors typically work for hourly/per project rate, which should be negotiated with the individual. You can also find information about the ESL Program’s tutor and editor list through the Department of Linguistics.

How can I stay informed about Writers Workshop events? 

You can check out our Calendar for the most up-to-date information. If you’re a graduate writer, you can sign up for our weekly listserv for reminders about graduate events by emailing us at wow@illinois.edu. You can also follow us on social media:

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What should I do if I can’t find an answer to my question? 

If you have questions that you can’t find the answer to here or elsewhere on our website, feel free to email us at wow@illinois.edu or call 217-333-8796.

Using Our Scheduling System

How do I register to use the scheduling system?

To register for an account go to our scheduling system and click on “Register for an account.” Fill out the registration form. You are now registered and ready to login and schedule your appointment.

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You may also access the login page from the Writers Workshop webpage and clicking onMake an appointment buttonbutton on the top right of any page.

How do I make an appointment?

To schedule an appointment go to our scheduling system. Log in with your email and password. Select your university status from the drop-down menu:Arrow pointing to select university status

White spaces indicate available appointments. Light blue or red indicate booked appointments and black indicates the consultant is not available.

The Writers Workshop has multiple locations. Our main location (251 Undergraduate Library) opens as the default schedule. For additional locations and appointments, please select another schedule from the drop-down menu.

Click on a white space and complete the form:

Appointment FormOnce you click on “create appointment” your appointment will show up in yellow on our scheduling system and you’ll receive an email confirming your appointment.

Do you offer appointments in locations other than the UGL? 

Yes. In addition to our main location, we also offer appointments at 3 satellite locations – MCB Learning Center, Grainger Library, and Ikenberry Library (IKE). To check out the schedule for any of the satellite locations log in and click on the drop down menu at the top next to the date. Choose a location and the schedule for that location will now be shown.

We also offer online consultations and written feedback appointments.

Before My Appointment 

What should I do before my appointment?

It’s helpful to come to your session with 2-3 priorities in mind, given where you are in your writing process and what you hope to accomplish. These sessions are meant to be interactive conversations about your writing, so you can expect to work collaboratively and closely with your consultant throughout each session.

You’ll also need to scan your iCard and check in with a staff member at the front desk before your appointment. This process varies depending on which of our locations you’re using, so feel free to ask one of our staff members for help if you have questions.

What should I bring to my appointment?

What you bring will depend on what you’re working on and what will help you have the most productive session. For example, if you’re working on a class assignment, it would be helpful for you to bring the prompt with you. We will work with your writing either in print or digitally, so feel free to bring your own laptop or to let you consultant know that you’d like to use one of our computers.

While we have desktop computers in our main location (251 UGL), they’re equipped with only basic software, so if you’re using specialized software, you may want to bring your own device.

During My Appointment 

What can I expect during my appointment?

Please see our Services page for more information on what you can expect during your appointment. Our consultations are interactive, so appointments will begin with the consultant asking you about your writing and your goals for the session. You and your consultant will work together to meet those goals.

How long will my appointment last?

Our appointments can be up to 50 minutes long. However, they can be shorter depending on what you’re working on; you’re not required to stay for the full 50 minutes.

What should I do if I can’t log in for my appointment?

The most common login problem comes from forgetting or mistyping the password you created in our appointment system. If you enter the incorrect password three times, the system will freeze your account for 15 minutes. If that happens, call (217-333-8796) or email (wow@illinois.edu) us, and we can help you reset your password and/or send you a link to your online appointment.

How do I remove the highlighting from my text on the whiteboard?

If your appointment takes place on WC Online, you may end up using the built-in whiteboard to share your writing with your tutor during the session. The whiteboard automatically defaults to highlighting your and the tutor’s contributions to the whiteboard in different colors. To turn off this setting, click on the icon of the crossed-out eye (see image below): this will remove all highlighting format from your text.

Online Appointments

Can I meet with a consultant online?

Yes. To better support writers on and off campus, the Writers Workshop offers online sessions. Our online consultation appointments are synchronous, which means that they happen in real-time using video and audio components. You don’t need any special software (though a webcam and mic will help — otherwise, you’ll have to rely on a chat function). See our Online Consultations page for more information.

We also offer written feedback appointments, for which the consultant will read and respond to your work, and will return written feedback at the end of your appointment time. There is no live conversation with your consultant. See our Written Feedback Appointments page for more information.

Do I need special equipment for an online consultation?

Online sessions use a combination of video / audio capabilities, online chatting, and a shared workspace to facilitate conversation and collaboration. We recommend the use of laptops or desktops over tablets and having headphones to facilitate our conversations.

Drop-In Consultations

How long do drop-in sessions last?

Drop-ins tend to be shorter in length than our in-person and online consultations, lasting about 15-30 minutes. Drop-ins are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

How many drop-in sessions can I have?

You may have as many drop-in sessions as you want. We may ask you to limit your number of drop-in sessions during especially busy times, such as midterms and finals.

When can I have a drop-in session?

We offer drop-in sessions Sunday – Thursday from 4:00 – 9:00 Central Time during the Fall and Spring semesters. We do not host drop-in sessions over the summer.

How do I join a drop-in session?

Drop-in sessions are held via Zoom. See our Drop-In Consultations page for more information and to join.