Social writing – a guide in Finnish

I am delighted to see this book come into being.

Johanna Isosävi’s and Camilla Lindholm’s Yhteisöllisen kirjoittamisen opas (Art House 2023) came out last month. It’s the first guide to social writing in Finnish. The book is both practical and inspirational; it packs a lot into a handy paperback.

Lindholm and Isosävi run social writing groups at their universities of Tampere and Helsinki and online. They trained with Rowena Murray, and provide an up-to-date overview of the literature and practice on social writing, in Finnish.

Ten chapters cover everything you need to get started writing with others. When you finish reading it, you’ll be inspired to write together. You’ll have smashed some myths about writing to smithereens, and taken control of your time to write. You’ll know how to set writing goals and what the social, physical and cognitive dimensions of writing are. You’ll be able to choose between physical and virtual structured writing retreats and writing groups. Wellbeing aspects of social writing will be clearer. And how social writing helps at different stages, from undergrads to professors, will make more sense. Then you can get the basics of facilitating a social writing group and try some different writing techniques. Each chapter ends with some questions that tie the topic to your own writing. The book closes with a short guide for participants in an online retreat that you can adapt and use yourself.

Nine contributors tell you about an aspect of social writing that correlates with their own expertise. These range from Arto Pesola on ergonomics and getting up from sitting to Ildikó Vecsernyés on how social writing helps academic staff.

I wrote about the joys and challenges of physical, as opposed to virtual, retreats. Bodies in the same physical space write differently. I closed by saying that “presence to each other, ourselves and our text is too rare in our everyday lives, so a writing retreat can be a political act. It creates space and community in which we are able to think and be creative.” Isosävi and Camilla Lindholm are making that happen in their contexts. If you speak Finnish, get a copy and make it happen in your context, too.

new retreat dates – seuraavat retriitit


Published by Kate Sotejeff-Wilson

Translator, editor, writer, reader

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: