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“I’ve never been surrounded by so many people .. who want to write with such passion.”

Totleigh Barton, Devon

Lumb Bank, The Ted Hughes Arvon Centre, Yorkshire


ABOUT US MORE

Arvon runs an annual programme of residential creative writing courses and retreats for schools, groups and individuals. The five-day courses, tutored by leading authors, are held at three beautiful rural writers’ houses and include a powerful mix of workshops and individual tutorials, with time and space to write, free from the distractions of everyday life. The courses are in a wide range of genres, including fiction, poetry, screenwriting and playwriting. Grants are available to help with course fees.

2017 Courses and Retreats now open for booking.


COURSES BROWSE


Time and Space to Write: NEW Writers Retreats at the Clockhouse

CENTRES EXPLORE

LUMB
BANK

West Yorkshire


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Writing Tips

Line breaks

Genre: Poetry

Each line must carry at least one unit of sense either in the line itself or across several lines. To make the line-break most effective, you may need to either shorten the line or lengthen it or reorder the words to ensure the last word of the line is dramati...

Daljit-Nagra Daljit Nagra

Writing Tips

The power of objects

Genre: Non-Fiction & Life Writing

Objects have immense power to help us to tell stories. I have found that an entire storyline can be found in the history of a single object. When researching a biography of my grandfather, who worked on the Thailand Burma Railway, I found on a visit to the Bri...

JULIE SUMMERS Julie Summers

Writing Exercises

Research and screen outline exercises

Genre: Film & TV

PART ONE: Documentary or Research Exercise for Screenwriters Using a still camera and or a tape recorder (or video recorder), follow someone you don’t know (or know only slightly) around for several hours. Select a “subject” with as different a b...

tina gharavi Tina Gharavi

Writing Tips

The word cull

Genre: Writing for Children & YA

After the giddy rush of a first draft, how you edit and refine your work is of equal, if not more importance. For me, this is the point where the real writing starts, where I see what works and what doesn’t. It’s also when my word count drops; I try to del...

Emma Carroll Emma Carroll

Writing Exercises

What if?

Genre: Writing for Children & YA

Start with a scenario – this might be a random picture, a very short scene from a novel, a few lines of poetry or the opening shots of a film. To explore potential story possibilities from that scenario, you will need to write for three minutes on each of t...

Emma Carroll Emma Carroll

Writing Tips

Keeping focused on your story’s central idea

Genre: Fiction

Before you begin to write your story ask yourself what is it about, what do you want it to say, what is the central idea that will drive the story along. Think of it as the story’s SPINE. Like our bodies, without a spine we would collapse and so it is with w...

MAVIS CHEEK Mavis Cheek

Writing Exercises

Identify the spine in a favourite book

Genre: Fiction

Think about your favourite novel or short story, or if not your favourite, then the novel or short story you are reading at the moment. If you choose your favourite then re-read it with this exercise in mind if that helps. And then write out what the main idea...

MAVIS CHEEK Mavis Cheek

Writing Tips

Avoid getting stuck: use multiple notebooks

Genre: All

Writing can be hard, particularly if you’re stuck at a certain point. It’s easy to feel tied to the last thing you wrote. Or maybe something isn’t working that you’re trying to thrash over and over. I find using a number of notebooks really frees up my...

Alexis Zegerman Alexis Zegerman

Writing Exercises

50 shades of character – 50 character questions

Genre: All

As a writer, you need to know your characters better than they know themselves. The way to believable, complex, story-laden characters is to flesh them out as much as possible. Imagine if your character was at a job interview – how would they answer all the ...

Alexis Zegerman Alexis Zegerman

Writing Tips

Writing by not writing: subtext in dialogue

Genre: Theatre

The awkward silences. The times we talk too much while avoiding eye contact. Saying the opposite of what we actually mean. That little action that says articulately all the things we’ve been trying to say. Smiling and wishing someone well as our heart is lou...

Evan Placey Evan Placey

Writing Exercises

Subtext: running into an ex

Genre: Theatre

A and B used to go out. Write down how long for. They haven’t seen each or spoken in 6 months, since they broke up. They run into each other. Write down where they run into each other. This will be the location for your scene. The primary subtext for A throu...

Evan Placey Evan Placey

Writing Tips

All writing is rewriting

Genre: Fiction

Do not expect your first draft of anything to be good. First drafts are meant to be scrappy, tatty, sometimes even embarrassing. Reading them through can occasionally feel a little demoralising but it’s important to see a first draft for what it is, a founda...

MelanieMcGrath-(credit-PatriciaGrey) Melanie McGrath


Testimonials Read More

The experience was nothing short of magical both for us and the teenagers (and that’s not being sentimental, it’s just a fact). It was a joy. — Tutor Caroline Bird, Trent College

My work has improved a lot. I am actually proud to call it my work. — Writing the Game, Student

I felt like a different writer leaving the course than I did when joining it — Course Participant, Historical Fiction, Lumb bank


BLOG READ

The future of The Hurst, our Shropshire centre, could be in jeopardy if plans to build an industrial scale poultry unit next door get the go ahead.

On December 6 Shropshire Council will decide whether to...
Read more...


TWITTER FOLLOW

Our first time running Writing for Performance. We couldn't be happier to be running it with such incredible tutors… https://t.co/UHmxgIbpay

3 Dec • ReplyRetweetFavourite