Account Login

Arvon Friends

Become an Arvon Friend from £4 per month

•    Gain online access to exclusive Arvon Tutors writing tips and exercises

•    Get Priority Booking on Arvon Courses one month before public release

•    Receive fortnightly emails with the latest writing resources from Arvon Tutors

•    Know that your Friends payment helps bring young people to Arvon

Please select the way you would like to join below. Alternatively call 020 7324 2554 to join over the phone.



Arvon Friends Writing Tips and Exercises

Writing Tips

Serious playfulness

Genre: All

Pain, like a tuning fork, sings clearest when held lightly. We all want to write about the significant people/situations/emotions in our lives, and yet we often make the mistake of approaching the significant with significance. We grip the entire tuning fork i...

Caroline Bird

Writing Exercises

Your safety instructions

Genre: All

We’re all familiar with the safety instruction stickers on the side of fire extinguishers, and the haiku-like advice on matchboxes: ‘store in a cool dry place, keep away from children, strike away from body.’ But imagine if you, yourself, came with a lis...

Caroline Bird

Writing Exercises

Flip the Scene

Genre: Comedy, Fiction, Film & TV, Theatre

We’ve all got one in our distant past: the great love that got away because we were too tongue-tied, or clumsy or didn’t even cross the room to engage in conversation. Get it out of your system once and for all by writing the might have been. How should yo...

Patrick Gale

Writing Tips

6 Tips on Writing Queer Fiction

Genre: Fiction, Film & TV, Short Story, Theatre

If you’re describing a same sex relationship or one involving someone who is trans or intersex or in any way non-binary, you will risk confusing your reader if you then pursue a modishly anonymised path. “She couldn’t believe how much she wanted her…...

Patrick Gale

Writing Exercises

Write The Blurb For Your Novel

Genre: Fiction, Non-Fiction & Life Writing, Short Story, Theatre, Writing for Children & YA

Write the blurb for your novel – the summary that appears on the back jacket of a book -including some notion of who the central characters are and what happens in the story.You could include the date or era, the main location, character names, an indicati...

Jane Harris

Writing Tips

Uncharted Seas

Genre: Fiction, Non-Fiction & Life Writing, Short Story, Writing for Children & YA

Writing a novel is like setting out to sail across a vast, uncharted sea, without any resources such as a map or compass. Some authors are happy to head off blindly into the waves. Others prefer to have the reassurance of a little – or a lot – of planning....

Jane Harris

Writing Exercises

Don’t let them talk you out of it

Genre: Non-Fiction & Life Writing

Spend a little time identifying who the people are who might tell you not to write your memoir. Once you have identified that person/those people, you need to talk them down. Do this as a ‘free-write.’ A ‘free-write’ is when you just sit down for twent...

Alice Jolly

Writing Tips

Controlling your fear

Genre: Non-Fiction & Life Writing

Thomas Keneally says that, ‘Writing is an exercise in controlling your fear. Above all the fear that you are not a writer.’ This is another way of saying that we all have to write with an inner critic looking over our shoulder, telling us that what we are ...

Alice Jolly

Writing Exercises

Inside the Shed

Genre: Fiction, Film & TV, Writing for Children & YA

Sometimes we are really keen to tell our readers everything, to make sure that they understand what it is that we are trying to say. But in this case a useful piece of advice might be: ‘Think really hard about what it is that you are trying to say, then go o...

Steve Voake

Writing Tips

You don’t have to tell young readers as much as you think

Genre: Fiction, Film & TV, Writing for Children & YA

There is sometimes an assumption that younger readers won’t understand what’s going on unless the plot and the characters’ feelings are explicitly spelled out to them. But children are often more sophisticated readers than adults think they are and, like...

Steve Voake

Writing Exercises

Find your story in a setting

Genre: Fiction

This is a research exercise really – one that will help you find a story out of setting. You need three pieces of blank paper, plus coloured pens if that will help you feel imaginative. You also need to be physically in a setting that you want to explore in ...

Lucy Christopher

Writing Tips

Setting is your friend

Genre: Fiction

When you write, do you start by thinking about the theme you want to explore? Or is it characters who inspire you? Perhaps the plot or storyline is what brings you to start? Do you ever consider beginning with setting … letting a place inspire, and then ...

Lucy Christopher


Testimonial Read More

Just to say I've got a huge amount out of the Arvon Friends writing tips sent to me this year - it's been helpful to get new ideas and perspectives from established authors who know what works. I look forward to the emails in my inbox! — Mary Fairman

As a Friend of Arvon and with all my friends from Arvon – I am confident that I will never lose that confidence and motivation to use my voice and achieve that first novel. — Chris Metcalfe, Friend

I became a Friend as I wanted to support the great work Arvon does, having got so much out of my course last year, and also to have the chance to book onto courses earlier. — Mark, Friend

The “Friends” scheme is perfectly-named – it’s how I feel towards Arvon. They’re a friend I’ve turned to at tricky, self-doubting points in my writing life and I know they are there if I need them again for time, space and inspiration. — Julie Mayhew, Friend