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Arvon Friends Writing Tips and Exercises

Find writing tips and exercises from our Arvon tutors here, to develop your craft and inspire your imagination. Each writing tip comes with a related writing exercise, and a new tip and exercise are added every fortnight.

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Writing Exercises

Trusting the power of gravity

Genre: Poetry

As a competitive fellrunner (and avid cyclist, mountaineer, swimmer etc. etc. you get the idea) I’m fascinated by the relationship between physical movement and poetry. My next poetry collection with Carcanet includes a lengthy sequence exploring the boundar...

Lucy Burnett

Writing Tips

Don’t write poems – write an artwork, a musical composition, a dance

Genre: Poetry

What if we quit thinking of poetry as a literary form, and instead conceive of it as a broader artistic practice? Or put another way, might we be doing poetry a disservice by grouping it with other literary forms such as the short story, the novel or the scrip...

Lucy Burnett

Writing Tips

Emotionally Engage

Genre: Fiction, Theatre

If you think about plays you’ve enjoyed, that stay with you, and try and work out why they were memorable, the likelihood is that it’s because they were emotionally engaging. Good plays make us feel. They make us care about the characters, and they usually...

Jessica Swale

Writing Exercises

Gas Ring – the game

Genre: Fiction, Radio, Theatre

A quick exercise to show the importance of writing high stakes for your characters when writing a play. 1.a Give yourself five minutes to plan a scene. Invent an everyday scenario in which a minor conflict occurs between the two characters. Choose two people w...

Jessica Swale

Writing Exercises

Expressing the inexpressible

Genre: Poetry

This exercise is very simple, but it’s an exercise that touches on both the material and language of poems. 1. Think for five minutes and make notes about an experience or a place or a time or a thought or a feeling or a notion that you feel would be difficu...

Jacob Polley

Writing Tips

Writing the unspoken

Genre: Poetry

quicken: to accelerate; to impart energy or liveliness to; to invigorate; to stimulate; to give life to; to revive; to move faster; become alive or lively; to revive; to be stimulated; (of a pregnant woman) to reach the stage in pregnancy when the movement of ...

Jacob Polley

Writing Exercises

An art collaboration

Genre: Poetry

You don’t have to know an artist to collaborate with them. They don’t even need to be alive. Take your notebook to an art gallery, preferably at a quiet time of day. Wander until a painting/sculpture/installation/photo etc catches your eye. You might like ...

Katrina Naomi

Writing Tips

Drafting and editing poetry

Genre: Poetry

Write poetry by hand. Go on, try it, even if you always write directly on the computer. I find I feel more connected, more able to take risks, more able to make mistakes. When you’ve written your first draft, don’t rush off to something else, sit there for...

Katrina Naomi

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