Account Login

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.

You will need to become an Arvon Friend to view the full content.

Select from:

Writing Tips

Write the Family

Genre: Poetry

I’m sure most writers are familiar with the writing adage ‘write what you know’, and writing about your own family might seem to fit well with this piece of advice. But in my experience, there is so much mystery in the family – so much you don’t ...

Hannah Lowe

Writing Exercises

It’s All In The Name

Genre: Poetry

Our names – first names, surnames, maiden names, nicknames – carry all kinds of significance and are a great way into writing about the family. Many of us have stories about how we came about our names and how we feel about them. These might be about our f...

Hannah Lowe

Writing Exercises

Playing at families

Genre: Poetry

Many years ago I wrote a poem called ‘Playing at Families’ in which I imagined that my parents were tiny dolls that slept in matchboxes. It revealed a lot to me about my relationship with them. The writing of the poem brought me a new thought; this exercis...

Caroline Bird

Writing Tips

Vuja de

Genre: Poetry

‘New experiences’ are often cited as creative fuel but let’s face it, life can be repetitive, most of us sleep in the same bed every night, ride the same trains, see the same people every day, embark upon different versions of the same conversations, so ...

Caroline Bird

Writing Exercises

Break your lines

Genre: Poetry

Do read Ann and Peters writing tip first that goes with this exercise: http://www.arvon.org/arvon-friends/writing-tips-exercises/blank-verse/ Have a look at how various writers break their lines and particularly to seek out a piece of blank verse – and t...

Ann Sansom

Writing Tips

Blank verse

Genre: Poetry

We’re often asked about lineation. How we put the words (or how they put themselves) on the page is after all what separates the prose from the poem. The norm, what we work with or away from, is blank verse. It is largely historical, conventional, and wh...

Ann Sansom

Writing Exercises

Experimenting with structure

Genre: Poetry

Try experimenting for a week or two, using a structure you’re not used to – perhaps a form, especially a given form, such as the sonnet or villanelle, the triolet or particularly a ballad (you can google these or simply turn to them in that indispe...

Ann Sansom

Writing Tips

Getting it written, getting it right

Genre: Poetry

We’re fond of quoting Hunter Davies, the great biographer of the Beatles and Alfred Wainwright (and Wayne Rooney), who says ‘Don’t get it right, get it written’. That is key, and anyone will tell you: just do it. But isn’t there a...

Ann Sansom

Load More...