“To step over the threshold has
always been to step into a world of writing.”
Totleigh Barton, the first ever Arvon centre, is a 16th-century manor house in one of the most peaceful and idyllic parts of Devon. There is a beautiful and productive garden and orchard. The recently renovated barn offers a comfortable space for evening readings. It lies two miles from the village of Sheepwash, with walks along the River Torridge nearby.
Totleigh Barton has 12 single rooms and two shared rooms. The main work/ living space is fully accessible and there is a wheelchair-accessible bedroom with en suite bathroom.
The nearest railway station is Exeter St Davids. We can arrange for course participants to share a taxi to and from the station if you contact us in advance.
From Okehampton, take the A386 towards Hatherleigh. At the roundabout outside Hatherleigh, turn left and take the A3072 to Highampton, where you need to look for the right-hand turning for Sheepwash (on a sharp, left hand bend). After about a mile, turn right to Totleigh, immediately before the bridge over the River Torridge, and down a narrow lane, signposted Totleigh. After about 3/4 mile, on a long rise, you’ll see the Arvon sign at the start of a track on the left. The house is at the very end of this track.
The nearest train station is Exeter St David’s, which is just over an hour’s drive away from Totleigh. Please contact us at least a week before the course starts if you’d like a taxi to collect you from the station. The pick-up point is immediately outside the main station exit at 3.30pm. You can share the fare with others travelling to Totleigh, paying the driver on arrival. We can also arrange for a taxi to take you back to Exeter St David’s on Saturday morning at 10am.
Arvon & Beyond by E.R. Murray
When I attended the 2014 Writing for Children and Young Adults week in Totleigh Barton (Melvin…
COURSES AT Totleigh Barton ALL COURSES
3 . STARTING TO WRITE
The muse of fire
To be surprised by our imaginings, to excel ourselves and to reach the heaven o ...
- Jane Feaver
- Daljit Nagra
- Guest: Chibundu Onuzo
4 . STARTING TO WRITE
Jump-start your word-machine
Starting to write fiction, poetry or other forms raises questions: Write what? ...
- Tania Hershman
- Jo Bell
- Guest: Inua Ellams
7 . WRITING A NOVEL
Out of the labyrinth
Writing a novel sometimes feels like being lost in a maze. When you get stuck o ...
- Paul Murray
- Gwendoline Riley
- Guest: Claire-Louise Bennett
10 . EXPERIMENTAL FICTION
Exploring the past and future of inventive prose
Through close reading of work by wild, playful and inventive authors – Robert ...
- Julian Gough
- Rob Doyle
- Guest: Joanna Walsh
13 . FICTION
Starting from character
Works such as Saul Bellow’s Herzog and the TV show House underline the role ...
- Nii Ayikwei Parkes
- Jane Harris
- Guest: Lisa McInerney
20 . EDITING FICTION
Perfecting your story for publication
Whether you’re trying to edit short stories or a novel, this course will hel ...
- Christopher Wakling
- Ellah Wakatama Allfrey
- Guest: Peter Straus
27 . EXPERIMENTAL FICTION
Wise wild words
What kind of writer are you? Are you a Jack Kerouac or a Georges Perec, a Virg ...
- Toby Litt
- Adam Foulds
- Guest: Natasha Soobramanien & Luke Williams
28 . STARTING TO WRITE FICTION
Truth and lies
You might not know it yet, but you already have the material you need. ...
- Stephen May
- Emylia Hall
- Guest: Sarah Winman
42 . Poetry: Tutored Retreat
Poetry and Beyond
This is a tutored retreat – no workshops, but lots of tutorial time – for w ...
- Kate Clanchy
- Richard Meier
- Guest: Rebecca Perry
43 . Poetry
Alive or Dead?
Does a poem really live? Does it have that ‘sudden sharp hot stink of fox’ ...
- Pascale Petit
- Moniza Alvi
- Guest: Niall Campbell
46 . POETRY: TOWARDS A COLLECTION
Creating a dynamic and coherent structure
Finding or creating the structure for a collection is as creative an act as wr ...
- Jen Hadfield
- Karen McCarthy Woolf
- Guest: Tom Chivers
46 . Poetry
Productivity, polishing and perfection
Expect seriously creative writing sessions that explode with original ideas, fr ...
- CL Dallat
- Anne-Marie Fyfe
- Guest: Robert Seatter
48 . Poetry
Inspiration and execution
When you start writing poems, people start asking, ‘Where do you get your id ...
- Catherine Smith
- Antony Dunn
- Guest: John McCullough
53 . NON-FICTION: WORK-IN-PROGRESS
Weaving real-life events into an engaging story
Knowing what to leave out is as important as what to leave in. For those inter ...
- Sukhdev Sandhu
- Lois Pryce
- Guest: Kate Summerscale
55 . LIFE WRITING: WRITING FAMILY HISTORY
Shaping your stories to discover the narrative
How do you determine which of your many memories can be shaped into a story? W ...
- Colin Grant
- Marina Benjamin
- Guest: Hannah Lowe
61 . Narrative Non-Fiction
From memoir to investigate reportage
During this week you will learn how to capture your reader’s attention from t ...
- Alexander Masters
- Laura Barton
- Guest: Helen Stevenson
63 . CHILDREN’S AND YOUNG ADULT FICTION: TUTORED RETREAT
Space to focus, time to write
Have lashings of time to write – we are on tap to provide guidance, discussio ...
- Melvin Burgess
- Lucy Christopher
- Guest: David Almond
65 . CHILDREN’S AND YOUNG ADULT FICTION
Writing fiction for beginning readers through to teens
Together we’ll unpick the elements you’ll need to write stories for young a ...
- Elen Caldecott
- Jonny Zucker
- Guest: Emma Carroll
68 . STARTING TO WRITE A PLAY
Finding your voice without losing the plot
What are some key elements that go into writing a play? How do you find and hol ...
- Amy Rosenthal
- Ali Smith
- Guest: Lu Kemp
71 . MUSICAL THEATRE
Using music and lyrics to tell the tale
For those who want to experiment with how the story can be told through song a ...
- Willy Russell
- Nick Stimson
82 . RETREAT
No distractions but the occasional owl and the crackle of the wood stove. Retre ...