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Tutor Development Week


Monday 9th – Saturday 14th January 2017

The Hurst, The John Osborne Arvon Centre, Shropshire

This residential week, for Arvon tutors, is intended as an opportunity to focus on your own creativity as well as developing your teaching practice. It is suitable for writers of all genres, and is heavily subsidised as part of our commitment to providing professional development opportunities to writers.

There will be a combination of writing workshops aimed at generating new work of your own and group work looking critically at key aspects of the teaching of creative writing, as well as time and space to focus on your own writing.

The week will be led by Ann and Peter Sansom, who have tutored many, many Arvon weeks, and who are among the most inspirational and widely-experienced creative writing tutors in the country.

The structure of the week will be flexible, and the content will to some extent be shaped by the group. Workshops will look at form and structure, drafting, editing and strategies for increasing writers’ confidence when presenting their work; also, how to help people to keep writing beyond their Arvon week. There will be opportunities to share ideas formally and informally, and discuss a variety of approaches to the teaching of poetry and fiction.

The group will have the chance to consider the arc and rhythm of a residential course, and to reflect on the dynamic between writing and our teaching practice, as well as sharing enthusiasm for writers who continue to inspire you.

Writers should bring their experience of leading writing workshops and courses with writers across a range of ages and abilities – both for Arvon and in other contexts – and a willingness to learn something new.

“From the outset it was the founders of Arvon’s belief that an Arvon Centre was a ‘Freehouse of the Imagination’, and as such didn’t belong to, but was owned by anyone and everyone who opened themselves to being part of its life.” John Moat, Co-founder of Arvon


Ann Sansom

Ann has published six collections of poetry, and has written and directed plays for stage and radio. She has taught at Oxford, Leeds and Sheffield Hallam universities and has been Guest Poet at the Times Educational Supplement. Ann is co-director of The Poetry Business, which publishes The North magazine and Smith/Doorstop books.

Peter Sansom

Peter’s books include Selected Poems (Carcanet) and Writing Poems (Bloodaxe), and his plays have been broadcast on BBC Radio 4.  He has been company poet with Marks & Spencer and with the Prudential, and has taught at Manchester and Leeds Universities. Alongside Ann, Peter is co-director of The Poetry Business.


Eligibility and Cost

The cost of the week is £375. This residential week is open to writers who have tutored on an Arvon course in the last six years – either as part of our public programme of courses or as a tutor for a school or partnership group.

If you have not been an Arvon tutor, or have not tutored in the last six years, it may still be possible to join us, so if you are interested, or if you have any questions about the course, do get in touch with Becky Swain, Arvon’s Head of Learning and Participation, by email on or by phone on 0207 324 2562.


How to apply

To apply for this course you are invited to provide a brief statement about what you hope to achieve from the course and areas of tutoring you might like to focus on. Your statement should answer the following questions:

  1. What do you hope to get from the course in terms of benefit to your own writing and developing your skills as an Arvon tutor and creative writing workshop leader or teacher? (Max 500 words)
  2. Are there any specific aspects of tutoring an Arvon course that you would like to cover during the residential week (for example leading workshops, sharing texts to generate material, leading tutorials, editing writing, how to select work for an anthology, working with young people and vulnerable adults or any other aspect of tutoring or leading creative writing communities)? (Max 250 words)

Please send your statement by email to Joe Bibby on – as there are still some places available we have extended the deadline to Wednesday 7th December at 5pm.



Some feedback from Arvon tutors who participated in previous Tutor Development courses:

“This course has given me far more confidence and expanded my writing tutor toolbox significantly. Formal and informal skill-sharing have been fantastic. I will take so much good practice back home with me.”

“It was a wonderfully supportive, nurturing, creative and enjoyable experience. I go away more centred as a writer and more confident and inventive as a teacher.”

“It’s very difficult to find appropriate professional development for writers beyond the emerging stage – so this was a fantastic opportunity.”