Courses & Retreats - Creative Writing Courses - Arvon

COURSES & RETREATS

Online or in-person, from one hour to five weeks, you can find inspiration, support and transform your writing with Arvon. Discover our range of creative writing courses and events for writers of any genre and any level of experience.

WHAT IS AN ARVON COURSE?

In-person or online

Whatever the setting, online or at our historic writers’ houses in Devon, Shropshire and Yorkshire, Arvon is home to your imagination.

Nurturing
and advice

Be supported by expert tutors to help you explore and develop your writing. Hone your craft with an inspirational mix workshops, tutorials, readings and Q&As.

Time and
space to write

Step away from your normal routine and immerse yourself in the creative process without distractions. The perfect way to let your writing off the leash.

Community
of writers

Encouragement, support and fellowship from a group of writers. You’ll make meaningful friendships and inspire one another, while learning from today’s leading authors.

DISCOVER OUR RANGE

ARVON AT HOME

Our online programme of activities will help you find inspiration and keep writing, no matter the setting.

We're pleased to share our Writing Weeks, Short Courses, Evening Courses, Masterclasses, How I Write and Arvon 1-1s, all accessible from the comfort of your sofa, delivered via Zoom.

RESIDENTIAL PROGRAMME

Live as a writer in one of our houses in Devon, Shropshire and Yorkshire.

Residential Writing Weeks and Tutored Retreats give you time and space to write, nurtured by two expert tutors. Experience the transformative power of Arvon, surrounded by beautiful scenery and a supportive group of peers.

ARVON LIVE

In-person day-long events with leading authors to inspire your writing and spur on new work.

The day usually consists of Masterclasses, time to write, a reading and Q&A with a guest speaker.

CLOCKHOUSE RETREATS

Give your writing the time at space it deserves at The Clockhouse in Shropshire.

Your own private apartment at our dedicated Writers Retreat, with bedroom, study, en-suite bathroom, and all food provided, for six-day and four-day writing retreats.

FIND A COURSE BY TYPE

Residential Writing Week

Online Writing Week

Masterclass

How I Write

Online Five Week Course

Residential Tutored Retreat

Online Writing Day

Children and Young People's Events

Arvon Live

Residential Writing Week

Residential Writing Weeks take place at our houses in Devon, Shropshire and Yorkshire for 5 days and span a range of genres. You'll work closely with two tutors, each week consisting of workshops, one-to-one tutorials and evening readings. You’ll have time and space to write, and plenty of support. Long after you leave, your creativity will grow.

Jun 17-22

The Hurst

Non-Fiction

Residential Writing Week: Narrative Non-Fiction

Start with the facts, finish with a story

Elise Valmorbida
John-Paul Flintoff
Guest: Francesca Ramsay

Jun 17-22

Totleigh Barton

Other

Residential Writing Week: Songwriting

Creativity and play

Kathryn Williams
Louise Goffin
Guest: Daniel Willson (Withered Hand Dan)

Jun 24-29

The Hurst

Fiction, Poetry

Residential Writing Week: Starting To Write Poetry & Fiction

Telling stories in poetry and prose

Cecilia Knapp
Romesh Gunesekera
Guest: Jane Sanderson

Jun 24-29

Totleigh Barton

Screenwriting

Residential Writing Week: TV Scriptwriting

Find your voice and get it heard

Claire Bennett
Lisa Holdsworth
Guest: John Fox

Jul 8-12

IOU Hostel

Poetry, Other

Residential Writing Week: Poetry and Walking

Encounter and expression

Steve Ely
Kirsten Norrie (MacGillivray)
Guest: Emily Oldfield

Jul 15-20

Totleigh Barton

Poetry

Residential Writing Week: Poetry with Dance

Movement, mindfulness and momentum

Katrina Naomi
Kyra Norman
Guest: Oluwaseun Olayiwola

Jul 15-19

IOU Hostel

Fiction

Residential Writing Week: Fiction

Writing the North

Andrew Michael Hurley
Katherine Clements
Guest: Andrew McMillan
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Last few places left

Jul 15-20

The Hurst

Non-Fiction

Residential Writing Week: Nature Writing

Wildness into words

Miriam Darlington
Patrick Barkham
Guest: Noreen Masud

Jul 22-27

Totleigh Barton

Fiction

Residential Writing Week: Fiction

Building your craft

Kate Murray-Browne
Marcel Theroux
Guest: Kaliane Bradley
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Add to waiting list

Jul 29-Aug 3

Totleigh Barton

Non-Fiction

Residential Writing Week: Writing Motherhood

Creation and inspiration

Nell Frizzell
Pragya Agarwal
Guest: Claire Lynch

Aug 5-10

Totleigh Barton

Other

Totleigh Barton Writing Retreat with Yoga

Stretch your creative muscles

Elizabeth Jenner

Aug 5-10

The Hurst

Fiction, Non-Fiction

Residential Writing Week: Writing the Menopause

Learning from and capturing a changed perspective

Marina Benjamin
Miranda France
Guest: Alice Smellie

Aug 12-17

Totleigh Barton

Children & YA

Residential Writing Week: Writing for Children

Writing to your younger self

Emma Carroll
Jasbinder Bilan
Guest: Julia Churchill
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Aug 12-17

The Hurst

Fiction

Residential Writing Week: Fiction

Crafting fiction from your own experience

Melanie McGrath
Katie Watson
Guest: Mendez

Aug 19-24

Totleigh Barton

Fiction

Residential Writing Week: Writing a Novel: Work-in-Progress

Make a creative breakthrough

Leone Ross
Karen McCarthy Woolf
Guest: Nicola Chang

Aug 26-31

The Hurst

Non-Fiction

Residential Writing Week: Non-Fiction

Transforming travel experience into compelling writing

Sophy Roberts
Rory MacLean
Guest: Laura Beatty
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Online Writing Week

Our acclaimed week-long writing courses are now available online. Capturing the transformative power of an Arvon week, you’ll experience a week of workshops, one-to-ones, social gatherings and readings delivered by two Arvon tutors via Zoom. You’ll connect with a small group of fellow writers and unleash your imagination, all from the comfort of your own home. 

Jun 24-28

Online

Non-Fiction

Online Writing Week: The Essay

Crafting your voice from beginnings to endings

Brian Dillon
Rebecca May Johnson
Guest: Katherine Angel
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Last few places left

Jul 1-5

Online

Poetry, Theatre

Online Writing Week: Poetry and Theatre

Drawing inspiration from page and stage

Inua Ellams
Rachel Long
Guest: Caroline Bird
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Last few places left

Jul 22-26

Online

Poetry

Online Writing Week: Poetry

Closer than skin, thicker than blood: writing about real and imagined families

Jenny Mitchell
Roy McFarlane
Guest: Zoë Brigley

Aug 5-9

Online

Non-Fiction

Online Writing Week: Non-Fiction

Writing from Life

Jarred McGinnis
Miranda Ward
Guest: TBC

Aug 19-23

Online

Fiction

Online Writing Week: Fiction Work-in-Progress

Unearthing your story

Laura Joyce
Tom Benn

Sep 16-20

Online

Non-Fiction

Online Writing Week: Non-Fiction

People and places

Fiona Sampson
Malachy Tallack
Guest: Angela Hui

Oct 7-11

Online

Other

Online Writing Week: Cli Fi and Screenwriting

Writing the Planet

Liz Jensen
Eva Svenstedt-Ward
Guest: Jeffrey Nachmanoff

Oct 14-18

Online

Fiction, Non-Fiction

Online Writing Week: Fiction/Non-Fiction

Turning lived experience into compelling prose

Jarred McGinnis
Natasha Bell

Oct 28-Nov 1

Online

Poetry

Online Writing Week: Poetry

Haunted landscapes

Clare Shaw
Anthony (Vahni) Capildeo

Nov 11-15

Online

Non-Fiction

Online Writing Week: Fiction/Non-Fiction

Dark Matters: researching and writing ‘difficult’ subjects

Cathi Unsworth
Sarah Wise

Nov 25-29

Online

Poetry

Online Writing Week: Creating a Poetry Collection or Pamphlet

How to build a house for your poems

Mark Pajak
Stephanie Sy-Quia
Guest: Michael Schmidt
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Masterclass

Join an Arvon tutor for a two-hour masterclass, delivered live via Zoom webinar. Similar to workshops on a traditional Arvon course, the tutor will share their invaluable writing advice and explore forms and techniques. You’ll also have time to write over the two hours, with helpful prompts set by the tutor.  

Jun 18

Online

Other

Masterclass: Writing Parenthood

Bliss and bewilderment

Kirsty Logan

Jun 21

Online

Poetry

Michael Donaghy Memorial Masterclass

Learning the scaffolding of poems

Hannah Lowe

Jun 28

Online

Screenwriting

Masterclass: Screenwriting

Using your personal truth to create a compelling world

Neil Biswas

Jul 2

Online

Fiction

Masterclass: Getting To the Heart of Your Story

Getting Out of Your Own Way in the Drafting and Editing Process

Melissa Broder

Jul 9

Online

Fiction

Masterclass: Writing with Instinct

Following your gut

Sheena Patel

Jul 12

Online

Screenwriting

Masterclass: The Essentials in Storytelling for the Screen

Telling great stories

Andrea Gibb

Jul 16

Online

Masterclass: How to apply for funding

Maximise your potential for successful funding applications

Jonathan Davidson

Jul 23

Online

Fiction, Poetry, Other

Masterclass: Marvellous and Impossible Things

Sprinkling magic on your words

Tania Hershman
Sean Lusk

Jul 26

Online

Fiction

Masterclass: Bringing Folk into your Fiction

Writing new folk tales and subverting old ones

Zoe Gilbert

Jul 30

Online

Non-Fiction

Masterclass: Shaping Your Non-Fiction

Creating new structures

Jessica J. Lee

Aug 6

Online

Fiction

Masterclass: The Facts of Fiction

The devil is in the detail

Colum McCann

Aug 16

Online

Poetry

Masterclass: Ecopoetry

Wild listening

Holly Corfield Carr

Aug 20

Online

Theatre

Masterclass: Writing for Performance

Improvisation; joyful tools for scriptwriting

Katy Schutte

Aug 30

Online

Poetry

Masterclass: The Poetic Line

Dashes, slashes and white space

Tim Liardet

Sep 20

Online

Fiction

Masterclass: Crime Fiction

Feeling the solve

Sophie Hannah

Sep 24

Online

Other

Masterclass: Containers and Wellbeing

'A Glittering Shoal in the Right-Sized Tank'

Caleb Parkin
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How I Write

Now more than ever we need stories – to engage, to entertain, to nourish, and to help us make sense of what we’re living through. So join us from the comfort of your sofa and listen to writers share their work, the stories behind their work, and invaluable writing advice directly from their own desk (or maybe the kitchen table). And the best part? At the end you get to ask them questions about their words, pick their brains on craft, and learn more about the business of writing. Delivered live via Zoom webinar and recorded so you can watch back later. 

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Online Five Week Course

Perfect if you want to commit time to your writing but can only manage a couple of hours a week. Our evening course unpacks our popular 5 day online writing week over 5 weeks of evening classes. You’ll have a weekly workshop, one-to-one tutorials, socials and How I Write sessions. You will develop a network of fellow writers and give your writing a transformational boost.

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Residential Tutored Retreat

Our residential tutored retreats are designed to allow you the time and space to focus on your writing from our houses in Devon, Shropshire and Yorkshire. Tutored retreats allow you plenty of writing time in the mornings without workshops. You'll benefit from one-to-one tutorials with your tutors in the afternoons and a guest on Wednesday.

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Online Writing Day

Need a boost while you tackle your latest writing project? These one-day courses are aimed at writers who already have a work in progress, or a current working practice and would like a concentrated bolt of creative inspiration.  Delivered live via Zoom and recorded for you to watch back later.

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Children and Young People's Events

Arvon at Home Workshops for Children and Young People offer online opportunities for creativity and self-expression, outside the curriculum, for young people aged 8 upwards, whether from their own home or in a school classroom, under the guidance of expert tutors in poetry and prose.

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Arvon Live

Day-long events in towns and cities with leading authors to inspire your writing and spur on new work. The day usually consists of masterclasses, time to write, a reading and Q&A with a guest speaker.

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FIND A COURSE BY GENRE

Fiction

Poetry

Non-Fiction

Starting to Write

Children & YA

Screenwriting

Theatre

Other

A closeup person writing in a notebook

Fiction

Our famous residential fiction writing courses, held in remote countryside locations. Tutored by leading authors including Mark Haddon, Sunjeev Sahota and Kamila Shamsie. Long after you leave, your creativity will grow.

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Old poetry book on a wooden table

Poetry

Our poetry courses begin with a warm welcome, give inspirational support, and end with transformation. Since 1968, our poetry courses have supported and inspired writers of all kinds.

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View of the valley from Lumb Bank, Arvon's writing centre

Non-Fiction

Non-fiction and lifewriting courses for writers of all levels.

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One-to-one tutorial at Lumb Bank, a writer and tutor discussing some work

Starting to Write

Build your writing confidence in a supportive environment, led by experts. We offer Starting to Write courses in specific genres and more general Starting to Write courses that include both fiction and poetry writing. Starting to Write courses include workshops and one-to-one tutorials.

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Children & YA

Our range of courses and retreats aimed at writing for younger audiences – from picture books and children’s fiction, to YA fiction – will leave you feeling inspired, having made progress on your writing.

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A notebook with writing

Screenwriting

Many writers who have been on Arvon’s TV and Film courses go on to have their work produced. There are in-depth workshops each morning, personal feedback on your script in one-to-one tutorials, chances to share your work and ask industry experts questions in the evening, lots of writing time and opportunities for creative inspiration.

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a person reading a script document on a table with mugs

Theatre

Our theatre and playwriting courses are the perfect environment to release imaginative potential. On these courses you will benefit from the support of accomplished playwrights, plenty of time to write, workshops and tutorials.

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Table with book during a Creative Writing Course at Arvon

Other

We like to keep things interesting at Arvon, and these courses don’t fit into a box. From writing for wellbeing and preparing for publication, to hybrid writing and nature writing, these courses are as unique as your imagination.

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GRANTS & CONCESSIONS

Grants are available for writers who are unable to afford our full course fees and would otherwise be unable to attend an Arvon week. We offer two grants: a low income grant and a teachers grant. We also offer concession pricing on Arvon courses and events, with a generous eligibility criteria.

"My week at Arvon was transformative. The advice, the ideas, the people and the experience have taken my writing to new levels, in ways that I couldn’t have anticipated before attending the week."

— Liz Sage

"An Arvon course is transformative and energising for tutor and student alike; it draws a temporary magic circle within which nobody has to duck their head and apologise for calling themselves a writer."

— Patrick Gale

"Two weeks ago I’d never have scribbled away on a train like this. I might daydream out of the window, passing the time, losing all those thoughts to the air. But now they’ve become a source of stories. Stories everywhere that only I can capture, only I can tell."

— Course participant

It was a week that changed my life. I was very nervous, wondering if I was kidding myself, but the tutors' exercises shook me up. They got me thinking about different ways to write. One of the big things for me was narrative voice, particularly exploring first person, and Kester's voice cam from that....I went on that course thinking I want to be a writer and I left feeling I am a writer"

— Piers Torday

"Utterly exhilarating - a supportive group and constant challenges galvanized my creativity. Performing and writing under pressure in this beautiful space has been fabulous."

— Course participant

"It might be a cliché (what a sin a writer!) but the Arvon course I went on really did change my life; it gave me the space to conceive a long poem I've never been able to match for scope or style since"

— Andrew McMillan

IN THE PRESS