Arvon at Home Writing Week: Editing Fiction

How to hone your text

Monday January 25th - Friday January 29th 2021


This online course offers writers with a novel or short stories in progress an opportunity to hone their text through the hard, thrilling process of editing. Guided by a prize-winning author known for the precision of his prose, and an experienced senior commissioning editor with in-depth knowledge of the publishing industry, you will deepen your characters, trim deadweight from your plot, and fine-tune your sentences. This will help you find the drive to approach your writing with fresh eyes, and the confidence and skills to make your writing as strong as it can possibly be. We’ll invite you to send a short, polished extract and a synopsis before the course begins.

We’ll help you to make ‘Arvon at Home’, turning your own place into a writing cocoon, capturing the transformative power of our acclaimed Arvon residential courses: two brilliant author-tutors at your service, a caring and sharing group, the time and space to devote to your writing, invaluable feedback, new writing pals, and the unique creative progress that happens in a dedicated week. 

You will be offered the best of a classic Arvon residential week, with a few virtual tweaks. Spot the difference: a carefully balanced combination of tips to help you focus, daily morning workshops, one-to-one tutorials with both tutors, three evening get-togethers to chat about the day’s work, a mid-week guest reading offer, the celebratory Friday-evening collective reading, and lots of time and encouragement for you to write every day. You will receive a free ticket to our Wednesday evening Live Guest Reading.

All gatherings, one-to-one or group, will be delivered via our own Arvon Zoom, so you’ll need to have a reliable internet connection. Your Arvon Centre host will be on call to offer support as you need it, including any help you may need with your computer set-up.

To participate, and to get the most out of the week, you’ll need to turn up online for all planned morning sessions, Monday to Friday. You should also set aside your afternoons for tutorials and independent writing time.  Last but not least, we urge you to read your tutors’ published work before the week starts.

Dates: Monday 25th January 5pm  — Friday 29th March 9pm
Cost: £375

If you have any questions about how the week works, or are on a low income and would like to apply for a grant to reduce the course fee please contact (grants are limited to four places).

This course is available half-price for Arvon 18-25 members and benefits-related concessions.
Add to waiting list Grants are available to help with the course fee


I had the chance to speak with two well respected tutors about my work. Being able to do this in one-to-one tutorials was excellent and not reduced in any way by being on Zoom. A good chance for some very good advice. I am now determined to set to work on my writing.

—Writing Week Participant

What a lovely week—worked so well. It’s not the Hurst, but something different and equally special.

—Writing Week Participant


5pm—7pm: Everyone gathers online in Arvon’s Zoom Writing House. The Arvon at Home Co-Director, Helen Meller, will welcome you and the tutors, giving you an overview of the week, technology support, and some ideas for making your writing ‘cocoon’. You’ll get to meet everyone, ask questions, and settle in. Your tutors will ask you to start thinking about your writing, perhaps setting an exercise. There’s likely to be some homework for tomorrow morning


10am—1pm: Everyone meets online for the morning workshop, which includes writing exercises, discussion. There’ll be a break in the middle of the session. Ellah will lead the first workshop.

2.30pm—4.30pm: One-to-one tutorials lasting about 15 minutes each. You’ll have a tutorial each day with each tutor during the week; the rest of the afternoon is your time to think and write.

5.30pm—6pm: Informal evening get-together (optional). This is a chance to discuss the day’s work, any writing issues, what you’re drinking/eating, and anything else that springs to mind.

6-7pm: ‘Editing in Action’ – This will be an anecdotal and interactive session in which Ellah and Cynan discuss their experience of editing and being edited.


The timing is just like yesterday…

10am—1pm: Morning workshop, led by Cynan.

2.30pm—4.30pm: Afternoon one-to-one tutorials

5.30pm—6pm: Evening group get-together (optional)


7.15pm: The Arvon Wednesday Live Guest Reading with Alex Wheatle—you get a free ticket to this.


10am—1pm: Morning workshop, a split session where one half will be led by Ellah and one by Cynan.

2.30pm—4.30pm: Afternoon one-to-one tutorials

5.30pm—6pm: Evening group get-together (optional)

6-7pm: ‘Edit Me!’ – Cynan will provide a piece of writing in advance for you and Ellah to edit and discuss. See what everyone comes up with (and how Cynan reacts to it!).


10am—1pm: Morning workshop ‘Over to You’ – A joint session, where you can ask questions about the industry, including but not limited to process, matters that have arisen from the workshops, avoiding pitfalls, and how to keep writing.

2.30pm—5pm: ‘Drop-In Clinic’ – This is an opportunity for you to call in for a quick chat with either Ellah or Cynan to address specific editing issues or choices ahead of your evening reading.

5.30- 6pm: Evening group get-together (optional)

6pm—8pm: Friday evening culminates with a celebratory reading where you have the chance to share some of your new writing. Expect laughter, tears and a huge sense of pride for all you have learned, written and achieved this week. There’ll be plenty of virtual hugs.

And then...

The week doesn’t stop here. You now have a writing community. Stay in touch. Share your work with each other, and take it forward.



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