Arvon at Home Writing Week: Fiction: Work in Progress

Get (Back) Into The Groove

Monday November 8th - Friday November 12th 2021, 4:30 BST


How do you keep up momentum when writing a novel? Inspiration and enthusiasm are often harder to come by in the middle of a long writing project than at the beginning or end. This course is aimed at anyone who has made a firm start on their long piece of fiction and wants to maintain motivation and bring new energy to their practice. Alongside techniques around character development, style, structure and pacing, we’ll also explore the practicalities of re-drafting and editing to help you create a satisfying and distinctive work that will hold a reader’s interest – and your own – throughout. You are invited to submit 2000 words of your work in progress to your tutors prior to the course – please email your work by Saturday 18th September to

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 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.

As part of our wider effort to increase participation in the arts, there are a limited number of concessionary places available for this course.

Dates: Monday 8th November 16.30  — Friday 12th November 20:00
Cost: £400 (concession: £200)

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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


16.30—18.30: Everyone gathers online in Arvon’s Zoom Writing House. Your Arvon Host Rosie Scott 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. Beth and Sharon will ask you to start thinking about your writing, perhaps setting an exercise. There may be some homework for tomorrow morning.


10.00—13.00: Everyone meets online for the morning workshop with Beth, ‘Planning and Structure’, which includes writing exercises, discussion and comfort breaks.

14.00—15.30: One-to-one tutorials lasting about 20 minutes each. You have one tutorial with each tutor during the week; the rest of the afternoon is your time to think and write.

16.00—17.00: A Writing Together session, in which you can join Sharon for an hour of quiet writing time in the workshop room. (optional)

18.00—19.00: Both tutors read from their work and take questions, hosted by Rosie.


The timing is just like yesterday…

10.00—13.00: Sharon leads the morning workshop, ‘Character development and other key ingredients for staying in love with your manuscript’

14.00—15.30: Afternoon one-to-one tutorials

16.00—17.00: Writing Together with Sharon, an hour of quiet group writing time. (optional)


19.15: The Arvon Wednesday Live Guest Reading with Amanda Smyth—you get a free ticket to this.


10.00—13.00: Beth leads the morning workshop, ‘Livening things up – Dialogue, pace and sex’

14.00—15.30: Afternoon one-to-one tutorials

16.00—17.00: An ‘Ask Me Anything’ session with Beth and Sharon. (optional)

18.00—19.00: ‘Covers Night’ – An informal evening get-together in which everyone reads for 3-5 minutes from a piece of much-loved writing.


10.00—13.00: Sharon leads the final morning workshop, ‘Kill Your Darlings – Editing and making your WIP the best it can be’

14.00—15.30: Afternoon one-to-one tutorials


18:00—20.00: 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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