Arvon at Home Writing Week: Historical Fiction

Writing the past into life

Monday April 5th - Friday April 9th 2021

Online

A wise person said that writing was the most fun anyone could have on their own. This week we’re going to explore how historical fiction can be twice the fun – not only how we present an engaging yarn, but also how we revitalize a time lost to time. How do we make the past present – and alive? Together we’ll stretch our ideas of what our writing can be, finding ways to weave words that are authentic but not leaden, credible but distinctly our own. We’ll unearth that style and story, giving you the confidence and inspiration to work across time.

Join historical novelists Manda Scott and Robert Wilton for an exploration of the possibilities of the genre: together we’ll look at structure, character, language, and all the other challenges and choices facing us as writers. Manda and Robert are experienced tutors and coaches, and you’ll spend your mornings having your writing muscles gently stretched, the darker corners of historical writing illuminated, and in the afternoons you’ll have time for your own writing and some supportive individual conversations. The week is intended to be a warm, respectful and stimulating space for you to make significant progress on your own writing journey.


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 5th April 4.30pm  — Friday 9th April 8pm
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 communications@arvon.org (grants are limited to three places).

Grants are available to help with the course fee

COURSE TUTORS

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

Monday

4.30pm—6.30pm: Everyone gathers online in Arvon’s Zoom Writing House. The Arvon Centre Director 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

Tuesday

9.30am—12.30pm: Everyone meets online for the morning workshop, which includes writing exercises, discussion and comfort breaks.

2pm—3.30pm: 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.

6pm—7pm: Both tutors read from their work and take questions.

Wednesday

The timing is just like yesterday…

9.30am—12.30pm: morning workshop

2pm—3.30pm: afternoon one-to-one tutorials

5.30pm—6pm: evening check-in (optional)

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

Thursday

9.30am—12.30pm: morning workshop

2pm—3.30pm: afternoon one-to-one tutorials

6pm—7pm: An evening session hosted by both tutors

Friday

9.30am—12.30pm: morning workshop

2pm—3.30pm: afternoon tutorials

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5pm—7pm: 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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