Arvon at Home Writing Week: Life Writing with Coaching

Freeing yourself from procrastination

Monday October 5th - Friday October 9th 2020


Have you begun a life story or biography and abandoned it because you are stuck? Perhaps like many writers you’re mired in procrastination. This unique online course combining practical life writing skills and life coaching will guide you through a process to kick-start your writing again and to keep going once you have done so.

Colin Grant, an experienced Arvon tutor, author of memoirs and other non fiction books, will lead you through techniques and practices to find the centre of your story.

Jo Alderson, an experienced hypnotherapist, will take the group through a guided meditation each morning. In her afternoon sessions, Jo will focus on coaching you to access your confidence so that you can write your story.

This new, innovative online week at Arvon is a unique opportunity to open yourself up to something fresh and potentially transformative.

This course offers a great chance for you to not only find the centre of what you have been wanting to write about, whether your own life, family or passion, but also to tackle the demons of procrastination and self-criticism so you can get that book, short story or essay completed.

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 5 October 5pm  — Friday 9 October 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).

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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


4.30pm—6.30pm: Everyone gathers online in Arvon’s Zoom Writing House. Natasha Carlish, Centre Director of The Hurst Arvon Centre, 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, Jo and Colin, will ask you to start thinking about your writing, perhaps setting an exercise. There may be some homework for tomorrow morning.


9.30am—12.30pm: Everyone meets online for the morning workshop, which includes writing exercises, discussion and comfort breaks. At the end of each workshop, Jo will be leading a guided group meditation which lasts for about 20 minutes.

2pm—4pm: One-to-one tutorials lasting 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: Evening reading from Colin, introduced by Natasha, followed by a Q&A hosted by Jo to explore how Colin manages his writing life. At the end you will have a chance to put your own questions to both Colin and Jo.


The timing is just like yesterday…

9.30am—12.30pm: Morning Workshop followed by guided group meditation

2pm—4pm: Afternoon one-to-one tutorials

5.30pm-6.00pm: Midweek check-in with Natasha and the group (optional)


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


9.30am—12.30pm: Morning Workshop followed by guided group meditation

2pm—4pm: Afternoon one-to-one tutorials

6pm—7pm: Informal evening get-together for a games night with Colin and Jo (optional)


9.20am—12.30pm: Morning Workshop followed by guided group meditation


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.



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