Arvon at Home Writing Week: Life Writing

Mining the self for fiction and memoir

Monday August 24th - Friday August 28th 2020

Online

Do you have real-life experiences that you would like to turn into a book? Whether you want to write a novel or a memoir, or can’t make up your mind, this course will help you to turn your raw material into a crafted narrative that other people will want to read. Memoirists need to think like novelists when it comes to characterisation, dialogue and creating a sense of time, place and atmosphere, and novelists need to explore the possibilities and challenges of using their own life experiences to inspire fiction. On this course we will learn tools and techniques for excavating the self and bringing our stories to life on the page.

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 24 August  — Friday 28 August
Cost: £350

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).

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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

4pm—6pm: 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

10am—1pm: Everyone meets online for the morning workshop, which includes writing exercises, discussion and comfort breaks.

3pm—5pm: 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: Readings and Q&A from tutors.

Wednesday

The timing is just like yesterday…

10am—1pm: morning workshop

3pm—5.00pm: afternoon one-to-one tutorials

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

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

Thursday

10am—1pm: morning workshop

3pm—5.00pm: afternoon one-to-one tutorials

6pm—7pm: a general Q&A session with both tutors

Friday

10am—1pm: morning workshop

3pm—5.00pm: afternoon tutorials

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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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