Arvon at Home Writing Week: Non-Fiction

Life-Changing Non-Fiction

Monday October 25th - Friday October 29th 2021, 17.00 BST


How do you conceive, research and structure non-fiction which has real impact? A better world requires new stories, told in the most engaging and enlightening ways. Taught by acclaimed writers and broadcasters Laura Barton and Travis Elborough, this course aims to help you deliver work which really matters, both to you and to your readers. During this course, you’ll study and work with a great variety of forms of non-fiction writing in order to produce writing which is rich, diverse and gripping. You’ll gather and refresh your techniques and tools and discover new ways of seeing, in order to make work which both reflects a new world and contributes to shaping it. Studying everything from deeply personal stories to wider narratives; from the tricks of investigative journalism to aspects of life writing, nature, music and arts writing – you’ll come away with a greater understanding of non-fiction writing as well as your own work. This thrilling course welcomes all, particularly non-fiction writers with the ambition to publish striking work.

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 25th October 17.00  — Friday 29th October 20:00
Cost: £400 (concession: £200)


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


17.00—19.00: Everyone gathers online in Arvon’s Zoom Writing House. Your Arvon Host 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. Laura and Travis 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 Laura and Travis, which includes writing exercises, discussion and comfort breaks.

14.00—16.00: 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.

17.30—18.00: Every day at 5.30pm, the Workshop Room magically transforms into ‘The Arvon Pub’. 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. (optional)

18.00—19.00: Both tutors will read from their work and follow with a Q&A, hosted by Helen.


The timing is just like yesterday…

10.00—13.00: Morning workshop

14.00—16.00: Afternoon one-to-one tutorials

17.30—18.00: ‘The Arvon Pub’ (optional)


19.15—20.15: The Arvon Wednesday Live Guest Reading with Damian Le Bas—you get a free ticket to this.


10.00—13.00: Morning workshop

14.00—16.00: Afternoon one-to-one tutorials

17.30—18.00: ‘The Arvon Pub’ (optional)

18.00—19.00: An evening session hosted by both tutors, the theme of which will emerge as the week progresses.


10.00—13.00: Morning workshop

17.30—18.00: ‘The Arvon Pub’ (optional)


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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