Arvon at Home Writing Week: Non-Fiction

Making Life Stories Thrilling

Monday December 13th - Friday December 17th 2021


Despite its importance, life writing can sometimes feel lonely and self-indulgent – but it doesn’t have to. This course will connect you with other life writers, while tutors JP Flintoff and Wendy Jones share tips and insights that you’ll itch to try out on your own material. You’ll learn from the tutors and each other in live interactive tutorials on zoom, and in your new online writing group that may become a cornerstone of support for years to come.

You’ll see that self-doubt is normal, and hear that there’s no single “correct” approach to life writing – so your own is entirely valid.

As the week draws to an end, you’ll be tweaking your work till the last minute, and the warm support as you read aloud to each other will assure you that your time was well spent.

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 13th December 16.30  — Friday 17th December 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


16.30—18.30: Everyone gathers online in Arvon’s Zoom Writing House. Your Arvon Host 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


9.30—12.30: Everyone meets online for the morning workshop, 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.

18.00—19.00: Both tutors read from their work and take questions.


The timing is just like yesterday…

9.30—12.30: morning workshop

14.00—15.30: afternoon one-to-one tutorials

17.30—18.00: evening check-in (optional)


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


9.30—12.30: morning workshop

14.00—15.30: afternoon one-to-one tutorials

18.00—19.00: An evening session hosted by both tutors


9.30—12.30: morning workshop

14.00—15.30: afternoon tutorials


17:00—19.00: 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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