Arvon at Home Writing Week: Poetry: Work in Progress

Crafting Your Collection

Monday August 2nd - Friday August 6th 2021, 4:30 BST


You’ve been working for a period of time on your poems to build up a substantial body of work, making the intellectual progression from the individual poem, to discovering and uncovering the links and networks that will come to define your future book. If you’re thinking about the movement from individual poems, or chapbook length sequences to a new full-length collection, this course will look to support you in this transition. Thinking about working towards an editorial mindset, we’ll look to isolate the links and narrative themes that exist already in your writing, while using strategies and techniques – alongside prompts and language games – to generate new work. This course will help you discover more about your own work, pushing at limits of what you’re already writing, while looking at new avenues and pathways for future poems.

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 2nd August 4.30pm  — Friday 6th August 8pm
Cost: £375 (concession: £187.50)


Add to waiting list Grants are available to help with the course fee


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. The Arvon at Home Co-director Eliza Squire 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. Rachael and Nii will ask you to start thinking about your writing, perhaps setting an exercise. There may be some homework for tomorrow morning.


10am—1pm: Everyone meets online for the morning workshop with Rachael, 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.

5.30pm—6pm: 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)

6pm—7pm: Both tutors read from their work and take questions, hosted by Eliza.


The timing is just like yesterday…

10am—1pm: Morning workshop with Nii

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

5.30pm—6pm: ‘The Arvon Pub


7.15pm—8.15pm: The Arvon Wednesday Live Guest Reading with Sam Riviere—you get a free ticket to this.


10am—1pm: Morning workshop with Rachael

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

5.30pm—6pm: ‘The Arvon Pub

6pm—7pm: An evening session hosted by both tutors, the shape of which will emerge during the week


10am—1pm: Morning workshop with Nii

2pm—3.30pm: Afternoon tutorials

5.30pm—6pm: ‘The Arvon Pub


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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