Arvon at Home Writing Week: Political Writing

Turning your passion into prose

Monday February 8th - Friday February 12th 2021

Online

“Stories are the secret reservoirs of values: change the stories individuals and nations live by and tell themselves and you change the individuals and nations.” -Ben Okri

How do you write about what most concerns you in society? What do you know about that can influence, inform and stir others? How does your desire to change the world take shape through words? Flooding the page with data and persuasive opinions may have less power than telling stories that illuminate and reach your reader’s humanity, because your purpose as a writer is not so much to tell your readers how to think, but to give them things to think about.

Blog, essay, article, full-length book, whatever your chosen form, if you want to write with a social and/or political slant this course will help you develop your unique voice, turning your ideas into stories, your research into structure and your passion into prose.

And that’s not all, on Thursday Catherine Clarke, a literary agent with Felicity Bryan Associates, will be dropping by in the evening to host an industry Q&A with the group, giving you the chance to really probe the publishing industry, learn about the market for political writing, and pick up insider tips.


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 lest, we urge you to read your tutors’ published work before the week starts.

Dates: Monday 8th February 5pm  — Friday 12th February 9pm
Cost: £375

This course is half-price to those aged 18-25 or in receipt of certain state benefits. See here for more info.

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 four places).

This course is available half-price for Arvon 18-25 members and benefits-related concessions.
Grants are available to help with the course fee

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

4.30pm—6.30pm: 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. There’ll be a break in the middle of the session.

2.30pm—5.00pm: One-to-one tutorials lasting about 15 minutes each. You’ll have a tutorial each day with each tutor during the week; the rest of the afternoon is your time to think and write.

5.30pm—6pm: Informal evening get-together (optional). 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.

6-7pm: The tutors read from their own work and take questions.

Wednesday

The timing is just like yesterday…

10am—1pm: morning workshop

2.30pm—5.00pm: afternoon one-to-one tutorials

5.30pm—6pm: evening group get-together (optional)

+

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

Thursday

10am—1pm: morning workshop

2.30pm—5.00pm: afternoon one-to-one tutorials

5.30pm—6pm: evening group get-together (optional)

6-7pm: An industry Q&A hosted by the 2017 Literary Agent of the Year, Catherine Clarke. Get those questions ready!

Friday

10am—1pm: morning workshop

2.30pm—5.00pm: afternoon tutorials

5.30- 6pm: evening group get-together (optional)

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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