Arvon at Home Writing Week: Starting to Write

Exploring story and language

Monday November 16th - Friday November 20th 2020

Online

There are many good reasons why you might have put off starting to write that story, that poem, that novel. Maybe you were too busy caring for someone, or your working life left you no time for anything else, maybe you didn’t know any writers growing up, maybe you lack confidence. With the world turned upside down what better time to suspend all these reasons, and join us to explore story and language through games and exercises, with plenty of positive feedback. We strongly believe that everyone is entitled to write – and by the end of the week, we hope you’ll believe it too.

Luke Wright was recently dubbed ‘the bard of lockdown’ by the Telegraph after his mammoth stint of 100 days of online gigs. He is the author of two books of poetry and three verse plays. He’s won a Fringe First, a Stage Award, and four Saboteur Awards. His work is regularly broadcast on the radio.

Kate Clanchy writes, and has won major prizes, in poetry, fiction and non-fiction. Her most recent books are England, Poems from a School, an anthology of her student’s poems, Some Kids I Taught and What They Taught Me, a memoir of teaching which won the Orwell Prize for Political Writing, and How to Grow Your Poem, a literary Haynes manual, helping you to jump-start your stuttering thoughts into a smoothly purring poem. She has had 12 radio dramas produced on Radio 3 and 4.


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 16 November 5pm  — Friday 20 November 9pm
Cost: £375

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).

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

5pm—7pm: 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.

2pm—5.30pm: 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.

6pm—7pm: 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.

Wednesday

The timing is just like yesterday…

10am—1pm: morning workshop

2pm—5.30pm: afternoon one-to-one tutorials

6pm—7pm: evening group get-together (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

2pm—5.30pm: afternoon one-to-one tutorials

6pm—7pm: evening group get-together (optional)

Friday

10am—1pm: morning workshop

2pm—5.30pm: afternoon tutorials

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7pm—9pm: 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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