Arvon at Home Writing Week: Writing for Children and YA

How to Write for Young People

Monday November 29th - Friday December 3rd 2021, 16:30 GMT


Young Adult/Teenage and Middle Grade fiction account for sales of millions of books every year. But what exactly is required to write captivating and original fiction in these hugely competitive areas? This week with Arvon at Home, join award-winning, bestselling and ground-breaking authors Marcus Sedgwick and Lucy Christopher as they take you through the essential building blocks of composing a compelling novel, such as plot, character and place, and more. You will be encouraged to think deeply about what it takes to write for this particular audience, and stimulated to reach further into your resources in order to create the most powerful work you can.

Both Lucy and Marcus have many years of experience of teaching creative writing, and are enthusiastic and empathetic in their approach. They will discuss how to find an original voice through accessing the youthful voice inside you, how to keep your writing for young people fiction kicking goals and pushing boundaries, as well as enabling a safe space for the week so you can feel liberated to explore your interior worlds, and get them onto paper. Come prepared to experiment, have fun, takes risks, and open your mind to this most rewarding area of writing.

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 29th November 16.30  — Friday 3rd 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 may be some homework for tomorrow morning.


10.00—13.00: 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.

17.30—18.00: The Arvon pub- 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. Pets, children and partners welcome.

18.00—19.00: Tutor readings: both tutors read and speak about their work, followed by a Q&A hosted by your Arvon host.



10.00—13.00: Morning workshop

14.00—15.30: One-to-one tutorials

17.30—18.00: The Arvon pub (optional)


19.15-20.15: The Arvon Wednesday Live Guest Reading—you get a free ticket to this.


10.00—13.00: Morning workshop

14.00—15.30: One-to-one tutorials

17.30—18.00: The Arvon pub (optional)

18.00—19.00: An evening session, the theme of which will be decided nearer the time by your tutors.


10.00—13.00: Morning workshop

14.00—15.30: One-to-one tutorials

17.30—18.00: The Arvon pub (optional)

18.00—19.30: 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...

Next steps: 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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