To write is to write is to write...

Monday February 21st - Saturday February 26th 2022

The Hurst

So said Gertrude Stein, and she was right.

There is no substitute for the hand moving across the page – or the writer journeying into the unknown of a story, taking risks, following instincts, and committing to its needs. This week will be all about daring to write your way into a story you’ve been nurturing, or perhaps setting off to discover the story you actually want to write. We’ll explore the ways in which a fairly raw draft of fiction can spring into vivid life. We’ll investigate some of the ways through which writers create three-dimensional characters while sustaining the momentum that makes a story ‘go’. We’ll think about what it means to hone the focus of a scene or an opening paragraph, while considering such elements as style, imagery, voice, dialogue and rhythm.

You’ll work with two experienced writers to discover the pulse and emotional life of your novel or story. You’ll learn to abandon the ‘weight’ that might be holding it back, and to invest imaginatively in those elements that hum with truth and power. Throughout the week, you’ll delve deeper into the joys, frustrations and mysteries of writing fiction.

*We have worked hard to ensure our courses and retreats are as Covid-compliant as possible and can’t wait to welcome you. To learn more about the measures we have taken please click here

Single room price: £850

Concessions: £595

This course is available for concession pricing
Grants are available to help with the course fee


The Hurst front

The Hurst

The Hurst is a place you can write, far away from daily distractions. The house and gardens, surrounded by the forest-covered Shropshire Hills, were the former home of playwright John Osborne.


Writing course tutor delivering a workshop at Lumb Bank


Arrive late afternoon, settle in, enjoy dinner and the tutors’ introduction to the week in the evening.

one-to-one tutorial at Lumb Bank


Morning workshops led by tutors. Afternoons are your time for writing and one-to-one tutorials. Tutors read from their work in the evening.

Course participants writing at the workshop table at The Hurst


Morning workshops led by tutors. Afternoons are your time for writing and one-to-one tutorials. In the evening a guest speaker joins the group.

Course participant writing on a sofa in the barn at Lumb Bank


Morning workshops led by tutors. Afternoons are your time for writing and one-to-one tutorials. You are free to spend this evening as you wish.

A woman smiling and listening to a writing tutor speak at Lumb Bank


Tutors lead the final workshops in the morning. In the evening everyone gets together to share and celebrate their work.

Course participants eating at The Hurst


The week comes to a close after breakfast. Have a tissue handy to say your farewells to the group.

“I arrived at the beginning of the week wondering whether I might be a writer or even if I could write. But when I left, not only did I feel I could write, I knew that’s what I was going to do next.”

—Piers Torday

“It is invaluable to writers at an early stage to have this feedback on their work. Many people on my course said that they wished that they had received this type of input earlier in their career – that it might have borne fruit and improved their success. It also provides time to think – in an over complicated world it is hard to carve time for yourself against the requirements of work, family, and daily chores. Arvon was a breath of fresh creative air.”

—Penny Clark

“Both courses I attended have had a massive impact on my writing, and been part of the motivation and encouragement I needed to begin working professionally as a writer.”

—Course participant



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