Residential Writing Week: Memoir
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Residential Writing Week: Memoir

Breathing life and vitality into your memoir
Tutors
  • Ciaran Thapar
  • Alexander Masters
    Alexander Masters
Date Monday June 6th - Saturday June 11th 2022
Location The Hurst

This week is for anyone with a work of non-fiction, at whatever stage, whether you’re hoping to publish or not. We will focus on the different elements involved in putting together a compelling, distinctive story, including figuring out the best structure for your work, presenting dialogue in the most engaging way, exploring the art of the interview, the vitality of journaling and note-taking, and the legal complications of writing about living people. We will include numerous exercises, tailored to your particular work, to ensure that your qualities as a writer receive maximum attention.

Single room: £880

Concessions: £616

As part of our effort to increase participation in the arts, we offer limited concessionary places at a 30% reduction. You can select this option at checkout if available.

Physical Access at The Hurst:

The Hurst is the only house that is fully accessible to wheelchair users. There is access to every room via a lift. All communal spaces, including workshop spaces, have level access. There are no steps on the ground floor. All door frames measure the required 825mm, although the fire doors installed reduce this width slightly. All door handles are at an accessible height, with power sockets located at 500mm from the floor. There is an accessible toilet on the ground floor.

For additional detailed information on physical access in bedrooms, kitchen, shared spaces and the grounds please visit our dedicated access page.

General Access Information for Residential Writing Weeks:

Available on all courses for those who are Deaf, Partially Deaf or who have significant hearing loss

We provide BSL interpreters on some courses. If you require this please check whether the course you are interested in offers this facility. Or get in touch on our dedicated access email: access@arvon.org

Available on all courses for those who are blind, partially sighted or who have significant sight loss

Available on all courses for those who have Dyslexia

There’s no need to worry about spelling, grammar or handwriting on our courses, the focus is on creativity.

Available on all courses to those who identify as Neuro Divergent

Arvon is committed to providing a supportive and welcoming environment to all.

If you need to take some time out to rest, or be alone, you’re welcome to do so. Participation in any activity is entirely at your discretion.

Our grants scheme may be able to cover a portion of your course fees. Disability costs and additional living/support costs are taken into account when considering your grant application. You may also be entitled to concession pricing on selected courses.

For additional detailed information on how we can support people with learning difficulties, mental health issues, and those with special diets and allergies, please see our dedicated access page.

If you have any questions or concerns and want to chat to a member of staff prior to booking please contact us on access@arvon.org

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.

The 19th century building has been given a thoroughly 21st century renovation. All 16 bedrooms have a single bed, en-suite bathroom and are lift accessible. There’s plenty of space to relax and write throughout the house, including the main workshop room with a library.

All your meals are provided, locally and sustainably sourced wherever possible. Help yourself to breakfast, our team will prepare lunch, and dinner is prepared in groups each evening using the delicious recipes and ingredients provided.

The grounds boast redwoods, wild orchids, surrounded by the forest-covered Shropshire Hills, designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The house sits within 26 acres of woodland, with a spring-fed lake and inspiring walks.

See here for more information on The Hurst.

THE COURSE AT A GLANCE

Writing course tutor delivering a workshop at Lumb Bank

Monday

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

one-to-one tutorial at Lumb Bank

Tuesday

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

Wednesday

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

Thursday

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

Friday

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

Saturday

The week comes to a close after breakfast, departures by 10am. 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.”
— Participant, Residential Writing Week

Detailed course schedule (times may be subject to change)

Monday

2.00pm—4.00pm: arrival of tutors and participants. We’ll welcome you, show you to your room and offer light refreshments.

4.15 – 5.00pm: the group meets in the living room for an introductory talk from a member of our hosting team.  Please make sure you arrive in time for this session as it will include vital information about the writing week and the opportunity to introduce yourself to other participants.

5.15 – 6.15pm: the first group workshop of the week. The tutors will introduce themselves and share their plans for the week in detail. You will have the chance to outline what you’d like to achieve. There’ll be discussion, short exercises, and perhaps some ‘homework’ for Tuesday morning.

6.30pm: supper. Our hosting team will serve the evening meal, and the rest of the evening is free for you to relax and enjoy the beautiful surroundings at The Hurst.

Tuesday

9.30/10.00am—1.00pm: everyone meets in the workshop room for the first group session of the week. The exact start time will be agreed on Monday, and there’ll be a break mid-morning for refreshments.

1.00pm: Lunch. Our hosting team will prepare and serve lunch – and wash up afterwards.

2.30 – 4.30pm: 1-1 tutorials.

4.00pm: four members of the group, today’s cooks, begin to prepare the evening meal. They’ll also wash up after supper.

6.30pm: supper.

8-9pm: both tutors read from their work and take questions about their writing practice.

Wednesday

The timing is just like yesterday…

9.30/10.00am—1.00pm: morning workshop.

1.00pm: Lunch.

2.30 – 4.30pm: 1-1 tutorials.

4.00pm: today’s cooks start preparing the evening meal.

6.30pm:  supper.

8-9pm: the guest speaker for the week joins us, reads from their work, and takes questions.

Thursday

9.30/10.00am—1.00pm: morning workshop.

1.00pm: Lunch.

2.30 – 4.30pm: 1-1 tutorials.

4.00pm: today’s cooks start preparing the evening meal.

6.30pm:  supper.

Activities for Thursday evening are left flexible and will be agreed between the group and tutors during the week. It may be a ‘night off’ or even include a visit to the local pub for those who would like to.

Friday

9.30/10.00am—1.00pm: morning workshop.

1.00pm: Lunch.

2.30 – 4.30pm: there may be 1-1 tutorials or, if both tutors have already seen all the participants, there may be a ‘drop-in’ session to tie up loose ends and review re-drafted work.

4.00pm: today’s cooks start preparing the evening meal.

6.30pm:  supper.

8-9pm: the culmination of the week is a celebratory reading by course participants. Everyone will have the opportunity to share work they have produced during the week.

Saturday

Breakfast, goodbyes, and departure. We ask everyone to vacate the building by 10am, but you can leave as early as you wish.

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