Residential Short Course: Writing, Climate, and the Living World

Residential Short Course: Writing, Climate, and the Living World

In collaboration with Black Mountains College
  • Jay Griffiths
  • Tom Bullough Arvon writing tutor head shot
    Tom Bullough
  • Pascale Petit
    Pascale Petit
Date Thursday July 20th - Monday July 24th 2023
Location Other

A 5-day residential short course under the stars, in partnership with Black Mountains College in Wales.

This course will ask a central question: what does it mean to be a writer today, in light of the Climate and Ecological Emergency (CEE)? How can we approach the vastness of the emergency we are in, with effective creative writing? The course will include discussions sharing our experience of the CEE specifically as writers, and examine the personal, public and literary strategies that enable us as writers rather than freeze us. Both emerging and more established writers will benefit from intensive workshops, one-to-one tutoring and time to write and create ideas, as well as feedback from peers in small-group readings.

During the course you will review the essentials of both fiction and nonfiction – from the use of place to editing techniques, narrative structure to the role played by character – and consider how these might explore and help to communicate the issues around the CEE. But you will also be part of a forum, as this course will build on the camaraderie that is beginning to emerge among writers. By sharing ideas, hopes and experiences, participants will learn from one another and help to advance this vital conversation.

‘Writing, Climate and the Living World’ will seek to inform and inspire, while embracing the landscape around Troed yr Harn. The creative response to the CEE remains in its infancy. The challenge is immense, but so is the imperative to meet that challenge, and so are the potential rewards.

What will I do and learn?

Participants on this course will stay in one of Black Mountains College shared bell tents in Wales, and all food and drink will be provided.

To book a place on this course, please visit Black Mountains College website here. 

Black Mountains College would like their short courses to be as accessible as possible cost-wise, whilst ensuring they are still able to cover material and teaching costs. We, therefore, ask you to pay what you can towards this event based on our tiered system. We have tickets available at £600 (reduced rate), £750 (actual cost), and £1,100 (pay it forward)

Consider contributing more on the scale if you:

Consider contributing less on the scale if you:

If you select an amount at the higher end of the scale, you will make possible future offerings and support our volunteers who are generously contributing time. Thank you!

Tickets are non-refundable. Depending on the uptake of the course Black Mountains College hold the right to cancel it, in which case you will be refunded.

Please note that spaces on this course are limited. Black Mountains College operate on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Black Mountains College have 1-3 fully-funded spots on this course available to a successful bursary applicant. If you are unable to pay for the course and would like to be considered for a free place, then please complete this form. You will be contacted by a member of the team 2-4 weeks prior to the course starting.

This course is rated as 3 (least accessible) on BMC’s scale of accessibility. Read more about their accessibility policy here.

This Residential Short Course will take place at Troed yr Harn Farm, Talgarth. Participants will stay in one of Black Mountains College shared bell tents in Wales, and all food and drink will be provided.

Tour course fee will cover travel from and to Abergavenny train station, a place in one of our shared bell tents, all meals and course content. Please meet at Talgarth Car Park, LD3 0PQ.

BMC’s campus is a car free site, and we encourage participants to meet at Talgarth carpark to walk up to the campus ready to start the course.

“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



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