Residential Writing Week: Writing Family History
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Residential Writing Week: Writing Family History

The challenges and love in family and friendship
Tutors
  • Katharine Norbury
    Katharine Norbury
  • Horatio Clare
    Horatio Clare
Date Monday October 31st - Saturday November 5th 2022
Location The Hurst

How do we write about our families? What challenges are particular to writing about people we know? Is the story ours to tell? In this Halloween week (when carved lanterns have traditionally guided the souls of the dead back to the homes of the living) you’ll explore how to bring your writing to life, hunker down at the Hurst and the endless possibilities inherent in this exciting form.

With tutors Katherine Norbury and Horatio Clare you will explore the characteristics unique to writing family history and the hazards of writing in the first person.

Together, you’ll discuss how to write about the dead and how to interview family members while considering the possibilities of approach in memoir, diary, autobiography and biography (as well as the differences between these genres). You’ll ponder if a novel might be a better place to find and share your family secrets, while learning how to balance accurate research with creating a plausible narrative.

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

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