Starting to Write: Non-fiction

Turn Your Ideas Into Narrative

Monday April 11th - Saturday April 16th 2022

The Hurst

How do we write about our lives and passions? How do we make sense of the glorious mess of life and start thinking about how to tame it into a story? What about writing about real people? Do we always have to tell the truth?  Rory MacleanAngela Clarke, and guest Liam O’Dell will help writers explore a wide variety of non-fiction, including memoir, narrative non-fiction, travel writing, essays, biographies, blogs, and journalism, offering tools and techniques to help turn life events into a narrative. This stimulating, encouraging, and friendly week is a wonderful opportunity for each writer to find their own way of storytelling guided by experienced and inspiring tutors.

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

Single room price: £850*

*In addition to our standard grants, we are offering 3 fully funded places to writers who identify as Disabled. To apply for one of these places please send 250 words to with ‘STW Non-Fiction 2022’ as the subject explaining why you wish to take part in this course along with a couple of sentences touching on your access requirements by Friday 25th February, 2022. You can read about the access at The Hurst here.

If you would like to speak to a member of the team about your access requirements please email in the first instance.

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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