Essays

Taking Creative Risks

Monday January 24th - Saturday January 29th 2022

Totleigh Barton

The essay is an act of creative personal expression, but most of us learn to write them in an academic context where there is little room for taking creative risks or developing one’s own voice. On this course, you will have space to focus on taking those creative risks, and developing your own style.

Guided by tutors Olivia Sudjic and Samuel Fisher, you’ll explore the form in its broadest sense: from the (booming) personal essay to cultural criticism. You’ll draw on poetry, reportage, nature-writing and much more. With the tutors, you’ll examine the editing process and the importance of self-editing; you’ll also discover how your relationship with an editor can help provide a structure within which to mobilise the personal to speak to wider cultural and political conversations.

*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: £815

Add to waiting list Grants are available to help with the course fee

COURSE TUTORS

Totleigh Barton garden and pond

Totleigh Barton

Totleigh Barton, the first ever Arvon centre, is a 16th-century manor house in one of the most peaceful and idyllic parts of Devon.

THE COURSE AT A GLANCE

Writing course tutor delivering a workshop at Lumb Bank

Monday

Arrive late 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. 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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