Writing for Performance with Communities

Monday February 28th - Saturday March 5th 2022

Totleigh Barton

Deadline extended: Apply by 5pm, Friday 28th January 2022

This is a course for writers, performers and theatre makers who are looking to facilitate meaningful creative collaboration, developing work with, by and for communities. Led by experienced and inspirational tutors, Sara Clifford and Francesca Beard, the course will equip you to access opportunities for writing in different contexts and signpost industry links to take your work to the next stage and aim to give each participant a practical tool kit of exercises and strategies for writing and making work, touching on different techniques, such as verbatim, improvisation, devising, spoken word and site-specific work. You will experiment with writing exercises, explore good practice models of co-creation and facilitation, learn to tell untold stories while promoting positive social change. The course aims to create a rich environment where experienced and emerging practitioners create their own community for the week, and therefore presents an opportunity to undertake active research in making and testing work, both for live and online audiences.

How to apply: Please send a 500 word statement describing how participation would benefit both your own writing and the community or professional context in which you work or would like to work to Sophie at learning@arvon.org by the new deadline of 5pm on Friday 28th January 2022. We will now confirm places by the 2nd February 2022. If you feel that writing your application would be a barrier to your application, let us know and we can send you an alternative application medium. We’re looking for a range of people from experienced makers to individuals who feel connected to a community and want to facilitate their stories.

Deadline for applications extended. New deadline: Friday 28th January, 5pm

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

Single room price: £570*

*As this course is already being offered at a subsidised rate no further concessions are available. A limited amount of grants will be available to shortlisted applicants.


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.


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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