Writing Week: Poetry with the Sansoms

Writing quickly, writing genuinely

Monday May 25th - Friday May 29th 2020


In this extraordinary online poetry writing week we will draft virtually a whole short collection in one week. Beforehand you will be sent an enjoyable reading and writing task so that we can hit the ground running.

Using a range of classic and contemporary poems, brilliant writing exercises will help us to trust our inner life while often taking us out into countryside and the city. We will even make virtual visits to the seaside as well as galleries and museums.

Small group work and quiet personal time will be encouraged, though ultimately a genuine group dynamic will emerge in what promises to be an uplifting and exhilarating course. In among it all we’ll find time to address fundamental principles of the practice of poetry, including form and voice. This will be a hugely enjoyable week that is sure to move your writing on a long way.

What is a Writing Week?

We’ll help you to make ‘Arvon at Home’, turning your own place into a writing cocoon, capturing the transformative power of our acclaimed Arvon residential courses.

You will be offered the best of a classic Arvon residential week, with a few virtual tweaks. Spot the difference: two brilliant author-tutors at your service, daily morning workshops, one-to-one tutorials with both tutors, three evening get-togethers with your supportive group, a mid-week guest reading, a celebratory Friday-evening collective reading, and time and encouragement to write every day.

You will receive a free ticket to our Wednesday evening Live Guest Reading with Colin Grant.

All gatherings, one-to-one or group, will be delivered via Zoom, so you’ll need a reliable internet connection. Your Arvon Centre host will be on call to offer support, including any technical help you may need. To participate, and to get the most out of the week, you’ll need to turn up online for all planned morning sessions, Monday to Friday. You should also set aside your afternoons for tutorials and independent writing time. Last but not least, we urge you to read your tutors’ published work before the week starts.

Dates: Monday 25 May 5pm  — Friday 29 May 9pm
Cost: £350

If you have any questions about how the week works, or are in receipt of state benefits and would like to apply for a grant to reduce the course fee please contact communications@arvon.org (grants are limited to four places).

Add to waiting list



5pm—7pm: Everyone gathers online in Arvon’s Zoom Writing House. The Arvon Centre Director will welcome you and the tutors, giving you an overview of the week, technology support, and some ideas for making your writing ‘cocoon’. You’ll get to meet everyone, ask questions, and settle in. Your tutors will ask you to start thinking about your writing, perhaps setting an exercise. There’s likely to be some homework for tomorrow morning.


10am—1pm: Everyone meets online for the morning workshop, which includes writing exercises, discussion and comfort breaks.

2pm—5.30pm: One-to-one tutorials lasting about 20 minutes each. You have one tutorial with each tutor during the week; the rest of the afternoon is your time to think and write.

6pm—7pm: Informal evening get-together (optional). This is a chance to discuss the day’s work, any writing issues, what you’re drinking/eating, and anything else that springs to mind.


The timing is just like yesterday…

10am—1pm: morning workshop

2pm—5.30pm: afternoon one-to-one tutorials

6pm—7pm: evening group get-together (optional)


7.15pm: The Arvon Wednesday Live Guest Reading—you get a free ticket to this.


10am—1pm: morning workshop

2pm—5.30pm: afternoon one-to-one tutorials

6pm—7pm: evening group get-together (optional)


10am—1pm: morning workshop

2pm—5.30pm: afternoon tutorials


7pm—9pm: Friday evening culminates with a celebratory reading where you have the chance to share some of your new writing. Expect laughter, tears and a huge sense of pride for all you have learned, written and achieved this week. There’ll be plenty of virtual hugs.

And then...

The week doesn’t stop here. You now have a writing community. Stay in touch. Share your work with each other, and take it forward.



See all Courses & Retreats