COURSES & RETREATS
WHAT IS AN ARVON COURSE?
Beautiful writing centres
Three historic writers’ houses in Devon, Shropshire and Yorkshire. Remote and peaceful, these centres become home to your imagination on an Arvon course.
Be supported by two expert tutors to help you explore and develop your writing. Hone your craft with an inspirational mix of workshops and one-to-one tutorials.
space to write
Step away from your normal routine and immerse yourself in the creative process without distractions. The perfect place to let your writing off the leash.
Encouragement, support and fellowship from a group of writers. You’ll make meaningful friendships and inspire one another by living and writing together.
OUR COURSE TYPES
ARVON AT HOME
Our online programme of activities will help you find inspiration and keep writing, no matter the setting. We're pleased to share our Writing Weeks, Masterclasses, Live Guest Readings and Arvon 1-1s, all accessible from the comfort of your sofa, delivered via Zoom.
WRITERS' RETREATS AT LUMB BANK AND TOTLEIGH BARTON
Six writers are invited to spend six nights (Monday to Sunday) at two of our famous and much-loved writing houses. Spend time away from the stresses and strains of daily life, surrounded by nature, giving your writing the time and space it deserves. Our retreats are Covid-secure and fully catered.
5 DAY COURSES
Our residential courses span poetry to playwriting, song to screenplay, fact to fiction, starting to finishing. Each week consists of workshops, one-to-one tutorials and evening readings. You’ll have time and space to write, and plenty of support. Long after you leave, your creativity will grow.
We have captured all the essential elements that make the Arvon week unique and distilled it into a short course. We have two types of short courses – Friday pm to Sunday pm and Monday pm to Thursday am – which include most aspects of an Arvon week, excluding cooking duties and a mid-week guest.
A dedicated Writers Retreat at The Clockhouse, in the grounds of our Shropshire centre. The former teaching centre for Arvon courses has been converted into four apartments, each with bedroom, study and en-suite bathroom, and all food provided, for six-day and four-day writing retreats.
Tutored retreats are for more experienced writers. The focus is on space to progress with your current work, plus in-depth support from two tutors available for one-to-one tutorials. A mid-week guest will read on Wednesday. There are no workshops in the morning.
Online tutorials offering you the chance to get one-to-one feedback on your writing from an Arvon tutor via Zoom. Including two hours of tutor time: one hour for the tutor to read 2,000 words of your work-in-progress, one hour of feedback about this writing via Zoom, and a follow-up email with recommendations from the tutor.
FIND A COURSE BY GENRE
Starting to Write
Children & YA
Our famous residential fiction writing courses, held in remote countryside locations. Tutored by leading authors including Mark Haddon, Sunjeev Sahota and Kamila Shamsie. Long after you leave, your creativity will grow.View Courses
Our poetry courses begin with a warm welcome, give inspirational support, and end with transformation. Since 1968, our poetry courses have supported and inspired writers of all kinds.View Courses
Starting to Write
Build your writing confidence in a supportive environment, led by experts. We offer Starting to Write courses in specific genres and more general Starting to Write courses that include both fiction and poetry writing. Starting to Write courses include workshops and one-to-one tutorials.View Courses
Children & YA
Our range of courses and retreats aimed at writing for younger audiences – from picture books and children’s fiction, to YA fiction – will leave you feeling inspired, having made progress on your writing.View Courses
Non-fiction and lifewriting courses for writers of all levels.View Courses
Our theatre and playwriting courses are the perfect environment to release imaginative potential. On these courses you will benefit from the support of accomplished playwrights, plenty of time to write, workshops and tutorials.View Courses
Many writers who have been on Arvon’s TV and Film courses go on to have their work produced. There are in-depth workshops each morning, personal feedback on your script in one-to-one tutorials, chances to share your work and ask industry experts questions in the evening, lots of writing time and opportunities for creative inspiration.View Courses
We like to keep things interesting at Arvon, and these courses don’t fit into a box. From writing for wellbeing and preparing for publication, to hybrid writing and nature writing, these courses are as unique as your imagination.View Courses
Grants are available for writers who are unable to afford our full course fees and would otherwise be unable to attend an Arvon week. We offer two grants: a low income grant and a teachers grant. We also offer concession pricing for young people and those in receipt of state benefits.
"My week at Arvon was transformative. The advice, the ideas, the people and the experience have taken my writing to new levels, in ways that I couldn’t have anticipated before attending the week."
— Liz Sage
"An Arvon course is transformative and energising for tutor and student alike; it draws a temporary magic circle within which nobody has to duck their head and apologise for calling themselves a writer."
— Patrick Gale
"Two weeks ago I’d never have scribbled away on a train like this. I might daydream out of the window, passing the time, losing all those thoughts to the air. But now they’ve become a source of stories. Stories everywhere that only I can capture, only I can tell."
— Course participant
It was a week that changed my life. I was very nervous, wondering if I was kidding myself, but the tutors' exercises shook me up. They got me thinking about different ways to write. One of the big things for me was narrative voice, particularly exploring first person, and Kester's voice cam from that....I went on that course thinking I want to be a writer and I left feeling I am a writer"
— Piers Torday
"Utterly exhilarating - a supportive group and constant challenges galvanized my creativity. Performing and writing under pressure in this beautiful space has been fabulous."
— Course participant
"It might be a cliché (what a sin a writer!) but the Arvon course I went on really did change my life; it gave me the space to conceive a long poem I've never been able to match for scope or style since"
— Andrew McMillan