Tania Hershman Season

We are all made of stories

Books on the shelf at Lumb Bank

Tania Hershman: Arvon Writer in Residence Autumn ’22 / Winter ’23

Tania Hershman has become Arvon’s third Writer in Residence, curating a programme of events for Arvon.  Tania’s series of online and in-person events has been designed for writers of all abilities to develop their craft.

Tania Hershman: ‘When Mary from Arvon emailed to ask if I’d like to be Arvon’s Writer in Residence, I must admit I had a little cry, because I’m honestly not sure I’d be a writer if it wasn’t for Arvon. I went on my first Arvon course in 2002 at Lumb Bank, a brand new course called “science and writing”. Until that point, I had no idea there were other people who might also want to use science as inspiration for creative writing. Not only did I learn from wonderful tutors how to start to do it, I found I wasn’t alone. Isn’t that what Arvon is all about – giving you permission to do the thing you want to do, skills and ideas for how to do it, and a community of like-minded people? And not just in their three beautiful houses, but straight into your living room too!

The best thing about Mary’s invitation was the word “curate”: I could dream up a programme of events, inviting writers, editors, teachers from anywhere in the world who may not have been on Arvon’s radar to come, read, teach and talk about what they do. So, what have I curated for you? This year, we have flash fiction writer and poet, Frankie McMillan, getting up very early in the morning in New Zealand to read to us, and two fantastic (in all senses) writers, Giselle Leeb and SB Divya, reading from their first short story collections. Susmita Battacharya will be running an online masterclass. And three literary magazines editors will present their unique journals at our online lit mag salon, inspiring you to read and submit to them, and answering your burning questions! And at the beginning of 2023, I’ll run both a 5-day hybrid writing challenge and an online masterclass where we’ll take inspiration from women in history – which will raising funds to help writers who couldn’t otherwise afford it to take part in the face-to-face 5-day Arvon Hybrid Writing course I’m co-tutoring with Holly Corfield Carr.

I’ll also write a new hybrid piece inspired by my residency, which I will share at my own reading, along with readings from my two new books, my second poetry collection, Still Life With Octopus, published in July by Nine Arches Press, and my debut novel, a hybrid fictional-memoir-in-collage, out with Broken Sleep Books in November. I can’t wait – thank you, Arvon, see you all soon!

Mary Morris, Artistic Director, Arvon: 

When I invited Tania to be Arvon’s Writer-in-Residence for this season, I knew that, given how wide-ranging her interests are, she would curate something surprising and original for us: and here it is. The programme she has created brings a number of new, some international, writers to the Arvon fold, collectively drawing inspiration from science, history and visual art.  Tania’s playful and welcoming approach is a thread that runs through the season: with sessions across fiction, non-fiction, poetry and hybrid, some delivered in person and some online as part of our Arvon at Home offering, there will be something for every kind of writer. There will be options for those just beginning, and for those who have a notebook filled with material but are in need of guidance on what to do with it; for those tackling a full-length novel or the particular challenges of flash fiction. And of course there are plenty of opportunities to learn from Tania herself, and to hear her very latest work in poetry and prose. Enjoy exploring!

Tania Hershman HeadshotTania Hershman’s second poetry collection, Still Life With Octopus, was published by Nine Arches Press in July 2022 and her debut novel, Go On, a hybrid ‘fictional memoir-in-collage’, is forthcoming from Broken Sleep Books in Nov 2022. Her poetry pamphlet, How High Did She Fly, was joint winner of Live Canon’s 2019 Poetry Pamphlet Competition and her hybrid particle-physics-inspired book and what if we were all allowed to disappear was published by Guillemot Press in March 2020. Tania is also the author of a poetry collection, a poetry chapbook and three short story and flash fiction collections, and co-author of Writing Short Stories: A Writers’ & Artists’ Companion (Bloomsbury, 2014). She is co-creator of the @OnThisDayShe Twitter account, co-author of the On This Day She book (John Blake, 2021), and has a PhD in creative writing inspired by particle physics.


Tania's FREE 5-day Hybrid Writing Challenge

Each day, between Monday 16 January to Friday 20 January we will email you a writing prompt with supporting materials, guided by Tania Hershman. By the end of the week you will have a draft of a brand-new hybrid writing piece. Tania’s 5-day Challenge will inspire you to get curious about your writing, and give you the freedom to write whatever you want to write in the way you want to write it, without worrying about labels.