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time and space to write

residential creative writing courses 2014

Welcome 2 What is Arvon? 6 The Arvon week 8 Choosing a course 9 Arvon’s work with schools and groups 10 Can you help? 12 The Hurst renovation 14 Arvon centres 16 2014 course programme 26 Course fees and grants for writers 148 Terms and conditions 154 Course index 158

WELCOME Ruth Borthwick, Chief Executive 2014 is a big year for Arvon. The Hurst Manor House is open for the first time to writers. We’ve been working hard to renovate it ready for its new life. The house that was John Osborne’s home, and where he wrote Déjà Vu, has been completely refurbished to a standard that we feel will inspire writers today and generations of writers to come. The Hurst opening means that we’re back to full strength across all our centres. With an exciting programme of 99 Arvon weeks, you can come and try writing for the first time, or explore a new form, or develop work-in-progress, with support or on retreat.


Don’t be put off if you can’t afford it. Each centre has a grant pot to help you, and last year we were able to help more than 90% of writers who applied. Do look at the information on page 149 about how we can help you, and get in touch with us. If you’re new to Arvon, a good way in might be our Starting to Write weeks. No previous writing experience is presumed, and you can try your hand at different genres or techniques to see what chimes with you. This year we present over 30 courses for fiction writers. Highlights include Science Fiction tutored by Simon Ings and Liz Jensen. Queer Fiction is back by popular demand, and features Kerry Hudson and Jonathan Kemp.

Mark Haddon, Andrew Miller, Bernardine Evaristo and Jim Crace all return to Arvon this year. Responding to growing interest in the short story form, we offer a new course: Starting to Write the Short Story. And the Graphic Novel week, pioneered by Arvon, is back with a vengeance. Poetry is important to Arvon, and we have 13 courses this year, featuring two of the 2013 Forward Prize Best Collection nominees, Sinéad Morrissey and Jacob Polley, and the winner, Michael Symmons Roberts. We welcome Michael Longley, one of the finest lyrical poets of his generation. And Warsan Shire, first winner of the African Poetry Prize, debuts.

Children’s Laureate Malorie Blackman joins Melvin Burgess to teach one of our four weeks aimed at those of you who’d like to write for children and young adults. After our success in 2012 with Literary Translation, we’re proud to bring the course back this year with tutors Maureen Freely, translator of Orhan Pamuk, and Sasha Dugdale, editor of Modern Poetry in Translation. Whether you prefer pen and paper or, as our sadly missed late patron Seamus Heaney described it, ‘the screen aglow and the immaculate conception of letters’, Arvon welcomes you as a writer this year. We look forward to seeing you.

We have more writing for theatre, radio and TV courses than ever before, with inspiring tutors such as Simon Armitage, Willy Russell, David Eldridge and Rebecca Lenkiewicz.






Since 1968, Arvon has been offering people time and space to write. In beautiful countryside, with expert tuition from leading authors and the support of other like-minded writers, you can feed your imagination and let your stories flourish. We run an annual programme of residential courses for schools, groups and individuals at our four rural writing houses – in Devon, Inverness-shire, Shropshire and Yorkshire. In this booklet you’ll find details of our 2014 adult programme of courses, covering a wide range of genres, for writers at all levels of experience, from beginners to emerging and published writers.

We think we offer you more than a course. We’ve cultivated the ideal environment for your creativity to thrive. Time and time again, we hear how surprised and delighted people are by the results of their Arvon week, and how the experience has boosted their confidence and creativity long after. Thanks to the support of Arts Council England and generous donors, we are able to offer grants to cover some or all of the fee. Nine out of ten people who apply receive some support. Find out how to apply on page 149. We also run Arvon City, our three-day non-residential creative writing courses in city centres. Have a look on our website in summer 2014 for more details.



Our writing centres have a relaxed, friendly and informal atmosphere – they’re not hotels, they are your home for a week. You’ll be writing, cooking and eating together with a group of up to 15 other writers, and working with two tutors. Most Arvon weeks follow this structure (although retreats are a little different): • Each morning the tutors lead workshops to help you explore writing ideas, forms and techniques.

• Afternoons are your time for writing and one-to-one tutorials. You’ll have two tutorials (about 20 minutes long), one with each tutor during the week, to consider your writing in depth. • On Tuesday evening the tutors will read from their own work. • On Wednesday evening a guest speaker will join the group. • On Friday evening the group gets together to share and celebrate each other’s writing. • The week comes to a close on Saturday morning, after breakfast.



It’s important to read the course descriptions carefully. If it sounds like you’re the intended audience, then it’s probably the course for you. Apart from Retreats, Starting to Write and Work-in-Progress courses, all weeks are suitable for writers at any level of experience. Starting to Write If you’ve done little creative writing before, or none at all, then a Starting to Write course might suit you best. We offer Starting to Write courses in specific genres, and a general Starting to Write course that includes fiction and poetry writing. Work-in-Progress Work-in-Progress weeks are designed for people who already have significant writing experience and would like project-specific feedback and writing time.

Retreats We recommend retreats for the more experienced writer. All retreats offer single rooms only. Otherwise, domestic arrangements are the same as for all courses. We have four types of retreat: Tutored Retreat Two tutors are available for one-to-one tutorials, with a guest tutor on Wednesday. There are no workshops in the morning. Retreat No tutors, no morning workshops and no evening readings. You’re free to structure your time as you see fit. Friends’ Retreat This week is structured as a retreat, but it’s open only to Arvon Friends. See p13. Retreat with Yoga This is structured in the same way as a retreat, but you have optional hatha yoga and meditation sessions in the morning and evening with a trained instructor.


ARVON’S WORK WITH SCHOOLS AND GROUPS At the heart of Arvon is the desire to encourage anyone, regardless of background, to find a voice through writing. About a third of our residential weeks are with schools, young people and adult groups. Our weeks for schools and groups follow the same pattern as our public course programme. Whether you want to bring talented writers, or individuals who need more support, each week with a school or group is shaped around the participants’ needs and interests. Recent groups have recorded radio plays and produced anthologies.


We also run bespoke projects such as (M)Other Tongues, working with multilingual young people, and Writing The Game, exploring creative writing with pupils who love football but are less engaged with English and writing. Each year we work with a group of writers from Vita Nova, an arts organisation supporting adults in recovery from addiction. “He struggled with English all through school, and this course has had a major impact on his grades. It’s given him a boost in his confidence and he’s a different person.” —Parent

To find out more, contact Emma Feasey 0207 324 2562 schoolsandgroups

Our centres provide the perfect environment for imagination to thrive, and for writing and language skills to improve. The experience also helps with self-belief, confidence and communication skills. For many, these five days can be life-changing.

We also offer grants for teachers of English to come on an Arvon week – see page 149 for more details. “Arvon is the single most important organisation for sharing and exploring creative writing in the UK” —Carol Ann Duffy, Poet Laureate

We’re always keen to develop new partnerships. If you have an idea for a project, or know of a school or group who would benefit from an Arvon week, please get in touch.



At Arvon we believe that everyone should be able to experience the transformative power of writing. We rely on the support of generous individuals and charitable trusts. This help enables us to reach those who would not otherwise be able to come to Arvon, including those on low or no income, young people, care leavers, and adults in recovery from addiction. “One 15-year-old boy wrote nothing – not a word – in his Year 10 mock exam but, inspired by the Arvon experience, he wrote a piece of descriptive writing that saw him progress from ‘nothing’ to grade A.” —Teacher


Will you support us? Help us reach out and share the Arvon magic with a young person writing their first poem, or with a refugee telling stories they have never shared before. Thank you to our current supporters You can find a list of Arvon’s major supporters on page 153. If you’d like to discuss supporting Arvon, contact Gwendolyn Tietze 020 7324 2576

BECOME AN ARVON FRIEND Stay inspired and help others discover the power of writing

Arvon Friends are at the heart of what we do. Friends’ donations support our work with some of the most disadvantaged young people and adults in the UK. You can become an Arvon Friend from £30 per year. To say thank you, Friends receive priority booking for courses, regular e-newsletters, the chance to attend our annual Friends’ Retreat, and invitations to selected events. To find out more, contact Meg Rumbelow / 020 7324 2558

OTHER WAYS TO SUPPORT ARVON Arvon Angels You can become an Arvon Angel with a donation starting from £500 per year. All donations directly support Arvon’s charitable work. In return, we offer a tailored programme of benefits, including invitations to events and readings with authors. Leave a legacy By remembering Arvon in your will, you can safeguard our work for future generations. We’d be delighted to talk this through with you in more detail. Donate You can make a one-off donation online at or by posting a cheque, payable to Arvon. 13


After many years of planning and nine months of closure, we are delighted to welcome writers back to The Hurst, our writers’ centre in Shropshire, the former home of playwright John Osborne. The Manor House has been completely renovated, adding new bathrooms and bedrooms, improving access with a lift, and creating new workshop and tutorial spaces, a library and a kitchen.

For the first time, we can house all our course participants and tutors in one building, in single rooms all with ensuite bathrooms. We have upgraded IT facilities, improved environmental sustainability and begun the long project of enhancing the gardens and woodland around the site. All this will mean greater comfort and a more enjoyable course experience. We hope you’ll join us in 2014 on one of our writers’ weeks at The Hurst to see for yourself. Find out more at We offer our grateful thanks to Arts Council England and our many other supporters, who helped make this dream a reality.






The John Osborne Arvon Centre, Shropshire The Hurst, formerly the home of playwright John Osborne, is the perfect place to lose yourself in words. Set in the Shropshire Hills, a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the centre includes a newly renovated 19th-century manor house, 26 acres of lush woodland and a spring-fed lake.

Centre Director: Natasha Carlish Assistant Centre Director: Gabriela Blandy Centre Administrator: Dan Pavitt Centre Assistant: Anna Taylor

The centre is fully accessible, with a lift to all floors and 16 single bedrooms, all with en suite bathrooms. There are rail connections to London, Wales, the North and South-West England from Craven Arms station, eight miles away. We can arrange for course participants to share a taxi to and from the station if you contact us in advance.

Telephone 01588 640 658 Email Twitter @hurstonthescene


The Hurst, Clunton, Craven Arms, Shropshire SY7 0JA

“There is something about the natural beauty at The Hurst which supports writing, which makes inspiration inevitable.�



The Ted Hughes Arvon Centre, West Yorkshire Lumb Bank is an 18th-century millowner’s house set in 20 acres of steep woodland. The house once belonged to Ted Hughes and has a breathtaking view to the valley below – a Pennine landscape of woods and rivers, weavers’ cottages, packhorse trails and ruins of old mills. It is half a mile from the historic village of Heptonstall and two miles from Hebden Bridge. There are 14 single rooms and one shared room. One bedroom has a specially adapted bathroom for people with mobility issues and can also accommodate a personal assistant. Hebden Bridge train station is on the Leeds to Manchester Victoria railway line and ten minutes by taxi from Lumb Bank.


Centre Director: Lucy Burnett Assistant Centre Director: Jill Penny Centre Administrator: Becky Liddell Centre Assistant: Jack Bell Bookkeeper: Jean Warburton Lumb Bank, Heptonstall, Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire HX7 6DF Telephone 01422 843 714 Email Twitter @Lumb_Bank

“The grounds of Lumb Bank are breathtaking and I’ll never forget the stunning view.”


MONIACK MHOR Inverness-shire

Moniack Mhor hosts 17 Arvon weeks in the year, and features many Scottish writers amongst its tutors. The centre lies three miles from Loch Ness and overlooks the mountains of Strathfarrar and Ben Wyvis. The house, a cosy converted steading, has ten single rooms and two shared rooms. There is an induction loop and the main work/living space is wheelchair-accessible. The cottage has one shared room for students. There is a newly-built straw bale building that is used for workshops, tutorials and evening readings. Moniack is 14 miles from Inverness, which has a mainline rail station, bus station, and airport with links to many airports, including Gatwick and Luton.


Centre Director: Rachel Humphries Programming Director: Cynthia Rogerson Centre Administrator: Lyndy Batty Centre Assistant: Kelsey Morse Moniack Mhor, Teavarran, Kiltarlity, Beauly, Inverness-shire IV4 7HT Telephone 01463 741 675 Email Twitter @MoniackMhor

“A place of rare space and weatherwildness and beauty. Something magical and good always happens here.�



Totleigh Barton, the first ever Arvon centre, is a 16th-century manor house in one of the most peaceful and idyllic parts of Devon. There is a beautiful and productive garden and orchard. The recently renovated barn offers a comfortable space for evening readings. It lies two miles from the village of Sheepwash, with walks along the River Torridge nearby. Totleigh Barton has 12 single and two shared rooms. The main work/living space is fully accessible and can accommodate a personal assistant. The nearest railway station is Exeter St David’s, which is around an hour’s drive from Totleigh. We can arrange for course participants to share a taxi to and from the station if you contact us in advance.


Centre Directors: Claire Berliner and Oliver Meek Centre Administrator: Sue Walker Centre Assistant: Eliza Squire Totleigh Barton, Sheepwash, Beaworthy, Devon EX21 5NS Telephone 01409 231338 Email Twitter @TotleighBarton

“A perfect place to write, lovely atmosphere, you feel totally at home and free to indulge yourself in your writing.�







March 31 – April 5, The Hurst Tutors: Mark Haddon & Molly McGrann 2 STARTING TO WRITE

April 21 – 26, Moniack Mhor Tutors: Ruth Thomas & Jane McKie


October 6 – 11, Lumb Bank Tutors: Anjum Malik & Linda Marshall Griffiths 8 STARTING TO WRITE


October 13 – 18, Totleigh Barton Tutors: Stephen May & Jess Richards


For Starting to Write courses about specific genres, see:

June 16 – 21, The Hurst Tutors: Julia Bell & Yemisi Blake

June 23 – 28, Moniack Mhor Tutors: Zoë Strachan & Louise Welsh 5 STARTING TO WRITE

July 14 – 19, Moniack Mhor Tutors: Sue Peebles & John Aberdeine 6 STARTING TO WRITE

August 18 – 23, Totleigh Barton Tutors: Clare Pollard & Kei Miller



March 31 – April 5 The Hurst

1. STARTING TO WRITE Telling stories

We’ll be starting from scratch with blank sheets of paper, writing new things in every workshop, and finding unexpected sources of inspiration. We’ll learn how to use the nuts and bolts of language to grab the reader’s attention and hold it for a page or a thousand pages.

Mark Haddon is the author of three novels, including The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time and The Red House. He has written scripts for TV and radio and a play, Polar Bears, for The Donmar Warehouse. Molly McGrann is a literary critic, poet and novelist. A former editor at The Paris Review, she has published two novels, 360 Flip and Exurbia. Guest: Diana Evans is the author of novels The Wonder and 26a, which won the inaugural Orange Award for New Writers and was shortlisted for the Whitbread First Novel Award.


Moniack Mhor April 21 – 26

2. STARTING TO WRITE A little world made cunningly: using metaphor From an image in a stanza to the recurring themes of a novel, the use of metaphor can help us see our writing with fresh eyes. When Norman MacCaig told a toad to ‘stop looking like a purse’ he evoked striking images of both. Drawing on objects, creatures, the surrounding landscape and plenty of examples, we will explore the importance of metaphor in poetry and prose. Ruth Thomas is the author of two novels and three short story collections, and currently works in Glasgow as a Royal Literary Fund Writing Fellow. Jane McKie won the 2011 Edwin Morgan International Poetry Competition, and lectures in Creative Writing at The University of Edinburgh. Morocco Rococo was awarded the 2008 Sundial Scottish Arts Council First Book prize. Guest: Don Paterson’s most recent poetry collections are Rain (winner of the Forward Prize for Best Collection) and Reading Shakespeare’s Sonnets. He teaches poetry at the University of St Andrews.


June 16 – 21 The Hurst

3. STARTING TO WRITE Getting off the ground

Are you stuck in a rut with your writing? Don’t know how to develop a piece of work from the initial inspiration? During this week, we will take you through the process of getting a piece of writing to jump off the page. We’ll look at examples and techniques. With our help, you will create and develop your own ideas.

Julia Bell is a writer and senior lecturer at Birkbeck, University of London. She is the co-editor of The Creative Writing Coursebook and author of three novels, Massive, Dirty Work and The Dark Light, forthcoming in 2015. Yemisi Blake is a London-based writer of poetry, fiction and essays. He makes work for publication, performance and exhibition. He has been commissioned to create new work by Southbank Centre, The Wellcome Trust, Tate Britain and the Delfina Foundation. Guest: Tom Bullough lives and writes in the Brecon Beacons. He is the author of three novels: A, The Claude Glass and Konstantin.


Moniack Mhor June 23 – 28

4. STARTING TO WRITE Plunge into prose

We’ll spark ideas and investigate the building blocks of good fiction: characterisation, style, sense of place and plot. Suitable for beginners and those already working on short stories or a novel, we will create a safe and welcoming environment for experimenting with fiction and finding your unique voice. Come prepared to work hard and have fun!

Zoë Strachan’s latest novel Ever Fallen in Love was shortlisted for the Scottish Book of the Year Award and Green Carnation Prize. She also writes drama, libretti and stories, and teaches at University of Glasgow. Louise Welsh is the author of five novels, including The Cutting Room and The Girl on the Stairs. She is a Creative Writing lecturer at the University of Glasgow. Guest: Andrew Greig has written 20 books of award-winning fiction, poetry and non-fiction. His most recent novel is Fair Helen.


July 14 – 19 Moniack Mhor

5. STARTING TO WRITE Yes you can

You may have been wanting to write all your life, or you may have some issue, experience or story that demands expression. This is a lively, supportive week to discover how to find your voice and develop mood, how to shape and style, and most of all how to make your work rich and enjoyable, for writer and reader alike.

Sue Peebles’ second novel, Snake Road, was published in 2013. Her first novel The Death of Lomand Friel won the Scottish First Book of the Year Award, The Saltire Prize, and was shortlisted for Scottish Book of the Year. John Aberdeine’s novel Amande’s Bed won the Saltire First Book Award. Strip the Willow was adjudged Scottish Fiction of the Year. Formerly an English teacher, currently a full-time writer living in Orkney. Guest: Jackie Kay won the Scottish Book of the Year in 2012 with Red Dust Road. Her previous prize-winning work includes Trumpet and Why Don’t You Stop Talking?


Totleigh Barton August 18 – 23

6. STARTING TO WRITE Finding your voice(s)

Is your writer’s voice trying to be heard? Do you tune in or try to quieten it? Writing (prose, poetry or drama) is always an exercise in using and manipulating several voices in the ultimate search for your own. This beginner week covers everything from ventriloquism to confessionalism, with lots of exercises and chances to start sharing.

Clare Pollard is a poet, playwright, editor and translator. She has published four collections of poetry and her play The Weather was performed at the Royal Court Theatre. Her latest book is Ovid’s Heroines. Kei Miller is a poet, novelist and essayist. Originally from Jamaica, he now directs the Creative Writing programme at University of Glasgow. Guest: Warsan Shire’s debut poetry collection Teaching My Mother How to Give Birth was published in 2011. She is the inaugural winner of the 2013 African Poetry Prize.


October 6 – 11 Lumb Bank

7. STARTING TO WRITE Kick-start your imagination

How do you discover your voice and the stories you want to tell? This week will set you off on your journey of being a writer. You will develop ideas and experiment with the different mediums of poetry, stage and radio. You’ll explore language, dialogue and narrative in a creative and supportive environment. Spend a week immersed in the writer’s process and find the writer in you. Anjum Malik is a poet and scriptwriter. Her poetry collection is Before The Rains. An honorary writing fellow of Manchester Metropolitan University, she has also had several radio, TV and theatre plays produced. Linda Marshall Griffiths writes for both theatre and radio. Original plays include Things Might Change or Cease, Man in the Moon and Pomegranate. Adaptations include The World According to Garp, Pinocchio and To the Lighthouse. Guest: Michael Symmons Roberts won the 2013 Forward Prize for Best Collection for Drysalter. His broadcast work includes A Fearful Symmetry, which won the Sandford St Martin Prize.


Totleigh Barton October 13 – 18

8. STARTING TO WRITE Getting going with fiction

Fiction writing is hard work, and also incredibly rewarding. We will help you begin, give you direction, propulsion and the important tools needed to keep going. With a mixture of stimulating exercises, readings and discussion, we will give you some starting points and techniques to keep moving forward with confidence. Shy beginners, re-starters and the more experienced all welcome. Stephen May’s latest novel is Wake Up Happy Every Day. His previous book Life! Death! Prizes! was shortlisted for the Costa Novel Award. Jess Richards’ second novel is Cooking with Bones. Her debut novel Snake Ropes was shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award and Scottish Book Awards, and longlisted for the Green Carnation Prize. Guest: Helen Walsh is the author of four novels, and recipient of the Betty Trask Prize and the Somerset Maugham Prize. Her latest novel is The Lemon Grove.





March 31 – April 5, Lumb Bank Tutors: Jenn Ashworth & Tim Pears 10 FICTION

April 14 – 19, Moniack Mhor Tutors: Alan Warner & Linda Cracknell 11 FICTION: WORK-IN-PROGRESS

May 5 – 10, Totleigh Barton Tutors: Edward Docx & Francesca Main 12 FICTION

May 12 – 17, The Hurst Tutors: Andrew Miller & Helen Cross 13 FICTION: THRILLER

May 12 – 17, Totleigh Barton Tutors: Tobias Jones & Adam LeBor 14 SHORT STORY

May 19 – 24, Totleigh Barton Tutors: Adam Marek & Jane Feaver


May 26 – 31, The Hurst Tutors: Bernardine Evaristo & Tobias Hill 16 QUEER FICTION

June 2 – 7, Lumb Bank Tutors: Jonathan Kemp & Kerry Hudson 17 CRIME FICTION

June 2 – 7, Moniack Mhor Tutors: Peter Robinson & Karen Campbell 18 Fiction: Tutored Retreat

June 9 – 14, Moniack Mhor Tutors: Isla Dewar & Morag Joss 19 STARTING TO WRITE A NOVEL

June 9 – 14, Totleigh Barton Tutors: Patrick Gale & Tiffany Murray 20 FICTION: WORK-IN-PROGRESS

June 16 – 21, Lumb Bank Tutors: Peter Hobbs & Anjali Joseph



June 30 – July 5, Moniack Mhor Tutors: Laura Hird & Susie Maguire 22 FICTION

June 30 – July 5, Totleigh Barton Tutors: Jon McGregor & Helen Oyeyemi

27 Writing a Novel: WORK-IN-PROGRESS

August 4 – 9, Totleigh Barton Tutors: Clare Allen & Tash Aw 28 Starting to Write Short Stories

August 4 – 9, Lumb Bank Tutors: Tania Hershman & Robert Shearman




30 Writing a Novel


31 Fiction

July 7 – 12, Lumb Bank Tutors: Maggie Gee & Adam Foulds

July 21 – 26, Monaick Mhor Tutors: Betsy Tobin & Richard Mason

July 28 – August 2, Lumb Bank Tutors: Mark Peterson & Erin Kelly 26 HISTORICAL FICTION

August 4 – 9, Moniack Mhor Tutors: Anne MacLeod & Margaret Elphinstone


August 18 – 23, Moniack Mhor Tutors: Laura Marney & Niall Griffiths August 18 – 23, Lumb Bank Tutors: Jonathan Lee & Naomi Wood August 25 – 30, Totleigh Barton Tutors: Ross Raisin & Susanna Jones 32 Writing a Novel: WORK-IN-PROGRESS

September 1 – 6, Moniack Mhor Tutors: Lesley Glaister & Jane Rogers

33 Starting to Write a Novel

September 8 – 13, Lumb Bank Tutors: Christopher Wakling & Nell Leyshon 34 Writing a Novel


October 27 – November 1, Lumb Bank Tutors: Jim Crace & Susan Elderkin

September 15 – 20, The Hurst Tutors: Jill Dawson & Kathryn Heyman

40 Fiction

35 Fiction

41 Fiction

36 Fiction

42 Starting to Write a Novel

37 Short Story

43 Short Story

September 22 – 27, Totleigh Barton Tutors: Philip Hensher & Sam North October 6 – 11, The Hurst Tutors: Rachel Seiffert & Toby Litt October 20 – 25, The Hurst Tutors: Olive Senior & Amanda Smyth 38 Science Fiction

November 10 – 15, Totleigh Tutors: Sathnam Sanghera & Francesca Segal November 17 – 22, The Hurst Tutors: Courttia Newland & Sophie Hardach

November 24 – 29, The Hurst Tutors: Nii Ayikwei Parkes & Kerry Young November 24 – 29, Lumb Bank Tutors: Alison MacLeod & Stuart Evers

October 20 – 25, Totleigh Barton Tutors: Simon Ings & Liz Jensen


March 31 – April 5 Lumb Bank

9. FICTION Feel the force of your creative energy

We can’t tell you what to write – that comes from within. We won’t rewrite your work – you need an editor. The bit in between – producing the words, finding the connection from brain to paper – that’s what we’re going to help you do. Come and enjoy exercises designed to stimulate your literary appetite. Ink will flow!

Jenn Ashworth’s first novel A Kind of Intimacy won the Betty Trask Prize. She was one of The Culture Show’s 12 best new UK writers. Her third novel is The Friday Gospels. Tim Pears is the author of In the Place of Fallen Leaves (Hawthornden Prize) and Landed. His eighth novel In the Light of Morning is to published in 2014. Guest: Russ Litten is the author of Scream If You Want To Go Faster and Swear Down, and works as Writer-in-Residence at a prison in the north of England.


Moniack Mhor April 14 – 19

10. FICTION Getting and keeping going

This week is for those starting (or already writing) short stories, novellas or work expanding into novel-length. We will explore techniques to keep the word-count building and your work flourishing. We will discuss and reveal our own approaches to writing in detail. Drive away the horror of the blank page and join us.

Alan Warner has written eight novels, including Morvern Callar. The Stars in the Bright Sky was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2010. His most recent book is Dead Man’s Pedal. Linda Cracknell writes in various forms, including radio drama and non-fiction relating to landscape. Her published books include two collections of stories, Life Drawing and The Searching Glance, and a novel, Call of the Undertow. Guest: Catherine Deveney’s novels include Ties that Bind, Kiss the Bullet, and Dead Secret. She has also won numerous journalism awards, including Scottish Feature Writer of the Year.


May 5 – 10 Totleigh Barton

11. FICTION: WORK-IN-PROGRESS Creative re-writing Many authors say that the best writing is rewriting. We’ll spend the week proving them correct, discussing the building blocks of fiction – including plot, structure, character and voice – and how to improve these elements of your novel or short fiction. We’ll look at specific problems and offer advice on redrafting, self-editing and fine-tuning. Bring your work -in-progress and be prepared to see it with fresh eyes. Edward Docx is the author of three novels, The Calligrapher, Self Help (winner of The Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize) and The Devil’s Garden. Francesca Main is editorial director at Picador, where her authors include Lottie Moggach, Naomi Wood, Emma Chapman and Mark Watson. She has previously worked at Simon & Schuster and Penguin. Guest: Lottie Moggach is a freelance journalist and author based in London. Her debut novel Kiss Me First was published in 2012.


The Hurst May 12 – 17

12. FICTION Taking it further

Already writing stories or a novel, but need to push it further? Then join us for an enjoyable week of group exercises, discussion, feedback and editorial advice exploring the wide possibilities of fictional writing. We’ll look at how attention to character, prose detail, structure and voice can make your fiction stronger.

Andrew Miller’s seven novels include Ingenious Pain, Oxygen and Pure, which won the 2012 Costa Book Award. His books have been translated into more than 20 languages. He lectures in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University. Helen Cross three novels include My Summer of Love and Spilt Milk, Black Coffee, which she has recently adapted for the screen. She also writes stories, and drama for radio and screen. Guest: Elanor Dymott lives in London, where for ten years she wrote The Times Law Reports. Her first novel was Every Contact Leaves a Trace.


May 12 – 17 Totleigh Barton

13. FICTION: THRILLER WRITING True crime and conspiracy theories

During this week we will teach you how to write a realistic thriller, focusing especially on true crime and conspiracy theories as inspiration. Taught by two experienced journalists and authors who use their non-fiction investigations as the basis for their ficton, we will guide you through the ways in which fact informs fantasy, and vice versa. The week will cover everything from diction and dialogue to point of view, characterisation and narrative structure. Tobias Jones is the author of six books, three crime novels and three works of non-fiction. He has made many documentaries for the BBC and has been a columnist for both the Observer and Internazionale. Adam LeBor is an author and journalist based in Budapest. He is writing a series of conspiracy thrillers set in and around the United Nations. The first volume, The Geneva Option, was published in summer 2013. The Budapest Protocol was published in six languages. Guest: Matthew Dunn spent five years in the British Secret Intelligence Service, commonly known as MI6, as a field operative. His novels include The Spycatcher, Sentinel and most recently Sling Shot.


Totleigh Barton May 19 – 24

14. SHORT STORY A miracle in a matchbox

To set a short story alight requires discipline and precision. This week we will explore the shape and colour of your story, looking at inspiration and development, beginnings and endings, and how to engage, keep and reward a reader’s attention. Practical skills for writers of all levels.

Adam Marek is the award-winning author of two short-story collections, Instruction Manual for Swallowing and The Stone Thrower. Jane Feaver is a novelist and short-story writer. Love Me Tender was shortlisted for the Edge Hill Short Story Prize. She is a lecturer in Creative Writing at Exeter University. D.W. Wilson is the author of the short story collection Once You Break a Knuckle and Ballistics, a novel. In 2011 he won the BBC National Short Story Award for his story The Dead Roads.


May 26 – 31 The Hurst

15. FICTION People, place, plot

This week is ideal for fiction writers of all levels who want to develop their work in a stimulating, friendly and supportive atmosphere. We’ll look at how stories are structured, how to create dynamic, flawed, interesting characters and how to evoke place and atmosphere. We’ll also be led by your needs… Beginnings? Endings? Finding a voice? What to write? Come along and be inspired. Bernardine Evaristo’s seven books include Mr Loverman, her latest novel. She is also a literary critic and has judged many awards. She is Reader in Creative Writing at Brunel University. Tobias Hill was nominated by The Times Literary Supplement as one of the best young writers in Britain and shortlisted for The Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year. His collection of stories, Skin, won the PEN/Macmillan Prize for Fiction. Guest: Michèle Roberts is a Booker-shortlisted novelist. She has won the W.H. Smith Literary Award and is Professor Emeritus of Creative Writing at University of East Anglia.


Lumb Bank June 2 – 7

16. QUEER FICTION Exploring the alternatives

What is queer and how do we write (about) it? This week will provide an energetic, safe environment in which to explore the difficulties and joys of writing about LGBT lives and issues, or lives and characters ‘outside or against the norm’. Irrespective of sexual orientation, and whether you’re an experienced writer or just beginning, you’ll be encouraged to be bold in your choice of stories, voice, style and character in representing alternatives to mainstream gender and sexuality. Jonathan Kemp’s first novel London Triptych won the Authors’ Club Best First Novel Award. He has also published a collection of short prose, Twentysix, and a non-fiction title, The Penetrated Male. A second novel is forthcoming. Kerry Hudson’s critically acclaimed debut Tony Hogan Bought Me an Ice-cream Float Before He Stole My Ma was shortlisted for numerous awards including the Southbank Sky Arts Awards, the Guardian First Book Award and the Green Carnation Prize. Guest: James Dawson is the awardnominated author of dark young adult thrillers Hollow Pike, Cruel Summer and the forthcoming Say Her Name.


June 2 – 7 Moniack Mhor

17. CRIME FICTION Flesh and bones – taking your crime writing forward You have the bones of your crime novel, perhaps just the skeleton of an idea. How do you flesh it out – or pare it back? We look at characterisation, plot, setting, voice, pace, tone, maintaining tension and pulling together the strands of your work into a cohesive whole – including the allimportant editing process. Sometimes you have to ‘kill your darlings’ to let your story breathe. Peter Robinson is the author of the highly acclaimed DCI Banks series, which has been adapted for television. He is from Yorkshire and lives in Canada. Karen Campbell is a former police officer and author of five novels, including The Twilight Time and After the Fire. Voted Best New Scottish Writer 2009, she was shortlisted for the 2010 CWA Gold Dagger. Guest: Christopher Brookmyre is the author of 17 crime novels. His prizes and awards include the Critics First Blood Award and the Glendfiddich Spirit of Scotland Award.


Moniack Mhor June 9 – 14

18. FICTION: TUTORED RETREAT Starting, finishing, and the bit in the middle Writing fiction poses challenges of imagination, craft, stamina and faith. This retreat offers time, space and our help and experience in diagnosing not only the technical concerns - character, point of view, dialogue, plot, setting but also in clearing some of the psychological hurdles self-doubt, fear of criticism and all those displacement activities that sometimes obstruct a writer’s path to completion of a novel. Isla Dewar worked as a journalist before writing her first book Keeping Up with Magda. She is the author of 16 novels, including Women Talking Dirty, which was made into a film starring Helena Bonham Carter. Morag Joss has published eight novels and several short stories. Awards and nominations include the CWA Silver Dagger, an Edgard Award and a Heinrich Boll Residency. She teaches Creative Writing at Oxford University. Guest: Zoe Venditozzi’s debut novel is Anywhere’s Better than Here.


June 9 – 14 Totleigh Barton

19. STARTING TO WRITE A NOVEL Step by step Dying to start writing what’s been in your head for years but lacking the confidence? Patrick and Tiffany are here to help! Whether it’s a great big family saga, or an exquisite novella, they’ll break down the apparently huge task ahead of you into less daunting stages, from plotting, characterisation and voice, to structure and editing. By Friday night, you’ll be writing your story. Patrick Gale has written 14 novels, including the bestselling Rough Music and Notes from an Exhibition. His latest, A Perfectly Good Man, won a Green Carnation award. He is currently writing an original drama series for BBC2. Tiffany Murray’s novels Diamond Star Halo and Happy Accidents were shortlisted for the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize and the London Book Award respectively. She has two books published in 2014: Feast and Sugar Hall. Guest: Sarah Winman’s debut novel When God Was a Rabbit became an international bestseller and won several awards including New Writer of the Year in the Galaxy National Book Awards.


Lumb Bank June 16 – 21

20. FICTION: WORK-INPROGRESS Finding your voice It’s not just about the story, but how it’s told. This week is designed to help writers familiarise themselves with the idea of literary voice, and how it relates to sentence, character and narrative. Intensive practical workshops will inspire you to hear and develop the voice of your work. Suitable for writers already working on a novel or collection of short stories. Peter Hobbs is an award-winning novelist and short story writer. His most recent book is In The Orchard, The Swallows. Anjali Joseph’s first novel Saraswati Park won the Desmond Elliott Prize and the Betty Trask Prize, as well as India’s Vodafone Crossword Book Award. Her second novel Another Country was published in 2012. Guest: Evie Wyld is the author of two novels After the Fire, A Small Still Voice and All the Birds, Singing. She was chosen as one of Granta’s Best of Young British Novelists. She runs Review bookshop in Peckham, London.


June 30 – July 5 Moniack Mhor

21. SHORT STORY From coal to diamonds

A great short story is formed by compression, as coal becomes diamond. How does it do that? What do you leave out? What remains? How do you cut and grind and polish your stone towards a state of perfection? This is a week for digging at the coal-face, picking up story-stones, sharpening your skills, shaping clarity and brilliance.

Laura Hird is the award-winning author of Nail and Other Stories, Hope and Other Urban Tales and Born Free, which was nominated for the Whitbread and Orange Prizes. Susie Maguire is author of two collections, The Short Hello and Furthermore, and editor of four anthologies, including Little Black Dress. BBC Radio has broadcast 30 of her stories. Guest: A.L. Kennedy is the prize-winning author of six collections of short stories, as well as six novels and two works of non-fiction.


Totleigh Barton June 30 – July 5

22. FICTION AND BEYOND Biting one’s own elbow: games writers play Whether you’re starting your story, sustaining its momentum or in search of an ending, there’s the question of fulfilling that pact between readers and writers of fiction: “I’ll suspend disbelief if you will…” We’ll look at various approaches to narrative and characterisation, from playing it seemingly straight to turning the whole thing inside out. If you’ve got any energy left over, there may also be cricket. Jon McGregor’s most recent books are the novel Even The Dogs and the short story collection This Isn’t the Sort of Thing that Happens to Someone Like You. Helen Oyeyemi is the author of five novels, most recently Boy, Snow, Bird and Mr Fox. Her third novel White is for Witching won a 2010 Somerset Maugham Award. She is one of the 2013 Granta Best of Young British Novelists. Guest: Richard Milward is the author of three novels, Apples, Ten Storey Love Song and Kimberly’s Capital Punishment, and he is currently working on his fourth.


July 7 – 12 Lumb Bank

23. FICTION: WORK-IN-PROGRESS Making and mending the story How do you make a story whose characters live and breathe? What kinds of prose technique work best? What helps you get to the end? Once you have your first draft, how do you make sure the plot and structure are sound, and how do you edit to make it better? Suitable for those who have a work of fiction underway.

Maggie Gee has written 13 novels including The White Family, shortlisted for the 2003 Orange Prize, and My Cleaner and My Driver. In June 2013 she published Virginia Woolf in Manhattan. Adam Foulds is the author of three novels and a narrative poem. He has been the recipient of numerous literary awards, and is one of the 2013 Granta Best of Young British Novelists. His most recent novel, The Quickening Maze, was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. Guest: James Scudamore is the prize-winning author of the novels Wreaking, Heliopolis and The Amnesia Clinic. He teaches at University of East Anglia and City University Hong Kong.


Moniack Mhor July 21 – 26

24. FICTION Make a novel happen

You know you want to! We’ll focus on the nuts and bolts of great fiction: voice, pace, scene construction and dialogue. We’ll encourage you to climb inside your manuscript and swing from the scaffolding, giving you a fresh perspective on your story and characters. We’ll help you resolve creative issues that stand between you and your book. We’ll also advise on the turbulent process of getting published. Betsy Tobin is the author of Bone House (shortlisted for the Commonwealth Prize), The Bounce, Ice Land and Crimson Chona, a BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week. Her stories have been anthologised and broadcast. Richard Mason’s bestselling books include The Drowning People, Us and History of a Pleasure Seeker, which is being made into a television drama. Guest: Helen Lederer is primarily known as a comedienne, actress and scriptwriter. She has also written several books, the latest of which is Finger Food.


July 28 – August 2 Lumb Bank

25. CRIME FICTION: WORK-IN-PROGRESS Beyond the whodunnit Whether you’re writing a hard-boiled thriller, a psychological suspense novel or a country house mystery, bring your work-in-progress to Lumb Bank. Workshops will cover how to write a killer opening, how to research police procedure and the law, how to own your setting, why style matters, structure and perspective, character, dialogue and more. Expect forensic attention to detail, lively debate and a dead-good week. Mark Peterson is author of the Minter series of crime thrillers. Flesh and Blood and A Place of Blood and Bone are gritty police stories set in Brighton and feature DI Minter as their protagonist. Erin Kelly is author of four acclaimed psychological thrillers, with critics comparing her to Ruth Rendell and Daphne du Maurier. Her debut The Poison Tree was a Richard & Judy pick and an ITV drama. Guest: Peter James is an established film producer and scriptwriter as well as a novelist. His Roy Grace detective novels have been translated into 36 languages.


Moniack Mhor August 4 – 9

26. HISTORICAL FICTION Living in the past

Writing historical fiction is about re-creating what it was like to be alive in another time. It requires knowledge of your chosen period, but more than that: it means allowing the reader to imagine how people in the past thought, felt and behaved. This week will focus on how to research and write accurate, convincing and entertaining historical fiction.

Anne MacLeod’s novel The Dark Ship is a Hebridean family saga, inspired by the sinking of the Iolaire in 1918. She has also written The Blue Moon Book, and two prize-winning poetry collections. Margaret Elphinstone has written eight historical novels, whose settings range from the Scottish Mesolithic to the nineteenth century. She has taught writing workshops for 25 years. Guest: S.G. MacLean has published four historical crime novels, set in seventeenthcentury Scotland.


August 4 – 9 Totleigh Barton

27. WRITING A NOVEL: WORK-IN-PROGRESS How to make sense of your novel This week is aimed at writers who are working on a novel, but who might be finding it difficult to advance beyond a certain stage. We will be revisiting the basics of novelwriting and applying them to various circumstances in order to unlock the potential of your work in progress.

Clare Allan’s first novel Poppy Shakespeare was published in 2006 to widespread critical acclaim. Her second, Everything is Full of Dogs, is published in 2014. She lectures in Creative Writing at City University, London. Tash Aw is the award-winning author of three novels, including the Man Booker Prize longlisted Five Star Billionaire. Guest: Kamila Shamsie’s sixth novel A God in Every Stone is published in 2014. She is a 2013 Granta Best of Young British Novelists.


Lumb Bank August 4 – 9

28. STARTING TO WRITE SHORT STORIES The short (and long) of the short story A great short story is truly remarkable, a tale told with precision and economy, the effects of which are moving, urgent and bizarre. A great short story might be funny, sad, dark, realist, fantastical – or all of the above. Every great short story writer makes it their own. Come and write your own great short stories with us. No experience necessary.

Tania Hershman is the author of two collections, The White Road and Other Stories and My Mother Was An Upright Piano: Fictions. She is founding editor of The Short Review. Robert Shearman has written four collections of short stories, between them winning the Edge Hill Readers’ Prize, the Shirley Jackson Award, a World Fantasy Award and a British Fantasy Award. Guest: Ali Smith has been twice shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, for The Accidental and Hotel World.


August 18 – 23 Moniack Mhor

29. FICTION: WORK-IN-PROGRESS Getting to the end In the midst of writing fiction, we can lose our way. We can lose and then rediscover our desire. We experience boredom, obsession, frustration, passion and confidence. This week will give you the perspective you need to find your way back, to re-examine and interrogate your vision: how you prioritise themes, edit, structure, tweak… and how you’re finally going to present your finished story. Laura Marney’s novels include No Wonder I Take a Drink, Nobody Loves a Ginger Baby, Only Strange People Go to Church and My Best Friend Has Issues. She lectures in Creative Writing at Glasgow University. Niall Griffiths is the author of seven novels, several novellas, screen and radio plays, travel pieces, reviews, short stories and articles. The film of his third novel Kelly+Victor was released in 2013. Guest: Leila Aboulela is the author of three novels, all longlisted for the Orange Prize. She won the Caine Prize for African Writing and the fiction category of the Scottish Book Awards.


Lumb Bank August 18 – 23

30. WRITING A NOVEL Plotting, structuring and editing your novel Are you unsure how to shape your idea into a novel? Do you worry that you have too much or too little plot, or that you don’t have the right structure for the story you’re telling? This is a week for all novel writers, regardless of level of experience, who want to begin a novel, get to the end of their draft, or refine their work.

Jonathan Lee is the recipient of a Society of Authors Award and was shortlisted for the 2013 Encore Award. His second novel Joy has been translated into several languages and is being adapted for television. Naomi Wood is the author of The Godless Boys and Mrs Hemingway. She has a PhD in Critical and Creative Writing from University of East Anglia and was the 2012 British Library Writerin-Residence. Guest: Suzanne Joinson is a novelist and travel writer. Her novel A Lady Cyclist’s Guide to Kashgar was published in 2012.


August 25 – 30 Totleigh Barton

31. FICTION Fictional journeys: finding your way

Whether you’re just starting out or have completed your first draft, this week will help give you the confidence to take your writing into new territory. With a focus on voice, form, style and setting, we’ll help you develop new ideas, find technical solutions to old problems, and enjoy the thrills and challenges of writing fiction.

Ross Raisin is the Yorkshire-born author of numerous short stories and two novels: God’s Own Country and Waterline. He is a 2013 Granta Best of Young British Novelists. Susanna Jones is the author of The Earthquake Bird, Water Lily, The Missing Person’s Guide to Love and When Nights Were Cold. She teaches Creative Writing at Royal Holloway University of London. Guest: Samantha Harvey is the author of two novels, The Wilderness and All Is Song. She teaches on the MA in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University.


Moniack Mhor September 1 – 6

32.WRITING A NOVEL: WORK-IN-PROGRESS The art and craft of the novel This week is aimed at writers with some experience, who are writing or revising a novel. As well as looking at some of the key areas of novel-writing craft – structure, plot, setting, voice and point of view, for which we’ll draw on examples from other novelists – we’ll have fun with exercises aimed to free you up and re-inspire you. Come prepared to think hard. Lesley Glaister is the author of 13 novels, numerous short stories and drama for stage and radio. She lives in Edinburgh and teaches Creative Writing at the University of St Andrews. Jane Rogers has written eight novels including Island and The Testament of Jessie Lamb (Man Booker longlisted, winner of the Arthur C. Clarke Award). Her story collection Hitting Trees with Sticks was published in 2012. She also writes radio drama. Guest: Romesh Gunesekera’s first novel Reef was shortlisted for the 1994 Booker Prize. His latest novel is The Prisoner of Paradise.


September 8 – 13 Lumb Bank

33. STARTING TO WRITE A NOVEL Beginning at the beginning If you have the urge to write but don’t know where to begin, or have made a start but don’t know how to carry on, this week is for you. We’ll cover everything the new novelist needs: plot, character, structure and setting. Expect engaging exercises and focused encouragement, which will give you confidence and help you find your voice.

Christopher Wakling is the author of six novels including What I Did and The Devil’s Mask. He is the Royal Literary Fund Writing Fellow at the University of the West of England and writes travel journalism for The Independent. Nell Leyshon is an award-winning novelist and playwright. Her first novel Black Dirt was longlisted for the Orange Prize. The Colour of Milk has been translated worldwide. Guest: Peter Salmon’s debut novel is The Coffee Story.


The Hurst September 15 – 20

34. WRITING A NOVEL Time to write

Fend off distractions! Two highly sociable but determined, productive writers will share their skills in helping you find more space, solitude and discipline in your life to write the fiction you’ve been meaning to write. Expect to work and play hard.

Jill Dawson is the Orange Prize-shortlisted author of eight novels, including Fred and Edie, The Great Lover and The Tell-tale Heart. She taught writing at University of East Anglia and founded Gold Dust, which mentors new novelists. Kathryn Heyman is the author of five novels, the latest of which is Floodline. She has won and been nominated for awards in Australia and the UK and is fiction director for Faber Academy Australia. Guest: Louise Doughty is a novelist, playwright and critic. Her sixth novel Whatever You Love was nominated for the Costa Novel Award and The Orange Prize for Fiction. Her most recent book is Apple Tree Yard.


Sept 22 – 27 Totleigh Barton

35. FICTION Writing in the round

This is a week for writers who have already spent time developing their craft and who are now ready to think harder about how to write fiction. Philip Hensher will concentrate on observation of image, people, manners and dialogue. Sam North will propose various organising principles that allow writers to attain the word count required for a novel. Philip Hensher’s nine novels include The Northern Clemency and Scenes from Early Life. They have won or been shortlisted for numerous prizes, among them the Guardian Fiction Award and the Man Booker Prize. He is Professor of Creative Writing at Bath Spa University. Sam North is the author of eight novels, as well as Five Analogies for Fiction Writing, a critical work exploring the craft of writing fiction. He is director of the MA in Creative Writing at the University of Exeter. Guest: Tessa Hadley has written five novels including The London Train, and two collections of short stories. Her novel Clever Girl was published in 2013.


The Hurst October 6 – 11

36. FICTION Starting out, keeping it up

How do you turn the germ of an idea into compelling prose? And how do you keep going when that initial idea gets tangled, or lost, or changes entirely? Whether you’ve yet to make a start on your first novel, or you’re stuck with a tricky chapter or plot line, we will provide you with useful skills and food for thought on the journey.

Rachel Seiffert has published two novels, The Dark Room and Afterwards, and a collection of short stories, Field Study. She has been nominated for the Booker and Orange Prizes, and was named a Granta Best of Young British Novelists in 2003. Toby Litt was one of the 2003 Granta Best of Young British Novelists. He has published two collections of stories and nine novels. He also writes a comic, Dead Boy Detectives, published in the USA. He teaches Creative Writing at Birkbeck College. Guest: Cynan Jones is the author of The Long Dry, Everything I Found on the Beach, Bird, Blood, Snow, and The Dig, all short novels.


October 20 – 25 The Hurst

37. SHORT STORY Locking eyes with the reader

If, as V.S. Pritchett says, a short story is “something glimpsed from the corner of the eye, in passing,” then it’s the writer’s job to force the reader to stop, wonder and engage with this marvel. We will explore how the traditional story elements of character, setting, pace, dialogue and plot can best be employed in short fiction to pique the reader’s curiosity beyond that first glance. Olive Senior is the author of 13 books of poetry, non-fiction and fiction including Summer Lightning, winner of the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize. Amanda Smyth’s first novel won the Prix du Premier Roman Etranger. Her second novel A Kind of Eden was published in 2013. Her short stories have appeared in New Writing, London Magazine, The Times Literary Supplement and broadcast on BBC Radio 4. Guest: David Constantine’s latest collection of short stories Tea at the Midland won the 2013 Frank O’Connor Award. A new volume of poetry is published in March 2014.


Totleigh Barton October 20 – 25

38. SCIENCE FICTION Dreams and visions

In a world hemmed in by clocks, schedules and ‘business as usual’, science fiction reminds us of the value of dreams, capturing our epic capacity for good and evil. Build imaginary worlds, join in philosophical games, crack wild and bitter jokes and conjure visions both alarming and alluring. For all prose writers keen to experiment, the week will introduce a genre spectacularly in tune with our times. Simon Ings edits Arc, a literary quarterly from New Scientist. His books include The Eye, A History of Vision, and novels The Weight of Numbers and Dead Water. He is writing a history of Soviet science. Liz Jensen is the author of eight novels spanning several genres, including science fiction, among them Ark Baby, The Rapture and The Uninvited. Her work has been nominated for several awards, developed for film, and translated into more than 20 languages. Guest: M. John Harrison’s novel Climbers won the Boardman Tasker Prize in 1989. His most recent novel is Empty Space.


October 27 – November 1 Lumb Bank

39.FICTION: WORK-IN-PROGRESS Taking stock, getting un-stuck You have a novel in progress. It’s going well, or it’s going badly. You’re stuck mid-plot, or you’ve lost heart entirely. Now, in the company of other writers with the same dilemma and with similar challenges, it’s time to take stock and identify your weaknesses as well as your strengths.

Jim Crace has written 11 novels of which Harvest, shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, is the most recent. Susan Elderkin is the author of two prizewinning novels, Sunset over Chocolate Mountains and The Voices and a book about books, The Novel Cure: An A-Z of Literary Remedies, written with Ella Berthoud. She was one of Granta‘s Best of Young British Novelists in 2003. Guest: Katie Ward’s debut novel Girl Reading was published in 2011. In 2013, Hilary Mantel chose Katie to receive the Clarissa Luard Award.


Totleigh Barton November 10 – 15

40. FICTION Beyond the personal

It’s no secret that many novels are based on the personal experiences of the author. But how do you successfully and truthfully navigate the line between the autobiographical and the fictional? This week is designed for writers aiming to flesh out scenarios for such novels, understand the importance of location and perspective, develop characters, and navigate the ethics of creative writing. Sathnam Sanghera is a journalist with The Times and author of prize-winning memoir The Boy with The Topknot, and Marriage Material: A Novel. Francesca Segal’s novel The Innocents won the 2012 Costa First Novel Award, and was longlisted for the 2013 Women’s Prize for Fiction. She has written for the Guardian, the Financial Times, and Vogue (UK and US). Guest: Esther Freud is the author of seven novels, including Hideous Kinky and The Sea House. Her most recent book Lucky Break was published in 2011.


November 17 – 22 The Hurst

41. FICTION Unlock your story

Discover your writing voice and develop your storytelling skills in a supportive, inspiring environment. Whether you’re planning a novel, struggling with a work-in-progress, or have always wanted to write but you’re unsure where to start, we will help you unlock creativity and transform your ideas into writing. Sessions on voice, characters, conflict and setting will leave you feeling focused and refreshed. Courttia Newland is the author of six books. His latest, The Gospel According to Cane, was published in February 2013. He also writes for the stage and screen. Sophie Hardach’s first novel The Registrar’s Manual for Detecting Forced Marriages was named as one of the Waterstones 11 best debuts of 2011. Her second novel Of Love and Other Wars was published in August 2013. Guest: Yvvette Edwards’ debut novel A Cupboard Full of Coats was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize and shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize.


The Hurst November 24 – 29

42. STARTING TO WRITE A NOVEL Finding your voice

Voice encompasses a character’s history, motivations, cadences and context. It’s much easier to start a novel once the narrator has been clearly identified – this can form the basis for narrative structure, characterisation, dialogue and drama. We will explore the idea stage as well as re-writing. We’ll encourage critical reflection on the work produced, considering values and ethical issues. Nii Ayikwei Parkes’ novel Tail of the Blue Bird was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize. His latest poetry collection is The Makings of You. In 2007 he received Ghana’s national ACRAG award for poetry and literary advocacy. Kerry Young’s novel Pao was shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award and the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize. Gloria was published in 2013. She is currently working on her third novel Fay. Guest: Helen Dunmore has published 12 novels, of which the latest is The Lie. She is a poet, novelist, short-story and children’s writer, and winner of the inaugural Orange Prize for Fiction.


November 24 – 29 Lumb Bank

43. SHORT STORY Stories from the here and now

If a writer’s job is to express “what it’s like to be in the world” (Zadie Smith), the endlessly adaptable short story is our most exciting modern form. Writers will discover inspirations for writing by exploring their own twenty-first century interests and fascinations. You’ll hone your craft and deepen your fiction, from tentative draft to a story that comes to life on the page. Alison MacLeod is the author of Fifteen Modern Tales of Attraction and three novels, most recently, Unexploded. Her stories have been widely published and have won or been nominated for major awards. Stuart Evers’ first collection of fiction, Ten Stories About Smoking, won the London Book Award in 2011 and his debut novel If This is Home was published in 2012. Guest: Helen Simpson has written five collections of short stories and her latest book A Bunch of Fives: Selected Stories includes five from each of them




44 Poetry

April 7 – 12, Lumb Bank Tutors: Ann Sansom & Peter Sansom 45 Poetry


September 8 – 13, Moniack Mhor Tutors: John Glenday & Jen Hadfield

April 28 – May 3, Totleigh Barton 52 Poetry Tutors: Mimi Khalvati & September 15 – 20, David Harsent Totleigh Barton 46 Starting Tutors: Tim Liardet & to Write Poetry Jennifer Militello May 12 – 17, Lumb Bank 53 Poetry Tutors: Ira Lightman & October 13 – 18, The Hurst Tiffany Atkinson Tutors: Michael Longley & 47 Poetry Sinéad Morrisey July 14 – 19, The Hurst 54 Starting to Tutors: Patience Agbabi & Write Poetry Luke Kennard November 3 – 8, 48 Narrative Poetry Totleigh Barton Tutors: Antony Dunn & July 28 – August 2, Julia Copus Totleigh Barton Tutors: Ros Barber & 55 Poetry Christopher Reid November 17 – 22, Lumb Bank 49 Poetry Tutors: Caroline Bird & David Morley August 11 – 16, Lumb Bank Tutors: Daljit Nagra & 56 Poetry: Vicki Feaver 50 Poetry

August 25 – 30, The Hurst Tutors: George Szirtes & Kathryn Maris


Tutored Retreat

December 1 – 6, The Hurst Tutors: Jean Sprackland & Jacob Polley

Lumb Bank April 7 – 12

44. POETRY Writing more, writing better

Demanding but hugely enjoyable, this intensive week will make a genuine difference to your writing practice – for both those new to poetry and those who have already been published. Working from classic and contemporary poems, exhilarating writing exercises are the main focus of a week with “the best poetry teachers in the world” (the Guardian).

Ann and Peter Sansom have published several collections of poetry between them. They are directors of The Poetry Business in Sheffield, where they edit The North magazine and Smith/ Doorstop Books. They run a writing school for published poets.

Guest: Michael Laskey co-founded the Aldeburgh Poetry Festival and edited the poetry magazine Smiths Knoll for 21 years. He has published five collections.


April 28 – May 3 Totleigh Barton

45. POETRY The lyrical impulse

We will explore the use of lyric in the construction of poetry and discover how the lyrical impulse can lead to storytelling or to a series of illuminated moments. In using the vocabulary of lyric to step outside its conventions, move in and out of narrative, or towards the ‘deep image’ or extended sequence, we will see if old definitions still ring true. Mimi Khalvati’s collections include The Meanest Flower, shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize, and Child: New and Selected Poems, a Poetry Book Society Special Commendation. A new collection, The Weather Wheel, is forthcoming. David Harsent’s Legion won the Forward Prize. Night won the Griffin International Poetry Prize. In Secret, his English versions of Yannis Ritsos, was published in 2012. Guest: Maitreyabandhu has won the Keats-Shelley Prize, the Basil Bunting Award and the Geoffrey Dearmer Prize. His first collection The Crumb Road is a Poetry Book Society Recommendation.


Lumb Bank May 12 – 17

46. STARTING TO WRITE POETRY Adventures in poetry

Everyone has a poem in them: a way of putting one word after another which makes emotional sense in the same way a pattern can, or music, or a shape beautiful in its own right. Gain confidence in your writing and reading of poetry, and learn how to approach the world with the mind of a poet. Absolute beginners welcome; a refresher for the more experienced too. Ira Lightman makes public art in the North East and, more recently, Willenhall and Southampton. He devises visual poetry forms and then asks local communities to supply words that will bring them alive. He is a regular contributor on BBC Radio‘s The Verb. Tiffany Atkinson is a senior lecturer in English at Aberystwyth University. Her poems are published widely in journals and anthologies. Her third collection, So Many Moving Parts, is published in 2014. Guest: Peter Finch is a poet, psychogeographer and critic. His books are Selected Poems and Zen Cymru.


July 14 – 19 The Hurst

47. POETRY The story line

We’ll take your work in new, exploratory directions inspired by plots from literature, film and music. Exercises and discussions will range from the intertextual use of canonical works, to a search for the absurd, to experimenting with light-hearted ways of letting your own personality drive a poem. Suitable for both the new writer and the experienced.

Patience Agbabi’s most recent collection is Bloodshot Monochrome. She is a Fellow in Creative Writing at Oxford Brookes University. Telling Tales, her contemporary version of The Canterbury Tales, is due in 2014. Luke Kennard won an Eric Gregory Award in 2005 and his collection The Harbour Beyond the Movie was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best Collection. His latest collections are The Migraine Hotel and the pamphlet Planet-Shaped Horse. Guest: Katrina Naomi’s first collection The Girl with the Cactus Handshake was shortlisted for the London New Poetry Award.


Totleigh Barton July 28 – August 2

48. NARRATIVE POETRY Stories in verse

“A poem is a novel without the waffle,” said Ian McMillan. From storytelling sonnets, through narrative sequences, to contemporary epics and verse novels, we will teach you how to use the concision and focus of verse to create characters in deft brushstrokes, develop story arcs in small spaces, and hone poetical plots. For those of you already writing narrative poems, and poets with a tale yet to tell. Ros Barber is author of the verse novel The Marlowe Papers, winner of the Desmond Elliott Prize, joint winner of the Authors’ Club Best First Novel Award and longlisted for the Women’s Fiction Prize. Christopher Reid’s A Scattering was Costa Book of the Year 2009. His The Song of Lunch was filmed starring Alan Rickman and Emma Thompson. Six Bad Poets, his latest narrative poem, appeared in 2013. Guest: Martina Evans is the author of nine books of prose and poetry. Burnfort Las Vegas, her fifth collection, is due in 2014.


August 11 – 16 Lumb Bank

49. POETRY The gift of a poem

Good poems feel like a gift. As we read down the poem we get the same excitement and surprise as we get from unwrapping a parcel. In this fun and stimulating week, writers will be encouraged to write poems that pull the reader back to the beginning to experience the excitement again.

Daljit Nagra comes from a Punjabi background and was born and raised in London then Sheffield. He won the Forward Prize for Best Individual Poem and Best First Collection for Look We Have Coming to Dover! He was shortlisted for the 2013 T.S. Eliot Prize for Ramayana: A Retelling. Vicki Feaver’s The Handless Maiden won a Heinemann Prize and Cholmondeley Award. The Book of Blood was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best Collection. Her poem ‘Judith’ won the Forward Prize for Best Single Poem. Guest: Helen Mort was shortlisted for the 2013 T.S. Eliot Prize for her poetry collection Division Street.


The Hurst August 25 – 30

50. POETRY Rule and self

With Modernism came a new set of rules for writing poetry. A century later, how do we make use of them and how do we break them? How can we up-end conventions of form, music and even voice: the elusive ‘I’, the ‘self’? We will explore the balance between risk and constraint, beginning with what we know (or think we know) and setting off into stranger territories. George Szirtes’ books include New and Collected Poems, The Burning of the Books and Bad Machine. Reel was the T.S. Eliot Prize winner in 2004. Kathryn Maris is a poet from New York City who now lives in London. She is the author of The Book of Jobs and God Loves You. Her poems have appeared in Best British Poetry 2012 and The Pushcart Prize Anthology. Guest: Hannah Lowe’s pamphlet The Hitcher was published in 2011. Chick is her current collection.


September 8 – 13 Moniack Mhor

51. Poetry: Tutored Retreat Making the works

This is a wonderful opportunity to devote time to your poetry. We will help you get started and keep writing if the dreaded ‘block’ is an issue. We’ll also offer advice on taking a poem from first draft to ready-for-submission. For those with a more substantial body of work, we’ll offer detailed analysis and feedback on bringing together a manuscript.

John Glenday is the author of three full-length collections. His most recent, Grain, was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation and shortlisted for both the Ted Hughes Award and the Griffin International Poetry Prize. Jen Hadfield’s third poetry collection is due in early 2014. Her second, Nigh No Place, won the 2008 T.S. Eliot Prize. Guest: Eva Salzman is a Brooklyn-born writer and librettist. She is co-editor of Women’s Work: Modern Women Poets Writing in English and author of Double Crossing: New & Selected Poems.


Totleigh Barton September 15 – 20

52. POETRY Tackling obsession in language

Richard Hugo said that we are all writing the same poem over and over again. Certainly, the obsessive nature of language is what many writers use to give their work power and duende. In workshops, through writing exercises and discussions of formal choices, you will explore your linguistic obsessions in order to be better able to tap into them when writing poems. Tim Liardet’s chapbook Madame Sasoo Goes Bathing appeared in 2013. His next full collection from Carcanet will appear in 2015; his New and Selected Poems the following year. He is Professor of Poetry at Bath Spa University. Jennifer Militello is the author of Body Thesaurus and Flinch of Song, winner of the Tupelo Press First Book Award. She is director of the Creative Writing programme at River Valley Community College USA. Guest: Carrie Etter’s third collection Imagined Sons is published in March 2014.


October 13 – 18 The Hurst

53. POETRY River and fountain: form and spontaneity “If prose is a river, poetry is a fountain.” Stanley Kunitz suggests that form is a way of conserving energy; that energy leaks out of an ill-made thing. We will examine how poetic forms can make our work both shapely and lively. Indeed, we prefer the word ‘shape’ to the word ‘form’. We agree with Raymond Chandler: “no art without the resistance of the medium”. Michael Longley has published ten collections. Gorse Fires won the Whitbread Poetry Prize. The Weather in Japan won the Hawthornden Prize and the T.S. Eliot Prize. In 2001 he received the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry. Sinéad Morrissey, the inaugural Belfast Laureate, is the author of five collections and Reader in Creative Writing at Queen’s University, Belfast. Her awards include The Irish Times Poetry Prize and a Lannan Literary Fellowship. Guest: Robin Robertson’s fifth collection is Hill of Doors. He has received the Petrarch Prize and the E.M. Forster Award. He is the first poet to have won all three categories in the Forward Prize.


Totleigh Barton November 3 – 8

54. STARTING TO WRITE POETRY Finding your inner poet

Unleash the poet within. Through a diverse mix of close reading, discussion, exercises, and invaluable time to write, we will help you find the poet in you, equipping you with a wealth of stimulating ideas and techniques to set you on your way. Supportive, encouraging and rigorous, this is for emerging writers and for poets wanting to revisit the basics of their craft. Antony Dunn has published three collections of poems, Pilots and Navigators, Flying Fish and Bugs, and is working towards completion of a fourth. He is artistic director of Bridlington Poetry Festival. Julia Copus has won First Prize in the National Poetry Competition and the Forward Prize for Best Single Poem. Her latest collection The World’s Two Smallest Humans was shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize. Guest: Sam Riviere received an Eric Gregory award in 2009, and his debut pamphlet was published in 2010, followed by 81 Austerities in 2012, which won the Forward Prize for Best First Collection.


November 17 – 22 Lumb Bank

55. POETRY Poetic play

‘What country, friends, is this?’: Poetry’s New Worlds. This will be a week of energy, delight and serious poetic play, giving you and your poems the space, focus and stimulus they deserve – in a responsive, supportive and attentive atmosphere.

Caroline Bird was one of the five official Olympic poets, and has four collections published, including The Hat-Stand Union and Watering Can, which was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation. David Morley’s recent poetry collections include The Gypsy and the Poet, Enchantment and The Invisible Kings. Biographies of Birds and Flowers: Selected Poems is due in 2015. He is Professor of Poetry at Warwick University. Guest: Pascale Petit’s sixth collection is Fauverie. Her previous, What the Water Gave Me, was shortlisted for both the T.S. Eliot Prize and Wales Book of the Year.


The Hurst December 1 – 6

56. POETRY: TUTORED RETREAT Poetry needs time and space to grow

Bring your work-in-progress and join us for a week away from all the usual interruptions and distractions, in the peaceful and beautiful surroundings of The Hurst. There will be no group workshops and you’ll have plenty of privacy to write and think. You’ll be offered a personal tutorial each day, and the company of fellow poets for conversation and winter walks. Jean Sprackland’s fourth collection of poems, Sleeping Keys, was published in 2013. Tilt was the winner of the Costa Award 2008. She is Reader in Poetry at Manchester Metropolitan University. Jacob Polley’s third book of poems The Havocs won the 2013 Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize, and was shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize and Forward Prize for Best Collection. He teaches at the University of St Andrews. Guest: Bill Herbert’s latest books are Omnesia and Murder Bear. He teaches Creative Writing at Newcastle University.




57 Writing for Children & Young Adults

May 19 - 24, Lumb Bank Tutors: Marcus Sedgwick & Julia Green

58 Writing for Children: Workin-progress

July 14 - 19, Totleigh Barton Tutors: Malorie Blackman & Melvin Burgess 59 Writing for Children

August 11 - 16, Moniack Mhor Tutors: Diana Hendry & Tom Pow

60 Writing for Children and Young Adults: Tutored Retreat

October 13 - 18 Lumb Bank Tutors: Malachy Doyle & Catherine Johnson


May 19 – 24 Lumb Bank

57. WRITING FOR CHILDREN AND YOUNG ADULTS Playing at the edge We will look at practical approaches to improving your writing for young adults and teenagers, with work on structuring your plot, creating great characters and allowing your creativity to blossom. We believe in the importance of focused play, and the taking of risks. Becoming a writer is not about learning a rulebook, but exploring processes that work for you, allowing you to find your voice. Marcus Sedgwick has written more than 30 books, for children and adults. He is a multi-award-winning author whose work has been published in 24 languages. Julia Green’s novels for young adults include This Northern Sky, Drawing with Light, Breathing Underwater and Bringing the Summer. She is course director for the MA Writing for Young People at Bath Spa University. Guest: David Almond’s many books include Skellig, The Savage, My Name is Mina and Mouse Bird Snake Wolf. He received the Hans Christian Andersen Award in 2010.


Totleigh Barton July 14 – 19

58. Writing for Children & YOUNG ADULTS: WORK-IN-PROGRESS

Expanding your toolset On this advanced course for those who have already started a substantial piece of children’s fiction, we aim to help you develop insights into plotting, character, setting and structure, and the relationships between them, as well as helping you to develop your own work and prepare it for submission.

Malorie Blackman has published over 60 books including the ‘Noughts and Crosses’ series, Hacker, Boys Don’t Cry and Noble Conflict. She was appointed Children’s Laureate in 2013. Melvin Burgess is a writer of controversial and prize winning books for young adults. His first book, The Cry of the Wolf, was shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal. Guest: Meg Rosoff is the author of six novels, including How I Live Now, and her latest, Picture Me Gone.


August 11 – 16 Moniack Mhor

59. WRITING FOR CHILDREN Exploring emotion and imagination

This is a ‘how to’ week… How to find ideas and develop them into stories. How to shape and structure a story. How to suit the work to the age/ability of readers from five to 15. How to use powerful emotions. How to use dialogue. How to play with language.

Diana Hendry writes for children of all ages and has won a Whitbread Award. Her recent novel The Seeing was shortlisted for a Costa Award and a Scottish Children’s Book Award. She has five published poetry collections. Tom Pow has written many young adult novels and picture books. When the Rains Come was adapted for the stage – and made into a quilt! Guest: Anne Fine is a former Children’s Laureate. She has published over 60 children’s books, and won numerous awards, including the Carnegie Medal and the Whitbread Award.


Lumb Bank October 13 – 18


Support and inspiration, space and time Space and time, peace and quiet – in the supportive company of fellow writers – to start, progress or complete that story. We will be on hand all week to provide help and inspiration. Instead of workshops, the focus is on you and your writing (for whatever age group, from picture book to young adult).

Malachy Doyle has written almost 100 books for young people of all ages. His most recent picture books include Too Noisy and The Snuggle Sandwich. Catherine Johnson writes for 8 to 12-yearolds and for young adults, as well as writing for radio, film and TV productions, such as Bullet Boy and Holby City. Her latest novel is Sawbones. Guest: Geraldine McCaughrean has written drama, picture books, re-tellings and adult novels, but it is her fiction for older children that has garnered the most prizes.




61 Non-Fiction

66 Travel Writing

62 Non-Fiction

67 Non-Fiction

63 Life Writing

68 Biography

64 Non-Fiction: WORK-IN-PROGRESS

69 Starting to Write Non-Fiction

April 21 – 26, The Hurst Tutors: Horatio Clare & Miranda France May 5 – 10, Lumb Bank Tutors: Rory MacLean & Melanie McGrath May 19 – 24, The Hurst Tutors: Alexander Masters & Helena Drysdale

June 2 – 7, Totleigh Barton Tutors: Jay Griffiths & Ian Marchant

July 7 – 12, Moniack Mhor Tutors: Hugh Thomson & Sara Wheeler August 4 – 9, The Hurst Tutors: Bidisha & Monique Roffey September 1 – 6, The Hurst Tutors: Andrea Stuart & Julie Wheelwright

October 6 – 11, Totleigh Barton Tutors: Kapka Kassabova & Marina Benjamin

65 Memoir

June 23 – 28, Lumb Bank Tutors: Richard Beard & Fiona Shaw


April 21 – 26 The Hurst

61. NON-FICTION A novel approach

During this week we will take participants into the heart of what it is to write well about life, whether from memory, sources or observation. We shall look at how the techniques of fiction and drama – especially in the creation of character, action, structure, dialogue and setting – can be applied to non-fiction, with the aim of producing work that is vivid, gripping and original. Horatio Clare is a journalist, broadcaster and award-winning author. His non-fiction works are Running for the Hills and A Single Swallow. Down to the Sea in Ships – Travels with Men is published in 2014. Miranda France has worked as a journalist and translator. She is the author of two travel books, Bad Times in Buenos Aires and Don Quixote’s Delusions, and a novel, That Summer at Hill Farm. Guest: Michael Jacobs’ works of nonfiction include The Factory of Light, Ghost Train Through the Andes and The Robber of Memories. He is currently writing a personal and investigative journey into Velázquez’s Las Meninas.


Lumb Bank May 5 – 10

62. NON-FICTION Journey as narrative and narrative as journey Journeys lend themselves to narrative – by their shape and their power to transform. But how do we turn a personal excursion or a lifetime’s voyage into prose, be it travel writing, memoir or fiction? Through creative engagement with place and language, we will explore how we can mine our brief encounters and epic adventures, family histories and imaginative quests, and shape them into narrative. Rory MacLean’s ten books include the awardwinning Stalin’s Nose, Under the Dragon, Magic Bus and Berlin: Imagine a City. Melanie McGrath is the award-winning writer of five non-fiction books, including Silvertown. As M.J. McGrath, she writes the Edie Kiglatuk series of crime novels. Her work has been translated into 20 languages and is currently being developed for television. Guest: Monisha Rajesh is a British journalist at The Week magazine. Her first book Around India in 80 Trains was published in 2012.


May 19 – 24 The Hurst

63. LIFE WRITING Compelling telling

Take the experiences of your life, or of somebody else’s life, and turn these rich anecdotes and fascinating memories into prose that is gripping, compelling, and page-turning. This week will focus on taking the real life stories you want to tell and making them dance on the page in a way that will make the reader feel part of the story, and make the story feel alive. Alexander Masters wrote the biography Stuart: A Life Backwards. It was shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize and the Guardian First Book Award. His second book Simon, the Genius in My Basement is the biography of a mathematician, Simon Norton. Helena Drysdale’s books include Looking for George, Strangerland: A Family at War, Mother Tongues and her latest, Tibet: A Brief History. She also wrote and presented the TV documentary Dancing with the Dead. Guest: Pauline Black is a singer and actress who gained fame as the front-woman of seminal two-tone band The Selecter. Her memoir Black by Design was published in 2011.


Totleigh Barton June 2 – 7

64. NON-FICTION: WORK-IN-PROGRESS A working proposal This is a week for anyone with a non-fiction project on the go. From life writing to biography, travel memoir to history, we will help you develop your ideas, establish your voice, steer you through the challenges of your subject, grow your concept and direct it towards a finished piece.

Jay Griffiths is the award-winning author of Kith: The Riddle of the Childscape, and Wild: An Elemental Journey. Her fiction includes A Love Letter from a Stray Moon. Ian Marchant is a writer, broadcaster and teacher of writing. He has written two novels and three travel books. His latest book, A Hero for High Times, is published in 2014. Guest: Simon Garfield is the author of 15 books of non-fiction, including the bestsellers Mauve, Just My Type and On the Map. His most recent book is To the Letter: A Journey Through a Vanishing World.


June 23 – 28 Lumb Bank

65. MEMOIR Writing a compelling life

How do you write a compelling narrative from real life, especially if it’s your own? Where should it start or end? We’ll explore how you can transform lived experience into strong and readable prose. We’ll tackle core narrative prose techniques like characterisation, point of view and plot. And we’ll look at how to write a proposal that entices agents and editors. Richard Beard has published five novels and three books of narrative non-fiction, including the rugby memoir Muddied Oafs and the biography Becoming Drusilla. He is director of the National Academy of Writing in London. Fiona Shaw is the author of the memoir Out of Me and four novels. She has been a Royal Literary Fund writing fellow and is now lecturer in Creative Writing at Northumbria University. Guest: John Sutherland is Lord Northcliffe Professor Emeritus of Modern English Literature at University College, London. He is the author of many books, including works of criticism and autobiography.


Moniack Mhor July 7 – 12

66. TRAVEL WRITING Finding the story

Any journey undertaken – even a brief rail journey to a favourite place – can be a window into the world and yourself. Discover how to explore new places, and revisit somewhere familiar with new questions. We will help you describe the landscape, characters and memories of a place through natural, observant writing that sparkles with authenticity. It can be deeply personal. Hugh Thomson is the author of a trilogy of travel books, starting with The White Rock. His most recent book is The Green Road into the Trees: An Exploration of England. Sara Wheeler is the author of eight books of non-fiction including the international bestseller Terra Incognita: Travels in Antarctica. Her book on the Arctic, The Magnetic North, was chosen as Book of the Year by Michael Palin. Guest: Dea Birkett is a travel writer, journalist and the Guardian columnist. Her books include Spinsters Abroad and Serpent in Paradise.


August 4 – 9 The Hurst

67. NON-FICTION Shaping, planning, structuring, voice, editing Whether it’s memoir, travel writing, journal or letters, every non-fiction writer is conveying a story of some kind. Using practical skills and appropriate exercises, we will teach you how to judge which form suits your idea best. With the tools to be inspired by real life, you can create a work of art from it.

Bidisha is a writer, critic and BBC broadcaster. She has published two novels, a travel memoir from Venice and Middle Eastern reportage. Monique Roffey is an award-winning novelist and memoirist. Her third novel Archipelago won the OCM BOCAS award for Caribbean Literature in 2013, and her second novel, The White Woman on the Green Bicycle, was shortlisted for the Orange Prize in 2010. Guest: Philip Hoare is the author of seven works of non-fiction, including Leviathan, winner of the Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction. His latest book is The Sea Inside.


The Hurst September 1 – 6

68. BIOGRAPHY Writing family history as fact or fiction

For emerging or established writers with a family story to tell as memoir, biography or fiction. We will take participants through conception of an idea, researching family history, structuring a long-form narrative, writing techniques, editing and possibilities for publication. We’ll delve into the ethics of writing about family, and breathe life into fleeting portraits, getting to the heart of your characters and your narrative voice. Andrea Stuart is the author of Showgirls, The Rose of Martinique: A Biography of Napoleon’s Josephine and Sugar in the Blood: One Family’s Story of Slavery and Empire. She is a Writer-in-Residence at Kingston University. Julie Wheelwright’s most recent book is Esther: The Remarkable True Story of Esther Wheelwright – Puritan Child, Native Daughter, based on a family story. Guest: Colin Grant is a historian whose books include Negro with a Hat, a biography of Marcus Garvey, and the PEN/Ackerley shortlisted memoir Bageye at the Wheel.


October 6 – 11 Totleigh Barton

69. STARTING TO WRITE NON-FICTION Experiment and exploration This will be a chance for new writers to experiment with different forms of non-fiction writing, while having fun. We will address the question of how to shape your material and even what your material is. We’ll take a critical look at the range of non-fiction genres and, using imaginative exercises, we’ll explore narrative structure, point of view, voice, character… and figure out where your creative strengths lie. Kapka Kassabova is the author of the childhood memoir Street Without a Name, and a book about the Argentinian tango, Twelve Minutes of Love. Marina Benjamin’s narrative non-fiction and memoir include Rocket Dreams and Last Days in Babylon. She works as a journalist and editor. Guest: Nick Barlay is the author of four novels and one book of non-fiction, Scattered Ghosts, which explores his Hungarian-Jewish family.





Apr 28 – May 3, The Hurst Tutors: Graham Whybrow & April De Angelis 71 Playwriting

May 26 – 31, Lumb Bank Tutors: David Eldridge & Jessica Swale 72 TV Comedy

June 2 – 7, The Hurst Tutors: Laurence Marks & Maurice Gran 73 TV Drama

June 9 – 14, The Hurst Tutors: David Allison & Isabelle Grey 74 Starting to Write TV Drama

July 21 – 26, Lumb Bank Tutors: Mark Illis & Pippa McCarthy 75 Radio Drama

July 21 – 26, Totleigh Barton Tutors: Simon Armitage & Susan Roberts


76 Playwriting

July 28 – August 2, Moniack Mhor Tutors: Tanika Gurpta & Nicola McCartney 77 Musical Theatre

August 11 – 16, Totleigh Barton Tutors: Willy Russell & Nick Stimson 78 Screenwriting

August 25 – 30, Lumb Bank Tutors: Kate Leys & Olivia Hetreed 79 Theatre: Tutored Retreat

September 8 – 13, The Hurst Tutors: John Retallack & Fin Kennedy 80 Radio

September 15 – 20, Lumb Bank Tutors: Colin MacDonald & Marilyn Imrie 81 PLAYWRITING

October 27 – November 1, Totleigh Barton Tutors: Rebecca Lenkiewicz & Chris Thorpe

82 Screenwriting

November 3 – 8, The Hurst Tutors: Paul Fraser & Lucy Scher 83 Writing for Radio

November 10 – 15, The Hurst Tutors: Shelley Silas & Simon Brett 84 TV Writing

November 17 – 22, Totleigh Barton Tutors: Simon Block & Eleanor Greene


April 28 – May 3 The Hurst

70. PLAYWRITING Writing original plays for the stage

Explore new ways to write for the theatre: originating stories, developing characters and searching for dramatic action. We will focus on character, action, setting, verbal technique and dramatic irony. This week will be accessible for new writers as well as challenging for playwrights with more experience. It aims to be creative, inventive, playful, irreverent and fun. Graham Whybrow works internationally advising theatres, playwrights, directors and other theatre-makers. He was literary manager of the Royal Court Theatre from 1994 to 2007, when it launched 50 new playwrights and programmed 200 new plays. April De Angelis has written plays for Royal Court, the Old Vic and the National Theatre. They include Playhouse Creatures, The Positive Hour, A Laughing Matter, A Warwickshire Testimony and Jumpy. Guest: Richard Bean has written 15 stage plays and four radio plays. Notable works include England People Very Nice, The Heretic, The Big Fellah, and One Man, Two Guvnors.


Lumb Bank May 26 – 31

71. PLAYWRITING Thinking theatrically: how to find the dramatic heartbeat We’ll cover the key elements of dramatic writing, from form and structure to character development, narrative and dialogue, in order to help you shape your play. Whether you’re starting from scratch or you’re a seasoned writer, the exercises, group workshops and scene analysis provide the opportunity to explore drama as a form, whilst one-to-one tutorials allow time for feedback on your individual work. David Eldridge’s plays include Under The Blue Sky, Festen (after the dogme95 film), The Knot of the Heart and In Basildon. He has adapted Ibsen and written for TV and radio. The Picture Man won a Prix Europa. Jessica Swale is an award-winning theatre director and playwright. Her plays include Mad Kings and Englishmen, Blue Stockings and Nell Gwynn for Shakespeare’s Globe. She is the author of a bestselling series on Drama Games. Guest: Christopher William Hill is a playwright, radio dramatist and children’s author. He was Writer-in-Residence at Plymouth Theatre Royal.


June 2 – 7 The Hurst

72. TV COMEDY Writing situation comedy

People always ask ‘Where do you get your ideas from?’ The answer is that the best ideas come from within the writer and his/her experiences and observations. In one short week we will show participants how to tap into the ideas they didn’t know they had, structure them into a dramatic shape, and find the comedy within.

Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran are BAFTA-winning comedy writers, and have created over a dozen hit series, including Birds of a Feather, The New Statesman, Goodnight Sweetheart and Shine On Harvey Moon. Guest: Mark Freeland is Head of Comedy at the BBC, where he is in charge of in-house comedy production across television, radio and entertainment. He has over 20 years of experience in TV and comedy.


The Hurst June 9 – 14

73. TV DRAMA The art of pitch

Aimed at both experienced screenwriters and those new to television drama, we will explore what makes a story work and how to communicate that effectively to a commissioner. Whether you’re developing a single drama, series episode or crafting a season arc, the better you understand your characters, story, structure and genre, the better the finished script will be. David Allison created and wrote the 2009 ITV comedy drama Boy Meets Girl, the 2011 BBC1 series The Case, and co-created both series of SkyLiving’s supernatural drama Bedlam. He’s currently developing a legal thriller with BBC1. Isabelle Grey is a TV scriptwriter and novelist who has written docu-drama, original drama and episodes for series such as The Bill, Wycliffe, Rosemary & Thyme, Midsomer Murders and, most recently, Jimmy McGovern’s Accused. Guest: Tony Garnett is an actor, script editor, screenwriter, director, producer and novelist. His many TV and film production credits include Kes, Between the Lines and This Life.


July 21 – 26 Lumb Bank

74. STARTING TO WRITE TV DRAMA The building blocks of drama How do you get started? And how do you keep going? We’ll focus on character, structure and dialogue, and look at treatments and scene breakdowns, in a friendly and supportive week, aimed at building confidence, technique and knowledge. This week, aimed at new writers, should be fun, and should leave you with the tools to keep going once it’s over. Mark Illis has written for Emmerdale, East Enders, The Bill and Peak Practice. He is currently developing an original TV series, and has also written radio plays, five novels and many short stories. Pippa McCarthy has worked in television for 18 years as a storyliner, script editor and scriptwriter. Her screenwriting credits include Emmerdale, Crossroads and Eastenders. Guest: Anita Turner is development producer for CBBC Independent drama. Credits include Wizards vs Aliens, MI High, Roy, Coronation Street, Emmerdale and Holby City.


Totleigh Barton July 21 – 26

75. RADIO DRAMA Develop your technical skills and your lyrical voice A week designed for confident writers who are keen to explore dramatic writing for radio, considering both the creative and the practical aspects of the art form. Alongside workshops, tutorials and discussions, we offer sessions with a sound designer that will give you the opportunity to make a short recorded piece.

Simon Armitage has published ten collections of poetry. He is also a novelist, playwright, nonfiction writer, regular broadcaster and presenter with the BBC. He has written extensively for television, film and radio. Susan Roberts, Editor of BBC Audio North, is a Sony Gold- and Silver- award-winning radio and theatre director. She has produced a wide range of drama features and documentaries for BBC Radio. Guest: Eloise Whitmore is a Sony awardwinning sound designer for radio and animation. She has been making radio drama for the BBC for 14 years.


July 28 – August 2 Moniack Mhor

76. PLAYWRITING Creating a virtual world

What makes a play a timeless classic? What makes an audience weep or laugh? Looking at story, characters, setting and structure, we will help you develop a deeper understanding of the world of your play. You’ll learn to look at big ideas, and how to translate these into dynamic and dramatic action through workshops and scene studies.

Tanika Gupta is a playwright and screenwriter. Some of her plays include, Sugar Mummies, Hobson’s Choice and The Empress. She has also written extensively for BBC radio drama and television series. Nicola McCartney is a playwright, director and dramaturg. Her work includes Laundry Easy, Home, and A Sheep Called Skye. Her current commissions include: National Theatre Scotland; Abbey Theatre, Dublin; Tinderbox; Traverse Theatre and BBC Radio Drama. Guest: Liz Lochhead, Scotland’s Poet Laureate, is also a prolific playwright. Her plays include The Perfect Days and Mary Queen of Scots Got Her Head Chopped Off.


Totleigh Barton August 11 – 16

77. MUSICAL THEATRE Getting your act together

For those of you who want to experiment with how a tale is told through song and drama. We will cover setting the scene, assailing the heart, making the point and moving the plot along. Each evening there will be the opportunity to perform new work. This week is suitable for both tunesmiths and wordsmiths. Please bring instruments where practical.

Nick Stimson is a playwright and theatre director. Recent musical productions include A Winter’s Tale with Howard Goodall (winner of the 2013 Offies Award Best New Musical) and The Day We Played Brazil at Exeter Northcott Theatre. Willy Russell is the creator of Blood Brothers, one of the longest-running musicals in West End history. His other musical works include John Paul George Ringo and Bert, Our Day Out and film scores for Mr Love, Terraces and Shirley Valentine.


August 25 – 30 Lumb Bank

78. SCREENWRITING Creating a screenplay

Using a combination of group tutorials and discussions, small group and individual exercises, we will explore the creation of a screenplay. We will also work with each writer on a one-to-one basis. All are welcome, but you will probably get most out of the week if you already have a project to work on, at whatever stage of development.

Kate Leys is a script and story editor. She works mainly in feature films, for a wide range of producers, on all sorts of stories from action thrillers and adaptations to experimental artists’ films. Olivia Hetreed’s credits include Treasure Seekers, The Canterville Ghost, Girl with a Pearl Earring, Roman Mysteries and Wuthering Heights. She mentors MA screenwriters and teaches many writing workshops. Guest: Hugh Hudson is a documentary, propaganda and fiction director, producer and writer. Chariots of Fire, Greystoke and Revolution were followed by Lost Angels, Dreams of Africa and My Life so Far.


The Hurst September 8 – 13

79. THEATRE: TUTORED RETREAT Time for a play

This is an opportunity to take time to work on a play script, with the supervision of experienced theatre-makers. Rather than workshops, you will have one tutorial each day to focus on your work.

John Retallack’s plays and adaptations include Hannah & Hanna, Risk and Apples. His work has been translated and performed across Europe and the UK. He was formerly artistic director of ATC, Oxford Stage Company and Company of Angels. Fin Kennedy is an award-winning playwright whose plays are produced in the UK and internationally. He teaches on the Goldsmiths MA Writing for Performance and is writer in residence at Mulberry School in East London. Guest: Bryony Lavery is a celebrated playwright who has written extensively for both stage and radio. Her best known works include Frozen, Stockholm and Beautiful Burnout.


September 15 – 20 Lumb Bank

80. RADIO Sound stories

Radio drama is hungry for new talent. More than 50 writers make their debut each year on British radio, to audiences of up to one million. We’ll look at creating drama for this market. You’ll bring the beginnings of a radio play to be developed, with practical workshops and the chance to hear your work performed by two professional actors. We’ll also consider the practicalities of living the writing life. Colin MacDonald has written 17 plays for BBC Radio, as well as the drama series Dissolution and The Whole of The Moon. He also writes for film, television and the stage. Marilyn Imrie is a radio and theatre director: current work includes BBC Radio 4’s Rumpole of the Bailey and sitcom The Gobetweenies. Recent theatre productions include plays by Liz Lochhead, Colin MacDonald, Hattie Naylor and Bill Paterson.


Totleigh Barton October 27 – November 1

81. PLAYWRITING Finding your form

This week will consist of exercises for ideas and for the writing of scenes. We will discuss structure and form, help you to start or develop your ideas and look at which form works best for those ideas. Rebecca and Chris write a range of pieces from traditional scripts to less traditional performance texts and we’ll be looking at these and all the options in between. Rebecca Lenkiewicz has written plays for the National, Arcola, Soho Theatre, Almeida and Old Vic amongst others. She also writes extensively for radio and has co-written one film, Ida. Chris Thorpe is a founder member of Unlimited Theatre and artistic associate of Third Angel. His plays have been produced worldwide and include The Oh Fuck Moment written with Hannah Jane Walker, and There Has Possibly Been An Incident. Guest: Nina Steiger is associate director at Soho Theatre, where she works with playwrights and theatre-makers at all stages of development.


November 3 – 8 The Hurst

82. SCREENWRITING Writing for film

The development process is about getting the script right and there are no short-cuts. During this week in a supportive and industrious environment, we will help you apply key principles of good storytelling for film, with the simple aim of re-invigorating your enthusiasm and commitment to succeed.

Paul Fraser’s screenwriting credits include Twenty Four Seven, A Room for Romeo Brass and Once Upon a Time in the Midlands directed by Shane Meadows. He worked on Somers Town and Dead Man’s Shoes and directed My Brothers. Lucy Scher is director of The Script Factory and author of Reading Screenplays: How to Analyse and Evaluate Film Scripts. She works on feature projects with writers in the UK and internationally. Guest: Briony Hanson is the British Council’s Director of Film responsible for promoting UK films and filmmakers internationally. She was formerly an exhibitor, occasional critic, and co-director of The Script Factory.


The Hurst November 10 – 15

83. WRITING FOR RADIO So you want to write a radio play

Radio writing for beginners or those who want a refreshing approach to restart. With our very different skills and methods, we’ll tell you what works for us. As well as developing your ideas, working on structure, character, dialogue, point of view and other areas specifically related to radio writing, we’ll look at the all important outline, including character and episode breakdowns for series ideas. Shelley Silas’ theatre plays include Mercy Fine and Eating Ice Cream on Gaza Beach. For radio, I am Emma Humphreys (Clarion Award) and Mr Jones Goes Driving. Simon Brett has been a full-time writer for over thirty years. As well as publishing over 90 books, he writes for radio with series such as After Henry, No Commitments and Smelling of Roses, along with one-off dramas. Guest: Eloise Whitmore is a Sony awardwinning Sound Designer for radio and animation. She has been making radio drama for the BBC for 14 years.


November 17 – 22 Totleigh Barton

84. TV WRITING A practical guide to scriptwriting

Through practical sessions, we will demystify the secrets of screenwriting, emphasising craft over ‘art’: how to construct a scene, how to write dialogue and how to tell a story through character. All participants should come with an idea for a short film (no more than 10 minutes), focus on these ideas in tutorials, and aim to complete a first or second draft by the end of the week. Simon Block is a BAFTA, RTS and Evening Standard nominated playwright and screenwriter. He has worked extensively in theatre, and in television across all channels and most formats (especially long-form drama). Eleanor Greene is head of drama at Wall to Wall TV. She is experienced in developing ideas from scratch, all the way through to production. She has produced drama for BBC1, BBC2 and Channel 5. Guest: Tony Grisoni is an award-winning screenwriter and film director. His credits include Southcliffe, The Red Riding Trilogy and The Unloved.




85 Graphic Novel

July 28 – August 2, The Hurst Tutors: Bryan Talbot & Leah Moore 86 Landscape Writing

August 18 – 23, The Hurst Tutors: Sarah Salway & Shaun Levin 87 Text and Image

September 1 – 6, Totleigh Barton Tutors: Graham Rawle & David Pearson 88 Literary Translation

September 1 – 6, Lumb Bank Tutors: Sasha Dugdale & Maureen Freely 89 Return to Writing

September 22 – 27, The Hurst Tutors: James Friel & Clare Shaw 90 Writing for Games

September 22 – 27, Lumb Bank Tutors: David Varela & Steven Hall


91 Songwriting

September 29 – October 4, Totleigh Barton Tutors: Kathryn Williams & Chris Difford 92 Songwriting

October 27 – November 1, Moniack Mhor Tutors: Boo Hewardine & Edwina Hayes 93 Storytelling

November 10 – 15, Lumb Bank Tutors: Daniel Morden & Hugh Lupton 94 CHARACTER WRITING

November 24 – 29, Totleigh Barton Tutors: Nigel Planer & Stella Duffy

The Hurst July 28 – August 2

85. GRAPHIC NOVEL Creative writing for graphic novels

During this week we will explore the form of the graphic novel, be that far-flung adventure, low-key character-driven stories, reportage, documentary or autobiography. You’ll be given the information and skills that you’ll need to translate your concepts, of whatever genre, into fully realised scripts for sequential art.

Bryan Talbot has written and drawn comics including Judge Dredd, Batman, Sandman and the award-winning graphic novels The Adventures of Luther Arkwright, Heart of Empire, Alice in Sunderland and Dotter of Her Father’s Eyes. Leah Moore writes comics with her husband John Reppion. Their works include The Complete Dracula, Sherlock Holmes – The Liverpool Demon, Doctor Who – The Whispering Gallery, The Complete Alice in Wonderland, The Thrill Electric and Albion. Guest: Adam Cadwell is a cartoonist, illustrator and storyboard artist. He is creator of Blood Blokes, co-founder of Great Beast Comics and founder of the British Comic Awards.


August 18 – 23 The Hurst

86. LANDSCAPE WRITING A field guide to writing

As writers, the page is both our map and our path. Some pieces are a short brisk journey, others meander. During the week, focusing on fiction and non-fiction, we’ll use the landscape, maps – real and imagined – and the work of famous walking writers to navigate our way into and through stories. We may even get lost. Walkers and nonwalkers welcome. Sarah Salway is a poet, novelist and journalist. As Canterbury Laureate, she began her awardwinning poetry trail through British gardens – – and she is a full member of the Garden Media Guild. Shaun Levin is the author of Seven Sweet Things, A Year of Two Summers and Snapshots of The Boy. He is the creator of Writing Maps. Guest: Tristan Gooley is an award-winning author of books about the outdoors, including The Natural Navigator and The Natural Explorer.


Totleigh Barton September 1 – 6

87. TEXT AND IMAGE Visual and verbal storytelling

For anyone interested in telling stories using words and pictures. We’ll help you to explore the fascinating relationship between text and image and how one can be made to affect the other. We welcome writers and visual artists of all abilities, keen to investigate this subject through any medium, such as illustrated books for children or adults, cut-and-paste fiction, visual diaries, comics or experimental typography. Graham Rawle, creator of Lost Consonants, is a writer, artist, designer and lecturer. His books include the collaged novel Woman’s World and an illustrated reinterpretation of The Wizard of Oz. His latest book is The Card. David Pearson is listed by the Guardian as one of Britain’s Top 50 Designers and has won numerous awards for book design. Guest: Margaret Huber, American visual artist, is course leader for the MA Sequential Design/Illustration and MA Arts and Design by Independent Project courses at the University of Brighton.


September 1 – 6 Lumb Bank

88. LITERARY TRANSLATION Revealing the world’s great stories

Translation can give voice to the finest literature the world has to offer. During the week we’ll be looking at the mechanics of this creative art and discussing the ideas and approaches a new translator might take.

Maureen Freely is director of the Warwick Writing Programme and chair of the Translators Association. The author of seven novels, she is perhaps best known for her translations of five books by Nobel Laureate Orhan Pamuk. Sasha Dugdale is editor of Modern Poetry in Translation and a poet and translator. Her translations of Russian short stories, Moscow Tales, was published in 2013 and she has published three collections of poetry. Guest: Antonia Lloyd-Jones is a full-time literary translator from Polish. She has twice won the Found in Translation Award and is a mentor for the British Centre for Literary Translation.


The Hurst September 22 – 27

89. RETURN TO WRITING Re-light your fire

Have you stopped writing for a while? Have any of life’s pauses meant that your dreams of writing have gone on hold? This supportive week aims to inspire and refresh your writing. It will motivate you and remind you just how much you love it and why it matters to you.

James Friel’s most recent novel is The Posthumous Affair. He is programme leader for the MA in Writing at Liverpool John Moores University. Clare Shaw’s first poetry collection, Straight Ahead, was described by Jackie Kay as “an emotional blast of a book”. Her second collection is Head On. Guest: Clare Morrall was shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 2003 for Astonishing Splashes of Colour and chosen for the TV Book Club in 2010. Her latest book is The Roundabout Man.


September 22 – 27 Lumb Bank


Games writing demands the scene-setting skills of a playwright, the characterisation of a novelist, the nuance of a poet – and the flexibility to allow your audience into your work. We’ll explore the best AAA and indie games (electronic and otherwise), we’ll discuss what games can become, and we’ll do lots of practical work to bring it all together. Come and play. David Varela has a background in theatre, radio and film as well as games. He’s worked with some of the UK’s top games companies including Mind Candy, nDreams, Six to Start, Space Ape and Sony PlayStation. Steven Hall is a novelist, screenwriter and games writer. He worked as a lead writer on Crysis 3, which was a finalist for the Develop Award for Use of Narrative 2013. He is also lead writer on Ryse: Son of Rome, a forthcoming Xbox One launch title. Guest: Rhianna Pratchett is an award-winning videogames writer who has worked on titles such as: Heavenly Sword, Mirror’s Edge, the entire Overlord series and Tomb Raider.


Totleigh Barton September 29 – October 4

91. SONGWRITING Stories in the right key

Find your centre of gravity as a songwriter through individual tutorials and the cross-pollination that comes from living and working together as a group. Later in the week, producer and recording engineer Mark Freegard will record your work. The tutors ask that you submit a sample of your work on application to the course. Please send two songs by post or email to Totleigh Barton. Kathryn Williams is a Mercury Prize-nominated singer-songwriter. Her first album, Dog Leap Stairs, was famously released on her own label with a budget of ÂŁ80. Her tenth studio album, Crown Electric, was released in 2013. Chris Difford, co-founder and front-man of Squeeze, wrote such classics as Up the Junction, Cool for Cats and Tempted. He has released three solo albums and is now working on a major ITV show with Danny Baker and a musical with Boo Hewerdine. Guest: Mark Freegard has recorded many artists including Del Amitri, The Breeders, Eddi Reader and Maria McKee.


October 27 – November 1 Moniack Mhor

92. SONGWRITING Songs to sing

What makes a song singable? As well as being successful writers, both Edwina and Boo are accomplished performers. During this week you will hone your writing skills through exercises and inspirational talks, but always with an eye to your songs being sung. There will be performance evenings where you, perhaps with a co-attendee (or tutor!), will perform your work. Songs are meant to be heard. Boo Hewerdine is a singer-songwriter and experienced tutor. He has written songs for Eddi Reader, k.d. Lang, Chris Difford and many others. His most recent album is God Bless the Pretty Things. Edwina Hayes is a folk-Americana artist. Her latest album is Good Things Happen Over Coffee. Her cover of Feels Like Home was featured in the Cameron Diaz film My Sister’s Keeper. Guest: Karine Polwart’s debut album Faultlines won three awards at the 2005 BBC Folk Awards. She won the BBC Folk Award for Best Original Song in 2007. Her recent album Traces was voted Best Album of 2012 by The Herald.


Lumb Bank November 10 – 15

93. STORYTELLING A tale on the tongue

Every work of literature tells a story. The stories we tell now are variants of the fairy tales, legends and myths we have told across millennia. Folk-tale is the forerunner to today’s joke and traditional stories carry concentrations of human experience and knowledge. Participants will learn to tell their own versions of these tales and there will be plenty of time for discussion. Daniel Morden and Hugh Lupton have more than 50 years of storytelling experience between them. They have published (individually and together) several collections of folk-tales and Greek myth, and performed all over the world. Guest: Catherine Fisher is a poet and novelist from Wales. Her novel Incarceron was a New York Times bestseller and The Times Book of the Year.


November 24 – 29 Totleigh Barton

94. CHARACTER WRITING From character to plot and back

While the how-to-write shelves are filled with books insisting on the importance of plotting and structure, it’s character that we return to, characters we remember, characters that keep us reading, watching, listening. We will consider how character shapes plot, the importance of authentic dialogue and location, and the way character informs good writing, in any genre, from drama to comedy, from novel to biography, from performance to the page. Nigel Planer has created iconic characters such as ‘Neil’, ‘Nicholas Craig’, and many of those from the ‘Comic Strip’ films. He has written novels, short stories, poetry, articles, TV, radio and two stage plays. Stella Duffy has written 13 novels, 50 short stories and 10 plays. She won Stonewall Writer of the Year 2008 and 2010. She is also a theatre-maker, specialising in improvised, devised and physical theatre. Guest: Vayu Naidu is a performer, storyteller, playwright, novelist, children’s writer and founder of the Vayu Naidu Storytelling Theatre Company. Sita’s Ascent, a novella, was published in 2012.




95 Retreat with Yoga

April 7 – 12, Totleigh Barton 96 Retreat


June 16 – 21, Moniack Mhor


97 Retreat


July 7 – 12, The Hurst

98 FRIENDS’ Retreat

September 29 – October 4, The Hurst 99 Retreat

November 3 – 8, Lumb Bank





Totleigh Barton April 7 – 12

95. RETREAT WITH YOGA Stretch your writing muscles

Escape to the green pastures of Devon in springtime and find the time, space and peace you need to relax and write. Work on your project at your own pace, in the company of fellow writers and with the benefit of regular yoga sessions in Totleigh Barton’s beautifully refurbished barn. Writer and yoga teacher Lucy Greeves will lead non-compulsory hatha yoga and meditation classes, morning and afternoon. The yoga practice is designed to support your writing retreat, adding structure to the day and bringing mind and body into balance. Suitable for all levels, including beginners. Single rooms for all writers at an all-inclusive price of £620. Lucy Greeves has been using yoga to support her own writing career since 1999. She holds a teaching diploma from the British Wheel of Yoga and is particularly interested in helping her students to access a calmer and more creative way of working by practising yoga.


June 16 – 21 Moniack Mhor

96. RETREAT The answer

Yes, you have the idea, the characters, maybe even the first draft, and if it wasn’t for work, family, housework, Facebook... you’d be finished by now. Well this week is the answer to all procrastination. No interruptions at all, aside from the invitation to dine with fellow writers every night. Call your own bluff, and finish that book at last. There are single rooms for all writers and the all-inclusive price is £525 for the week.


The Hurst July 7 – 12

97. RETREAT Writing writing writing

Leave the world behind for five days and retreat to The Hurst in the beautiful Shropshire Hills, for a week of writing, writing, writing. Finish that unfinished manuscript, start that project that’s been nagging at you, or develop the tricky bit in the middle. In the company of other committed writers, come and find some peace, some quiet, and some serious creativity. There are single rooms for all writers and the all-inclusive price is £525 for the week.


September 29 – October 4 The Hurst

98. ARVON FRIENDS’ RETREAT Mellow fruitfulness

Need to develop that novel? Tighten up a final collection? Will walking in our gorgeous autumnal woods inspire a new setting? The Arvon Friends’ Retreat gives you the well-deserved time and space your writing projects need, whatever stage they’re at, amongst the good company of fellow Friends. Their support helped renovate The Hurst. Now it’s time to welcome Arvon Friends to the brand new centre. Single rooms are available for all writers at £525. This retreat is open to Arvon Friends only – find out more about becoming an Arvon Friend on page 13.


Lumb Bank November 3 – 8

99. RETREAT Boost your word count

Leave the world behind for a week and retreat to Lumb Bank, Ted Hughes’ former home, to focus on your writing. In the stunning landscape of wooded hills, you’ll find time and space to write, in the company of 15 other writers. There are single rooms for all writers and the all-inclusive price is £525.






The fee for 2014 standard courses and tutored retreats is £700.

Bookings can be made online at You can also book by calling the centre where your chosen course is held. To secure your place, you will need to pay a deposit of £150 at the time of booking (unless you’re applying for a grant). The balance of your course fee is payable no later than six weeks before the course starts. Please note: we do not send reminders.

This includes a single room (subject to availability), all workshops, tutorials and readings, and full board accommodation (not including alcohol). A few places with shared rooms are available, at the reduced rate of £650. Other courses (all single rooms only): Retreat (untutored): £525 Yoga Retreat: £620 Friends’ Retreat: £525 Grants are available if you cannot afford the full fee.




If you are a UK resident and cannot afford the full course fee, we encourage you to apply for one of our grants, which are awarded on the basis of financial need and not writing ability. Last year we were able to help more than 90% of all writers who applied. Priority is given to those coming to Arvon for the first time.

Arvon supports the professional development of practising teachers of English, who may apply for a special fixed grant of £200 towards a course fee. You will need to send evidence that you are a practising teacher of English at a UK state primary or secondary school, or further education college. Teachers’ grants are limited in number and can be applied for in addition to the usual grant if further financial assistance is needed.

You may apply for any amount up to the full course fee, although most grants are between £100 and £300. We offer higher amounts only in exceptional cases. To help us support as many people as possible, please only apply if you’d be unable to attend the course without a grant, and ask for the minimum amount you need.

Find out how to apply for a grant on page 150.




Download a grant pack from our website, or ask us to send it to you. It contains full details of the application procedure and an application form.


Reserve a place on your chosen course, either online or by phoning the centre hosting your course, and make sure that you indicate you wish to apply for a grant. You do not need to pay a deposit at this stage.


Complete the application form and send it along with your supporting documents to your chosen centre within a week.


After we’ve assessed your application, we’ll contact you with a decision within seven days and finalise your booking. If you have any questions, please contact the appropriate centre. My experience of Arvon was life-changing… I certainly wouldn’t have been able to attend if I hadn’t been given some assistance with the financial side of things —Grant recipient


Arvon Free Word Centre 60 Farringdon Road London EC1R 3GA tel: 020 7324 2554 twitter: @arvonfoundation facebook: arvonfoundation Founders John Fairfax John Moat


Simon Armitage CBE Lord (Melvyn) Bragg FRS, FRSL Alan Brownjohn FRSL Lady Caroline Chichester-Clark Dr David Cohen CBE Carol Ann Duffy CBE Jerry Hall Carol Hughes Baroness James of Holland Park OBE Professor Sir Andrew Motion David Pease MBE Salman Rushdie FRSL Wole Soyinka FRSL Pete Townshend

Joint Presidents

Sir Robert Chichester-Clark Terry Hands CBE

Board of Trustees Nigel Pantling (Chair) Patience Agbabi Sir Andrew Cahn KCMG Tony Cohen Kate Donaghy Marion Gibbs CBE

Robert Hingley Nii Ayikwei Parkes Michael Symmons Roberts Sophie Rochester Meriel Schindler Simon Trewin Virginia Wedgwood

Arvon National Office Chief Executive: Ruth Borthwick Director of Operations: Nick Murza Head of Learning and Participation: Becky Swain Head of Development: Gwendolyn Tietze Communications Manager: George Palmer Finance Officer: Nick Kavanagh Development Officer: Kathryn Beale Development Administrator: Meg Rumbelow Communications and Participation Administrator: Emma Feasey Administrators (national office): Suzie Jones/Joe Bibby Arvon is a Founder Member of Free Word. Free Word works at the meeting point of literature, literacy and free expression, developing collaborations that explore the transformative power of words.


THANK YOU Arvon is very grateful to all the photographers and photo agencies who kindly give us permission to reprint their author portraits for this booklet. We aim to credit every photographer. Please let us know if we have been unable to credit you. Patience Agbabi by Lyndon Douglas Clare Allan by Mark Pringle David Almond by Donna-Lisa Healy Simon Armitage by Paul Wolfgang Webster Tiffany Atkinson by Nick Riddle Jenn Ashworth by Martin Figura Ros Barber by Derek Adams Richard Bean by Steve Cummiskey Bidisha by Michael Hornbogen Pauline Black by Yad Jaura Malorie Blackman by Dominic Turner Simon Brett by Christian Doyle Tom Bullough by Oliver Bullough Melvin Burgess by Catarina Clifford Karen Campbell by Studio Scotland Julia Copus by Caroline Forbes Linda Cracknell by Phil Horey Helen Cross by Jillian Edelstein Jill Dawson by Martin Figura James Dawson by Lee Roberts at CleverPrime Stella Duffy by Gina Sprio Elanor Dymott by Lucy Pope Yvvette Edwards by Danielle Acquah Susan Elderkin by Johnny Ring Diana Evans by Charlie Hopkinson Esther Freud by Jillian Edelstein Jim Friel by Derren Gilhooley Patrick Gale by Aldo Sperber Tony Garnett by Roderick Seligman Lesley Glaister by Andrew Greig John Glenday by MacIntosh Photography Julia Green by Kim Green Jay Griffiths by Tim Griffiths Romesh Guneskera by Yemisi Blake Mark Haddon by Mark Haddon Sophie Hardach by Randolph Quan David Harsent by Simon Harsent

Diana Hendry by Jemimah Kuhfeld Bill Herbert by David Williams Tobias Hill by John Foley Philip Hoare by Andrew Sutton Michael Jacobs by Juan Antonio Diaz Suzanne Joinson by Simon Webb Cynan Jones by Alice Fiorilli Susanna Jones by Nora Gombos Anjali Joseph by C J Humphries Morag Joss by Becky Nixon Erin Kelly by Domenico Pugliese Jonathan Kemp by Dom Agius Finn Kennedy by Phil Adams Mimi Khalvati by Caroline Forbes Michael Laskey by Derek Adams Shaun Levin by Simon Pruciak Tim Liardet by Tomek Radej Ira Lightman by Nick Riddle Russ Litten by Keith Pattinson Michael Longley by Kelvin Boyes Hannah Lowe by Martin Figura S.G. MacLean by Jerry Bauer Susie Maguire by Angus Behm Anjum Malik by Ranulph Redlin Adam Marek by Andy Hay ( Kathryn Maris by Marion Ettlinger Stephen May by Claire McNamee Melanie McGrath by Patricia Grey Jon McGregor by Dan Sinclair Jennifer Militello by Joanne Smith Richard Milward by Paul McGee Lottie Moggach by Alexander James Moniack interior by Gerry Cambridge Leah Moore by D C Sterne David Morley by Jemimah Kuhfeld Tiffany Murray by Fritz Fryer Katrina Naomi by Tim Ridley Helen Oyeyemi by Piotr Cieplak

Brochure produced by me&him + word-design


Nii Ayikwei Parkes by Marrianne San Miguel Sue Peebles by Peter Gregor Pascale Petit by Kaido Vainomaa Clare Pollard by Hayley Madden Jacob Polley by Mai Lin Li Tom Pow by Ross Zillwood Ross Raisin by Angus Muir Christopher Reid by Jerry Bauer Michele Roberts by Charlie Hopkinson Robin Robertson by Norman McBeath Monique Roffey by Julian Anderson Jane Rogers by Laurie Harris Meg Rosoff by Geoff Pugh Sarah Salway by Ellen Montelius Ann Sansom by Charlie Hedley Marcus Sedgwick by Kate Christer Francesca Segal by Donna Svennik Olive Senior by Caroline Forbes Kamila Shamsie by Mark Pringle Fiona Shaw by Keith Pattinson Rob Shearman by Barbaby Edwards Shelley Silas by Robert Taylor Helen Simpson by Derek Thompson Ali Smith by Sarah Wood Jean Sprackland by Derek Adams John Sutherland by Sarah Lee Bryan Talbot by Alan Hillyer Ruth Thomas by Mike Norman Hugh Thomson by Irena Postlova David Varela by Andrew Urwin Katie Ward by Jo Rodger Sarah Winman by Patricia Niven Evie Wyld by Fiona Fletcher Kerry Young by Franรงoise Paton

Arvon would like to thank the following for their generous support of our work: Arvon Friends, Angels, Trustees, our other major supporters, and those donors wishing to remain anonymous The Fagus Anstruther Memorial Trust John S Cohen Foundation Barbara and Philip Denny Trust The Eranda Foundation The Finnis Scott Foundation Robert Gavron Charitable Trust

J Paul Getty Jnr Charitable Trust The Hollick Family Charitable Trust Laura Kinsella Foundation The McGrath Trust Sylvia Waddilove Foundation The Harold Hyam Wingate Foundation

The Jerwood/Arvon Mentoring Scheme is generously supported by


TERMS & CONDITIONS In making a course booking, by phone or online, you agree to the following terms and conditions: Bookings All bookings must be accompanied by the appropriate deposit. For standard Arvon weeks, the deposit is £150. You should not consider your booking as definite until we have confirmed it in writing or by email. The balance of your course fee is payable no later than six weeks before the course starts and we do not send reminders. Unpaid or late balances may be treated as a cancellation. If we do not receive your balance when it’s due, we reserve the right to offer the place to someone else. Travel insurance We cannot reimburse travel costs or other losses incurred by you in the event of cancellation by us or you. You are strongly advised to take out travel insurance to 154

cover potential loss arising from cancellation or other eventuality affecting your booking, including course fees and travel costs. You should check that any policy you take meets your needs. Cancellations Cancellations will be accepted up to six weeks before the course takes place. Your deposit will be returned less a £50 cancellation charge. If a place is cancelled after this time, we will retain the full deposit of £150. If not paid already, the balance of the full fee remains payable. However, for cancellations later than six weeks, we will do our best to find someone else to take your place and, if we succeed, the balance of your full course fee (less the deposit of £150) will be returned. If we cannot re-fill your place, we will retain the full fee.

Transfers At our discretion, you may be able to transfer your booking to another course at the same or another Arvon centre, subject to availability. We will normally accept transfers up to six weeks before the course takes place, and all of the fee paid will be allocated to the new course. If we receive a request to transfer a booking after this time, we will do so only if we have already received the full course fee from you and we are able to re-fill the place on the original course. If either of these conditions is not met, we regret we are unable to transfer the booking and will treat it as cancelled, retaining all of the fee paid. Please note that we can only transfer a booking to a course within the same year, and that once a booking is transferred we are unable to offer any refunds for subsequent cancellation, or further transfers. We cannot accept transfers from week-long courses to any other type of course.

Changes to the programme Arvon reserves the right to make changes to the advertised programme and tutors. As we plan the Arvon programme in advance, changes will inevitably occur to some courses, and occasionally the original tutors are unavailable. We always endeavour to replace tutors with someone of similar experience, and to give you as much notice as possible. On very rare occasions we may need to cancel a course; in this case we will offer you an alternative course or return all of the fee paid. Please note that where we have to change tutors, you do not have additional rights of cancellation and our standard terms still apply. We cannot pay travel or other costs, which you may however be able to reclaim from your travel insurance policy, and our liability to you in all cases is limited to the course fee you have paid.


Conduct Arvon courses rely on a level of tolerance and understanding of others and their creative work and we ask that you are thoughtful and respectful of other students. Arvon reserves the right to refuse a place and to exclude from a course any student who, in the opinion of the Centre Director, behaves in an abusive or disruptive manner or engages in any discriminatory conduct. No refund will be given if exclusion is made for these reasons.


Grants All grant applications must follow the guidelines on our grant application pack. Only UK residents are eligible for our general grants scheme and teachers’ grants are only available to those currently employed and practising as a teacher of English in a UK state primary or secondary school, or further education college. Individuals are eligible for up to three grants in total but no more than one in any given year; each successive grant will be smaller than the last. It is a requirement of the grant that a written report is completed within two weeks of the course. Other restrictions and conditions may apply to other grant schemes run by Arvon.

Under 18s Anyone under 18 wishing to book on one of the public open courses shown in this booklet must provide written consent from their parent or guardian at the time of booking. We do not accept bookings from anyone under 16. Please note that under 18s may only book into single rooms. Parents should note that Arvon does not act in loco parentis. Loss Arvon cannot accept responsibility for any loss, damage or expense sustained by students as a result of an event or circumstance whether arising from natural cause, human agency, or beyond its control otherwise. Where Arvon is unable to provide a course place to you for any reason, our liability is limited to return of the fees paid.

Participation and access Arvon is committed to providing a supportive and welcoming environment to all. During a week’s stay, course participants should expect to take part in daily group workshops, one-to-one sessions with tutors, group readings and discussions. You will also be expected to share in domestic duties with your group, such as preparing a meal and washing up, for which guidance is provided. Arvon staff provide some general support to all participants but not continuous care, and participants should be able to live independently. Depending on circumstances, we may be able to accommodate a personal care assistant. While we offer some accessible facilities, our centres do vary considerably and we regret we may not be able to accommodate some requirements. If you have specific needs, it is important that you discuss these with the centre prior to booking, to establish whether your needs can be met.



No. Course title

Mar 31 - Apr 5 Mar 31 - April 5 Apr 7 - 12 Apr 7 - 12 Apr 14 - 19 Apr 21 - 26 Apr 21 - 26 Apr 28 - May 3 Apr 28 - May 3 May 5 - 10 May 5 -10 May 12 - 17 May 12 - 17 May 12 - 17 May 16 - 21 May 19 - 24 May 19 - 24 May 19 - 24 May 26 - 31 May 26 - 31 June 2 - 7 June 2 - 7 June 2 - 7 June 2 - 7 June 9 - 14

9 1 95 44 10 2 61 45 70 62 11 12 46 13 3 14 57 63 15 71 16 17 64 72 18


Fiction Starting to Write Retreat with Yoga Poetry Fiction Starting to Write Non-Fiction Poetry Playwriting Non-Fiction Fiction: W-i-P Fiction Starting to Write Poetry Fiction: Thriller Starting to Write Short Story Writing for Children & YA Life Writing Fiction Playwriting Queer Fiction Crime Fiction Non-Fiction: W-i-P TV Comedy Fiction: Tutored Retreat


42 30 141 79 43 31 100 80 112 101 44 45 81 46 32 47 94 102 48 113 49 50 103 114 51

W-i-P: Work-in-Progress W-f-C: Writing for Children YA: Young Adults Date

No. Course title

June 9 - 14 June 9 - 14 June 16 - 21 June 16 -21 June 23 - 28 June 23 - 28 June 30 - July 5 June 30 - July 5 July 7 - 12 July 7 - 12 July 7 - 12 July 14 - 19 July 14 - 19 July 14 - 19 July 21 - 26 July 21 - 26 July 21 - 26 July 28 - Aug 2 July 28 - Aug 2 July 28 - Aug 2 July 28 - Aug 2 Aug 4 - 9 Aug 4 - 9 Aug 4 - 9 Aug 4 - 9

19 73 20 96 4 65 21 22 23 66 97 5 47 58 24 74 75 25 48 76 85 26 27 28 67

Centre Page

TB Starting to Write a Novel TH TV Drama LB Fiction: W-i-P MM Retreat MM Starting to Write LB Memoir MM Short Story TB Fiction and Beyond LB Fiction: W-i-P MM Travel Writing TH Retreat MM Starting to Write TH Poetry TB W-f-C & YA: W-i-P MM Fiction Starting to Write TV Drama LB TB Radio Drama LB Crime Fiction: W-i-P TB Narrative Poetry MM Playwriting TH Graphic Novel MM Historical Fiction TB Writing a Novel: W-i-P Starting to Write Short Stories LB TH Non-Fiction

52 115 53 142 33 104 54 55 56 105 143 34 82 95 57 116 117 58 83 118 129 59 60 61 106



No. Course title

Aug 11 - 16 Aug 11 - 16 Aug 11 - 16 Aug 18 - 23 Aug 18 - 23 Aug 18 - 23 Aug 18 - 23 Aug 25 - 30 Aug 25 - 30 Aug 25 - 30 Sep 1 - 6 Sep 1 - 6 Sep 1 - 6 Sep 1 - 6 Sep 8 - 13 Sep 8- 13 Sep 8 - 13 Sep 15 - 20 Sep 15 - 20 Sep 15 - 20 Sep 22 - 27 Sep 22 - 27 Sep 22 - 27 Sep 29 - Oct 4 Sep 29 - Oct 4

49 59 77 29 30 86 6 31 50 78 32 68 87 88 51 33 79 34 52 80 35 89 90 91 98


Poetry Writing for Children Musical Theatre Fiction: W-i-P Writing a Novel Landscape Writing Starting to Write Fiction Poetry Screenwriting Writing a Novel: W-i-P Biography Text and Image Literary Translation Poetry: Tutored Retreat Starting to Write a Novel Theatre: Tutored Retreat Writing a Novel Poetry Radio Fiction Return to Writing Writing for Games Songwriting Friends’ Retreat


84 96 119 62 63 130 35 64 85 120 65 107 131 132 86 66 121 67 87 122 68 133 134 135 144

W-i-P: Work-in-Progress W-f-C: Writing for Children YA: Young Adults Date

No. Course title

Oct 6 - 11 Oct 6 - 11 Oct 6 - 11 Oct 13 - 18 Oct 13 - 18 Oct 13 - 18 Oct 20 - 25 Oct 20 - 25 Oct 27 - Nov 1 Oct 27 - Nov 1 Oct 27 - Nov 1 Nov 3 - 8 Nov 3 - 8 Nov 3 - 8 Nov 10 - 15 Nov 10 - 15 Nov 10 -15 Nov 17 - 22 Nov 17 - 22 Nov 17 - 22 Nov 24 - 29 Nov 24 - 29 Nov 24 - 29 Dec 1 - 6

7 36 69 8 53 60 37 38 39 81 92 54 82 99 83 93 40 41 55 84 42 43 94 56

Centre Page

LB Starting to Write TH Fiction Starting to Write Non-Fiction TB TB Starting to Write TH Poetry Tutored Retreat: W-f-C & YA LB TH Short Story TB Science Fiction LB Fiction: W-i-P TB Playwriting MM Songwriting TB Starting to Write Poetry TH Screenwriting LB Retreat TH Writing for Radio LB Storytelling TB Fiction TH Fiction LB Poetry TB TV Writing TH Starting to Write a Novel LB Short Story TB Comedy TH Poetry: Tutored Retreat

36 69 108 37 88 97 70 71 72 123 136 89 124 145 125 137 73 74 90 126 75 76 138 91






Arvon vouchers are perfect as birthday or Christmas presents. Why not buy a gift voucher for a friend or relative who has a flair for writing – perhaps they just need that friendly nudge? We’ll send you a voucher to give to the lucky writer in your life. Find out more at or call 020 7324 2554.



Arvon runs an annual programme of residential creative writing courses at four remarkable houses in Shropshire, Devon, Yorkshire and Inverness-shire. Tutored by leading authors, the week-long courses offer a powerful mix of workshops and individual tutorials, with time and space to write, free from the distractions of everyday life. Grants are available to help with course fees. “There are plenty of newcomers on the scene offering short courses for writers but Arvon remains in a class of its own. An Arvon course can change your life. It’s as simple as that.” —Andrew Miller “The template of the Arvon course has proved… to be the best of all ways to bring budding, developing and published writers together to share and critique and celebrate writing.” —Penelope Shuttle “Want to write? Arvon has given me the courage and the skills to make it a reality. A week in my life I will always treasure.” —Course Participant

2014 Arvon is a registered charity (Charity No. 306694) and a company limited by guarantee (registered in London No.1086582).

time and space to write

residential creative writing courses 2014

Arvon residential creative writing courses 2014  

Arvon runs an annual programme of residential creative writing courses at four remarkable houses in Shropshire, Devon, Yorkshire and Inverne...

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