Arvon is celebrated for its creative writing residentials for schools, tutored by leading authors, at three beautiful rural writing houses in Shropshire, Devon and Yorkshire. Arvon has been running these courses since 1968, and it has built up a superb reputation for the transformative effect its courses have on pupils’ creative writing. Schools that have brought groups to Arvon in recent years include Bedales School, Wellington College and St Paul’s Girls’ School.
Learn writing from writers
We believe that one of the most powerful ways of learning to write well is to learn from professional writers. Our acclaimed tutors include Mark Haddon, Michael Morpurgo, Malorie Blackman, Kate Clanchy and Lemn Sissay. Each morning there are daily group writing workshops. In the afternoon there are one-to-one tutorials, where each participant gets the opportunity to discuss their writing and receive in-depth feedback on their work.
Time and space for the imagination
The residential provides a chance to step out of the usual routine of exam pressure and curriculum restrictions, to a different realm where imagination is paramount. Our centres are in rural settings – the peace, quiet and beauty play an important role in inspiring the imagination. We make sure there is plenty of opportunity for everyone to have their own time and space to write throughout the week. Each writer gets their own writing desk and is also encouraged to find places to write throughout the house and garden.
Our acclaimed tutors include Mark Haddon, Michael Morpurgo, Malorie Blackman, Kate Clanchy and Lemn Sissay
Community of writers
Living, working, cooking and eating together is an important part of the Arvon mix. We believe that creativity is infectious and that the best learning takes place within a community of writers. Participants are encouraged to support each other in their writing and treat the place as if it is their own home. At the end of the residential everyone gets together to read their new writing – a powerful and celebratory end to the course.
One teacher said: “The trip has raised aspirations so high that the students actually feel they are able to become writers in their own right in the future!”
Courses tailored to your students
We take great care to shape each residential around the particular needs and interests of the group, whether you want to bring talented writers or individuals who need more support.
We work with you to select suitable writers to tutor the week and we can plan a course in any form or genre – from fiction and poetry to playwriting and more. The residentials typically take place from Monday to Saturday, though we can do shorter stays.
Michael Morpurgo, Arvon tutor and former Children’s Laureate, said: “Schools that come to Arvon will experience an oasis, a calm yet an intensity that will help each child find a writing voice. I know no more focused way for a young writer to begin to explore and expand.”
Confidence and creativity
Our centres promote the ideal environment for imagination and creativity to thrive, and for writing skills to improve. In a recent independent evaluation, 100% of teachers reported that their pupils had improved their creative writing, and 100% of pupils said they felt more confident in their writing. The residential weeks promote enjoyment and engagement with writing, literacy and writing skills, self-confidence, motivation to learn, as well as independence and social skills.
Arvon is supported by Arts Council England.