About Arvon          5     Courses & Retreats
Welcome              6
                          Starting to Write   30
The Arvon week       8
                          Fiction             37
Short courses       10
                          Poetry              63
Choosing a course 12
                          Non-Fiction         80
Writing house       14
facilities                Writing for
                          Children/YA         92
Writing houses 18–23
Course fees         24    Film/Radio          98
How to book         26    Other               109
Grants           26–27    Retreats            115
Concessions         28
                          Course Index 140–143
More about 142–153
Terms and       154–161
                                       Something magical happens at an Arvon writing
                                        house. You arrive, perhaps feeling a little shy,
                                          uncertain and hopeful. You leave, amazed
              “These are                 at the progress you’ve made, encouraged by
                                         a sense of fellowship, the buzz of inspiration
     life-enhancing weeks.                   and the determination to keep writing.
    I’ve witnessed the most
      astonishing evolution          Arvon has been inspiring generations of writers for
                                     over 50 years as the UK’s home of creative writing. We
        in students’ writing         have three writing houses, in Devon, Shropshire and
      and confidence over            Yorkshire. Our residential courses and retreats, led by
                                     highly acclaimed writers, span poetry to theatre,
         the period of just          song to screenplay, fact to fiction, starting to finishing –
4                                                                                                   5
         a handful of days,          and we offer grants to help with course fees.
         and as a tutor it’s         Each year, over 40 of our courses are with vulnerable
         a privilege to see          groups and schools, from young people who have
                                     experienced bullying to adults recovering from an
         people grow and             addiction. We also work closely with teachers to support
           flourish during           their professional development.
             the course.”            We offer a home for the imagination, where anyone,
                                     regardless of writing experience, can step away from
     —Poet Laureate Simon Armitage   their normal routine, immerse themselves in the creative
                                     process, be inspired by experienced writers and release
                                     their imaginative potential.
       Andrew Kidd, Arvon’s Chief Executive
              and Artistic Director

    As Arvon’s new Chief Executive and Artistic Director,         While nothing can replicate the power of an Arvon
    I am delighted to introduce our 2020 programme.               residential course, we are always looking for ways to
    Whether you’re just starting out on your writing journey      enable more people to experience Arvon. Last year we
    or you’re somewhere further down the road, Arvon              launched Arvon 1–1: online tutorials in which you can
    offers an unparalleled range of opportunities for             get personal, one-to-one feedback from an Arvon
    developing your craft.                                        tutor (see p.121). We plan to significantly expand
                                                                  the 1–1 offering in 2020.
    In this brochure, there are over 70 courses and retreats
6   to choose from. As ever, fiction, poetry and writing for      Finally, if you’d like unmediated time to work on your    7
    the stage and screen are well represented, as are our         writing, the splendid Clockhouse retreat at The Hurst
    celebrated Starting to Write weeks. And for those who         offers expansive space for up to four writers to follow
    need a little push getting to the next stage we offer         their own schedules. You can book a place at the
    work-in-progress, finishing a collection and preparing        Clockhouse for as many weeks as you like.
    for publication courses. We also remain committed to
    breaking new ground, engaging with practically every          The particular blend of encouragement, creativity,
    form of creative expression the written word can take.        connection, rigour and play that constitutes the ‘Arvon
    From Hybrid Writing to Life Writing with Coaching, from       magic’ can neither be bottled nor wholly explained.
    Essays to a Digital Detox retreat, you are sure to find the   It truly is something you need to experience for
    right course for you.                                         yourself, and we look forward to welcoming you
                                                                  soon to the home of creative writing.
    If spring is too long to wait, our Winter Season in
    January, February and March offers the chance to
    kickstart your creativity without delay. You can find these
    courses on our website. And for those pressed for time,
    there are Short Course options throughout the year.
        On five-day courses you’ll be with a group of
      up to 15 other writers, working with two tutors,
       from Monday to Saturday. Most Arvon courses
        follow this structure (although short courses,
     retreats and tutored retreats are a little different):

    • Each morning the tutors    • On Tuesday evening
       lead workshops to help        the tutors read from
       you explore ideas, forms     their own work.
       and techniques.
                                  • On Wednesday evening
    • Afternoons are your           the guest speaker joins
       time for writing and          the group.
8                                                                9
       one-to-one tutorials to
       consider your writing in   • On Friday evening
       depth. You’ll have two        everyone gets together
       tutorials (at least 20        to share and celebrate
       minutes long), one with       their work.
       each tutor.
                                  • The week comes to
      n Monday you arrive           a close on Saturday
     between 4.30pm and              morning, after breakfast.
     6pm, settle in, enjoy           Have a tissue handy –
     dinner and attend the           you may shed a farewell
     tutors’ introduction to         tear or two!
     the week.
SHORT RESIDENTIAL                                               GIFT VOUCHERS
                 WRITING COURSES
     We have captured all the essential elements that make the
     Arvon week unique and distilled them into a short course. These
                                                                                            GIF T N
     courses are ideal for writers who are keen to come to Arvon but
     can’t manage a full week.
                                                                                                 HE R
     We offer two types of short courses – three-day (Friday to
     Sunday) and four-day (Monday to Thursday), which include most
     aspects of an Arvon week.

     You will be one of 14 writers, each with a single room. There will
     be two tutors running the course. Significant departures from our
     classic Arvon week include no cooking and no mid-course guest.

10   Cost: from £530 for three-day courses / from £560 for four-day                                                   11
     courses. See courses 10, 12, 15, 31, 44, 47, 50 and 74.

       FOUR-DAY COURSE                    THREE-DAY COURSE
       Monday to Thursday                 Friday to Sunday
       Four-day courses run               The long weekend
       from Monday lunchtime              course begins on
       with a departure after             Friday lunchtime with
       breakfast on Thursday.             a departure after lunch
                                          on Sunday.                          Do you have a friend with a flair for
       The course includes ten                                             fiction? Or a relative who is harbouring
       hours of workshop-based            The three days include            a desire to pen poetry? An Arvon Gift
       group tuition; each                six hours of workshop-
                                          based tuition; each
                                                                              Voucher is an inspirational present.
       student gets two one-to-
       one tutorials and there            student gets two one-to-         Arvon Gift Vouchers can be made up to
       is a celebratory reading           one tutorials and there         any amount – perfect for a friendly nudge
       night on Wednesday.                is a short reading to end          or a grand gesture. Find out more at
                                          the course.                 
                                                                                   or call 020 7324 2554.
     Most of our courses are for all levels of experience.        Tutored Retreats
       However, we offer the following courses and                These are like our Work-in-Progress courses above,
       retreats for beginner or experienced writers:              but without morning workshops. Instead you will have
                                                                  four tutorials, two with each tutor, as opposed to two
                                                                  on regular courses. Tutored Retreats are suitable for
     Starting to Write                                            experienced writers, not beginners. We have Tutored
     If you have a burning desire to write but no idea where      Retreats in several different genres.
     to begin, or perhaps you are returning to writing after
     a long time away, or maybe you have writing experience       Centre Retreats
     in one field but are keen to explore a new genre – then      Retreats offer you the time and space to write with a
     a Starting to Write course would be ideal. Starting to       group of up to 15 other writers. There are no workshops
     Write courses are designed to build your confidence          and no tutorials. We also offer a range of retreats with
     within a supportive environment, providing you with          activities, including walking and Pilates.
     the tools to inspire and develop your writing. We offer
12                                                                                                                            13
     Starting to Write courses in specific genres, and more       Writers Retreat at The Clockhouse
     general Starting to Write courses that include fiction and   Choose between four or six days in your own apartment
     poetry writing.                                              at The Clockhouse, tucked away in the peaceful grounds
                                                                  of The Hurst. Write, plan, walk, think, dream, edit,
     Work-in-Progress                                             in solitude, away from it all with no distractions. The
     These are for writers who already have significant           Clockhouse has four apartments in total. Writers Retreats
     experience and would like to receive project-specific        are untutored. See p.122 for more information.
     feedback as well as the space and time to write. We
     have Work-in-Progress courses in several different           If you’re unsure which course is right for you,
     genres. These courses include workshops and one-to-          feel free to call our team on 020 7324 2554 to
     one tutorials.                                               discuss possibilities.

     Everything in an Arvon writing house has been set
     up to help you write and to help you feel at home for
     the week. The accommodation is deliberately simple,
     comfortable and clean. The Arvon staff will be your
     hosts, ensuring a relaxed, friendly and informal
     atmosphere. Each writing house has a living room,
     a well-stocked library and many other quiet spaces,
     as well as an inspirational landscape to explore beyond
     the house. See pages 18–23 for details of bedrooms
     and bathrooms at each writing house.

     You do not need a computer on our courses, but you
14   are welcome to bring your own laptop. We have a few       15
     computers and a printer at each writing house, which
     you can use for writing or printing out your own work
     (a donation for printing is requested). Mobile phone
     reception is poor at some of the houses.

     We do not provide an internet connection or Wi-Fi
     – so you can immerse yourself in your writing.
Accessibility                                                Food
     Arvon welcomes writers with disabilities. If you have        Throughout the week, all your food and drink is
     any specific access requirements, please discuss them        provided, except for alcohol, which can be purchased
     with us prior to booking and we will do our utmost           from a local wine merchant on arrival and delivered
     to accommodate your needs. All communal spaces,              early in the week. We’re firmly committed to buying
     including workshop spaces, are accessible to people          seasonal and locally produced goods.
     with mobility issues. Each writing house can
     accommodate an assistance dog, and a personal carer          You’ll help yourself to breakfast, and a tasty lunch is
     if required, provided there are spaces available.            prepared for you every day by your hosts. Each
     Accessibility to bedrooms and bathrooms varies               evening you will take turns cooking dinner in teams.
     depending on the house – The Hurst is the most               The recipes and ingredients are supplied and there’s
     accessible of our houses, with a lift to all floors and 16   lots of help at hand. Cooking teams also take turns to
     en-suite rooms – see pages 18–19. All of our houses          do the washing-up.
     have a portable loop system available on request.
                                                                  On short courses and Clockhouse retreats, all food is
                                                                  provided, including dinner.
16                                                                                                                          17
                                                                  If you have dietary needs, for ethical, religious or
                                                                  medical reasons, we’re happy to cater for you – when
                                                                  you book, it’s important that you let us know.

                                                                  All our writing houses can be reached by train.
                                                                  On booking your course you will be sent a full
                                                                  booking confirmation by email, including details
                                                                  of local cab companies who can collect you from the
                                                                  station. Check our website for detailed information
                                                                  on how to reach our houses.
         The John Osborne Arvon Centre, Shropshire

     The Hurst is the ideal place to find your voice. Formerly
     the home of the playwright John Osborne, the 19th-
     century manor house is set in the Shropshire Hills,
     a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
     Explore the 26 acres of inspiring woodland, unwind
     by the spring-fed lake, or simply sit and enjoy the view
     while you write.

     The house is fully accessible, with a lift to all floors and
     16 single, en-suite bedrooms.

18   Situated in the grounds of The Hurst is Arvon’s                                                                       19
     dedicated Writers Retreat at The Clockhouse. It consists       “There is something about the natural beauty at The
     of four apartments, each with a bedroom, study and             Hurst which supports the endeavour of writing, which
     en-suite bathroom, and all food provided, for six-day              makes wanderings and musings inevitable.”
     and four-day writing retreats. For more details please
     see page 122.                                                                   —Grant recipient

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

     Telephone: 01588 640 658
     Twitter: @hurstonthescene
        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 standard single rooms and one smaller
20   single room. One bedroom has a specially adapted                                                                  21
     bathroom for people with mobility issues and can also        “I think I speak for all my writer companions when
     accommodate a personal carer.                                 I say that you do not leave Lumb Bank the same
                                                                              person as when you arrived.”
     Lumb Bank, Heptonstall, Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire
                                                                                   —Louisa Rhodes
     HX7 6DF

     Telephone: 01422 843 714
     Twitter: @Lumb_Bank
             The first Arvon writing house, Devon

     Totleigh Barton is a 16th-century thatched manor
     house in one of the most peaceful and idyllic parts of
     Devon, two miles from the village of Sheepwash.

     There is a beautiful garden and orchard, with access to
     walks along the River Torridge nearby. The renovated
     barn offers a comfortable space for evening readings.

     Totleigh Barton has 14 single rooms. One wheelchair-
     accessible bedroom has an en-suite bathroom. It can
     also accommodate a carer.
22                                                                                                                    23
     Totleigh Barton, Sheepwash, Beaworthy, Devon              “To step over the threshold into Totleigh Barton has
     EX21 5NS                                                     always been to step into a world of writing.”
     Telephone: 01409 231 338                                                   —Penelope Shuttle
     Twitter: @TotleighBarton
2020 FEES              Writers Retreat at The Clockhouse

                                               6-day retreats (Tues – Mon) January – April and
     5-day courses                             September – December (inclusive)

     The Hurst (en-suite room)         £850    1st Floor Apartment                                 £765*
     Totleigh Barton and Lumb Bank     £815    2nd Floor Apartment                                 £725*

     5-day Tutored Retreat                     4-day retreats (Thurs – Mon) January – April
                                               and September – December (inclusive)
     The Hurst (en-suite room)         £850
     Totleigh Barton and Lumb Bank     £815    1st Floor Apartment                                 £510*
                                               2nd Floor Apartment                                 £480*
     5-day Retreat (untutored)
                                               6-day retreats (Tues – Mon) May – August
     Totleigh Barton                   £678*   (inclusive)
24                                                                                                         25

     5-day Retreat with activity               1st Floor Apartment                                 £795*
                                               2nd Floor Apartment                                 £755*
     The Hurst (en-suite room)         £850
     Lumb Bank                         £815    4-day retreats (Thurs – Mon) May – August
     Totleigh Barton                   £710    (inclusive)

     4-day courses Monday – Thursday           1st Floor Apartment                                 £530*
                                               2nd Floor Apartment                                 £500*
     The Hurst (en-suite room)         £570    *Price includes VAT @ 20%
     Lumb Bank                         £560
                                               Course and retreat fees cover
     3-day courses Friday – Sunday             – full-board accommodation (not including alcohol)
                                               – all tuition (where applicable)
     The Hurst (en-suite room)         £540    – a writing desk
     Lumb Bank                         £530
                                               You can apply for a grant towards a course if you
                                               cannot afford the full fee (please see page 26).
HOW TO BOOK A                                           GRANTS FOR WRITERS
                  COURSE/RETREAT                                 1. Download a grant pack from our website, or ask us
                                                                 to send it to you. It contains full details of the application
      Bookings can be made online at
                                                                 procedure and an application form.
     You can also book by calling the writing house where
                                                                 2. Reserve a place on your chosen course, either online
     your chosen course/retreat is held. To secure your place,
                                                                 or by phoning the writing house hosting your course,
     you will need to pay a deposit of £200 at the time of
                                                                 and make sure you indicate that you wish to apply for a
     booking (unless you’re applying for a grant). You are
                                                                 grant. You do not need to pay a deposit at this stage.
     welcome to pay in instalments via our online booking
     system. The remainder of your fee must be paid no later
                                                                 3. Complete the application form and send it along with
     than six weeks before the course or retreat starts.
                                                                 your supporting documents to your chosen writing house
                                                                 within a week.
26                                                               4. Within seven days we will assess your application,            27
     If you are a UK resident and cannot afford the full         contact you with a decision, and finalise your booking.
     course fee, we encourage you to apply for one of our        If you have any questions, please contact the
     grants, which are awarded on the basis of financial         appropriate writing house.
     need and not writing ability.
                                                                 See page 29 for how to support the grant fund.
     We encourage you to apply for a grant early in the year
     as the grant fund is limited. Priority is given to those            GRANTS FOR TEACHERS
     coming to Arvon for the first time. You may apply for any
     amount up to the full course fee. The average grant we
     awarded in 2019 was £450. We offer higher amounts           Arvon supports the professional development of
     only in exceptional cases. To help us support as many       practising teachers, who may apply for a special fixed
     people as possible, please apply only if you’d be unable    grant of £200 towards a course fee. You will need to
     to attend the course without a grant, and ask for the       send evidence that you are a practising teacher at a
     minimum amount you need. Grants are only available          UK primary or secondary school, or further education
     for those booking a course, not a retreat.                  college. Teachers’ grants are limited in number and can
                                                                 be applied for in addition to the usual grant if further
                                                                 financial assistance is needed.
CONCESSIONS                                                          #OPENTOALL
         We offer half-price concessions for selected Arvon                    A donation to Arvon’s Grant Fund gives the
      courses with late availability. The following three groups              opportunity for those on low incomes to attend
                 are eligible for concession pricing.
                                                                                             Arvon’s courses.
     Arvon 18–25: Writers aged between 18 and 25 can join our
     young writers group at You’ll be notified              Arvon has played a formative role in the careers and
     about upcoming half-price courses.                                       identities of thousands of writers for over 50 years.
                                                                              Currently we can only support the equivalent of one
     Last year’s grant recipients: If you received a grant in 2019,            person on a low income to attend each of Arvon’s
     you are eligible for concession pricing. We will check on our          courses. You can help us double our support by making
     system that you received a grant in 2019.                                         a donation to Arvon’s Grant Fund.
     Those in receipt of UK state benefits: Only those in receipt of
     the following benefits can apply:
28   •	Means-tested state benefits (such as housing benefit,                                                                            29
        council tax benefit, Universal Credit, Income Support,
        pension credit, Jobseeker’s Allowance, Working Tax Credit
        or other similar benefits)
     • Disability Living Allowance
     • Personal Independence Payment (PIP)                                   “I’ve been a student on two Arvon courses and I’ve
                                                                             taught nine. I know how life-changing they can be
     We will make it clear on the course web page if half-price             for aspiring writers. It is absolutely vital that they are
     concessions are available. If the course details page does not          equally accessible to everyone who might benefit.”
     state late availability pricing is available then concession pricing
     is not available for that course. However, when we have grant           —Mark Haddon, Arvon tutor, author of The Curious
     funds available you are welcome to apply for a grant for all of                 Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
     our courses, except for retreats.

     Please note that late availability concession bookings must be                Mark has made a donation to help keep
     made over the phone.                                                        Arvon open to everyone. Join him by visiting
                                                                            or contact
     For more info and to see courses currently on offer, visit
                                                                       , 020 7324 8906.
                08                         12
                STARTING TO WRITE          STARTING TO WRITE
                20–25 April                SHORT COURSE
                Lumb Bank, Yorkshire       Fri to Sun 30 October

                Tutors: Tiffany Murray &   –1 November
                Raymond Antrobus p.32      The Hurst, Shropshire
                                           Tutors: Louise Wallwein &
                09                         Mark Illis p.36
                STARTING TO WRITE
                1–6 June
                The Hurst, Shropshire
                Tutors: Christopher
                Wakling & Jen Hadfield     14
                p.33                       STARTING TO WRITE
                                           FICTION p.42
                STARTING TO WRITE          16
30              SHORT COURSE               STARTING TO WRITE           31
                Mon to Thu 10–13           A NOVEL p.44
                Lumb Bank, Yorkshire       59
                Tutors: John McCullough    STARTING TO WRITE
                & Irenosen Okojie p.34     YOUNG ADULT AND
                                           CHILDREN’S FICTION
                11                         p.94
                STARTING TO WRITE
                28 September–3
                Totleigh Barton, Devon
                Tutors: Jess Richards &
                Cliff Yates p.35
20–25 April, Lumb Bank                                                The Hurst, 1–6 June

             08 STARTING TO WRITE                                              09 STARTING TO WRITE
            Leaping into poetry and prose                                            First words
     If you have the urge to write but don’t know where to begin,     If you want to write creatively, but aren’t sure where to start,
     or have made a start but need fresh impetus to push on           this course will give you the tools and confidence to get you
     through, this week is for you. In one-to-one tutorials we will   past that challenging blank page. We’ll begin at the source –
     discover new ways to sift and structure your thoughts and        inspiration – and travel through the alchemical life of an idea
     material. In practical poetry and fiction workshops we will      to the moment it reaches its readers. We’ll ask what makes
     spark your imagination and allow you to experiment with          a poem a poem and a story a story, exploring voice, structure,
     form and story. This week will be supportive, productive,        plot and poetic form in an accessible and intuitive way.
     creative and fun. You will be given the space to fall in love    Together we’ll talk you through the theory and show you, using
     with your writing again, and the tools to carry on.              inspiring and provocative examples, how good writing works.
                                                                      We’ll offer structured prompts and tailored feedback
                  Tiffany Murray is a Hay Festival fiction            to help you realise the poetry and stories you’ve been
                  fellow and Director of Hay’s Writers at Work.       dreaming of writing.
32                Her novels Diamond Star Halo and Happy                                                                                 33
                  Accidents were shortlisted for the Bollinger        Christopher Wakling’s seven novels include
                  Everyman Wodehouse Prize. Her latest novel is       Escape and Evasion and What I Did. As well as
                  Sugar Hall.                                         writing fiction, Christopher is a travel writer for
                                                                      the Independent.
                  Raymond Antrobus is a poet and teacher.
                  He is the author of To Sweeten Bitter and The       Jen Hadfield is a Creative Writing Teaching
                  Perseverance, winner of the 2018 Ted Hughes         Fellow at Glasgow University. Her poetry
                  Award and 2019 Rathbone Folio Prize.                collection, Nigh-No-Place, won the 2008 TS
                                                                      Eliot Prize. Her fourth, The Stone Age, explores
                  Guest Lara Williams is the author of the short      neurodiversity.
                  story collection Treats (2016) and the novel
                  Supper Club (2019).                                 Guest Jonathan Davidson is a poet and radio
                                                                      dramatist. His most recent book is the poetry
                                                                      memoir On Poetry. His radio plays have been
                                                                      broadcast by BBC Radio 3 and 4.
        Monday 10–Thursday 13 August, Lumb Bank                                                                    xxxxxx
                                                                              Totleigh Barton, 28 September–3 October

             10 STARTING TO WRITE                                               11 STARTING TO WRITE
                 SHORT COURSE                                                    Setting out and carrying on
              Tips and tricks to unlock
                                                                        Whether you're new to poetry, or to prose, or writing in
                  your imagination                                      any form, this week will offer you tools and techniques in
                                                                        order to make a start. With enjoyable and challenging
     Deciding to learn new skills as a writer can be both exciting      exercises alongside feedback on your work, this is a chance
     and a little daunting. This course is ideal for those who are      to experiment with different forms and styles; to play
     either relatively new to writing or who are feeling slightly       with ideas. In a supportive and nourishing atmosphere,
     rusty. We’ll awaken your creative side by encouraging you          we'll explore the ways to begin and provide you with the
     to begin short pieces of fiction and poetry from a range of        momentum you need to carry on when you get home.
     surprising angles. We’ll discuss techniques like freewriting,
     how to tackle writer’s block, keeping notebooks, learning to
     read as a writer and how you might draw on observations,           Jess Richards is the author of Snake Ropes,
     memories and research. Beginning your journey as a writer          Cooking with Bones and City of Circles. She
     involves daring explorations, both into the self and into the      has also published poetry and short fiction in
34                                                                                                                                    35
     world, and this course aims to equip you for both.                 several anthologies.

                                                                        Cliff Yates’s poetry collections include
                  John McCullough’s first collection of poems,          Henry’s Clock, winner of the Aldeburgh First
                  The Frost Fairs, won the Polari First Book Prize.     Collection Prize, Frank Freeman’s Dancing
                  His latest collection, Reckless Paper Birds, was      School and Jam. He wrote Jumpstart Poetry in
                  published by Penned in the Margins in 2019.           the Secondary School during his time as Poetry
                                                                        Society poet-in-residence.
                  Irenosen Okojie is a Nigerian British writer.
                  Her debut novel Butterfly Fish won a Betty Trask      Guest Romalyn Ante is a poet and
                  Award and was shortlisted for an Edinburgh            co-founding editor of harana poetry. Her debut
                  International First Book Award. Her short             collection, Antiemetic for Homesickness, will
                  stories have been published internationally           come out with Chatto & Windus in 2020. She is
                  including in Salt’s Best British Short Stories 2017   the winner of the Poetry London Prize 2018.
                  and the Year’s Best Weird Fiction.
           Friday 30 Oct–Sunday 1 Nov, The Hurst

          12 STARTING TO WRITE
               SHORT COURSE
        Getting started and keeping going
     A short, intense burst of support and creativity to get you
     started on your writing. How do you begin? And once
     you’ve begun how do you keep going? The weekend will be
     focused and enjoyable, helping you to find your voice and
     your confidence in a supportive, encouraging environment.
     We’ll use fun and inventive exercises covering character and
     structure and using the surrounding landscape to stimulate
     and kick-start that book, poem or play that’s been burning
     a hole in your pocket. This is a weekend to help you play,
     discover and develop, and, above all, get writing.
36                                                                             37
                  Louise Wallwein MBE is a poet, playwright
                  and educator. Her one-woman show Glue has
                  also been published as a book. Her work has
                  been performed on shorelines, the sea, the
                  streets and in theatres across the UK and the
                  world. Her work has featured on BBC Radio 3
                  and 4 and BBC One.

                  Mark Illis has written novels for adults and for
                  young adults. He has written extensively for TV,
                  including Peak Practice, Emmerdale and Jamie
                  Johnson. He has also written short stories,
                  radio plays and a prize-winning screenplay.
13                        17                         21                           25
     EDITING FICTION           FICTION                    SHORT STORY                  WRITING A NOVEL
     20–25 April               11–16 May                  22–27 June                   10–15 August
     The Hurst, Shropshire     Totleigh Barton, Devon     The Hurst, Shropshire        The Hurst, Shropshire
     Tutors: Nikesh Shukla &   Tutors: Gregory            Tutors: Adam Marek &         Tutors: Stephen May &
     Angelique Tran Van Sang   Norminton & Liz Jensen     Zoe Gilbert p.49             Samantha Harvey p.53
     p.41                      p.45
                                                          22                           26
     14                        18                         EDITING FICTION              FICTION
     STARTING TO WRITE         FICTION                    6–11 July                    17–22 August
     FICTION                   25–30 May                  Lumb Bank, Yorkshire         Lumb Bank, Yorkshire
     27 April–2 May            The Hurst, Shropshire      Tutors: Anne Meadows &       Tutors: Kirsty Logan &
     Totleigh Barton, Devon    Tutors: Marcel Theroux     Cynan Jones p.50             Tim Pears p.54
     Tutors: Mark Haddon &     & Jenny Parrott p.46
     Jane Feaver p.42                                     23                           27
                               19                         EXPERIMENTAL                 FICTION TUTORED
     15                        EDITING A NOVEL            FICTION                      RETREAT
38   FICTION SHORT             8–13 June                  13–18 July                   31 August–5                 39
     COURSE                    Totleigh Barton, Devon     Totleigh Barton, Devon       September
     Fri to Sun 8–10 May       Tutors: Patricia Duncker   Tutors: Toby Litt & Sophie   Totleigh Barton, Devon
     Lumb Bank, Yorkshire      & Richard Beswick p.47     Mackintosh p.51              Tutors: Diana Evans &
     Tutors: Emma Jane                                                                 Chris Cleave p.55
     Unsworth & Mark Watson    20                         24
     p.43                      CRIME FICTION              FICTION: WORK-IN-            28
                               15–20 June                 PROGRESS                     HISTORICAL FICTION
     16                        Lumb Bank, Yorkshire       27 July–1 August             31 August–5
     STARTING TO WRITE         Tutors: Cathi Unsworth     Totleigh Barton, Devon       September
     A NOVEL                   & Alex Reeve p.48          Tutors: Amanda Smyth &       The Hurst, Shropshire
     11–16 May                                            Richard Skinner p.52         Tutors: Diane Setterfield
     The Hurst, Shropshire                                                             & Andrew Taylor p.56
     Tutors: Kerry Young &
     Tyler Keevil p.44
The Hurst, 20–25 April

                                EDITING FICTION
                                                                 13 EDITING FICTION
     14–19 September            19–24 October               Shape, refine and polish your writing
     Lumb Bank, Yorkshire       Totleigh Barton, Devon
     Tutors: Emma Newman &      Tutors: Ailah Ahmed &     An early draft of a novel or a collection of short stories is
     Gareth Powell p.57         Ayisha Malik p.61         inevitably a work-in-progress. It’s on its way, but how do
                                                          you implement improvements to the words you’ve already
     30                         34
                                                          produced? Over the course of a week with an editor and
                                                          an author, learn how to step back from your own writing in
     21–26 September            TUTORED RETREAT
                                                          order to shape, smooth and rearrange your first draft. You
     Totleigh Barton, Devon     2–7 November
                                                          will be encouraged to explore your writing decisions and to
     Tutors: Tom Lee & Alison   The Hurst, Shropshire
                                                          navigate questions such as where did your characters grow
     MacLeod p.58               Tutors: Richard Beard &
                                                          up? What’s your narrative arc? And, crucially – where do
                                Arzu Tahsin p.62
     31                                                   you go from here?
     COURSE                                               Nikesh Shukla is the author of three novels.
40   Mon to Thurs 28                                      His latest, The One Who Wrote Destiny, was                      41
     September–1 October                                  published in 2018. His debut novel, Coconut
     The Hurst, Devon                                     Unlimited, was shortlisted for the Costa Book
     Tutors: Emma Hooper &                                Award (First Novel). Nikesh is the editor of
     Jason Hewitt p.59                                    the bestselling essay collection The Good
     FICTION                                              Angelique Tran Van Sang is Commissioning
     12–17 October                                        Editor at Bloomsbury. She has worked with
     Lumb Bank, Yorkshire                                 many bestselling and prize-winning fiction
     Tutors: Chibundu Onuzo                               authors including Kamila Shamsie and
     & Lucy Hughes-Hallett                                Georgina Harding, and her own authors
     p.60                                                 include Jenny Zhang, Ashleigh Young and
                                                          Alexander Chee.

                                                          Guest Niki Chang is a literary agent at
                                                          The Good Literary Agency. She works with
                                                          a wide range of writers of both literary and
                                                          commercial fiction and non-fiction from under-
                                                          represented backgrounds.
27 April–2 May, Totleigh Barton                              Lumb Bank, Friday 8–Sunday 10 May

             14 STARTING TO WRITE                                          15 FICTION SHORT COURSE
                      FICTION                                                       Finishing it
              Finding the right direction                              It’s easy enough to start something, but not always so
                                                                       easy to get to the end of that daunting first draft. It seems
     Every writer, even the most experienced, finds the blank          to be a common problem for writers, from those starting
     page daunting. How do I begin to make a start? This week          out to those who are more experienced. How do you keep
     we’ll offer you the encouragement and inspiration to get          motivated and keep your ideas on track – especially when
     going. In a supportive atmosphere of experiment and play,         the demons of doubt and distraction come knocking? We
     we’ll help you focus on those aspects of fiction writing –        will offer helpful advice and fun exercises to encourage you
     character, setting, point of view – that will help you discover   to keep going. We’ll also be honest about the graft involved
     and develop your stories and your writing voice.                  in putting a novel together, and give you different ways of
                                                                       approaching the challenging but rewarding act of writing on
                  Mark Haddon is the author of The Curious             a daily basis.
                  Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, A Spot
                  of Bother and The Red House. He has also             Emma Jane Unsworth is an award-winning
42                                                                                                                                     43
                  written for the stage, television and radio. His     novelist and screenwriter. She adapted her
                  latest novel, The Porpoise, is a response to         novel Animals into a film, which premiered at
                  Shakespeare’s Pericles.                              Sundance in 2019. Her third novel, Adults, will
                                                                       be published in February 2020. She is writing
                  Jane Feaver is a novelist and short story            a fourth novel, as well as adapting Adults for
                  writer. Her books include According to Ruth,         television.
                  Love Me Tender and An Inventory of Heaven.
                  Her memoir Crazy is due out in 2021. Jane is a       Mark Watson is the acclaimed author of six
                  senior lecturer at Exeter University.                novels, including Eleven and Hotel Alpha. He is
                                                                       also an award-winning stand-up comedian.
                  Guest Shahnaz Ahsan is the author of
                  Hashim & Family. She is also an award-winning
                  writer of short stories, has written a screenplay
                  and writes articles on issues of multiculturalism,
                  race, religion and society.
11–16 May, The Hurst                                               Totleigh Barton, 11–16 May

              16 STARTING TO WRITE                                                           17 FICTION
                     A NOVEL                                                         Tales of crisis, words of hope
              From your head to the page                                    What stories will emerge from this era of ecological and
     This course will explore the essential aspects of starting to write    social upheaval? What kind of fiction can include the
     a novel – finding and sustaining an authentic voice, creating          natural world, of which the human story is only a part?
     rich characters and developing plot. You will look at what             This course is for writers who feel challenged and inspired
     makes a narrative voice compelling for readers and how voice           by the times ahead. We will consider old and new ways of
     can help to build character, drive plot and produce dramatic           writing about our predicament – including dystopia, but
     tension. We will explore how dialogue can be made genuine              also reaching beyond it, to a literature that inhabits and
     and purposeful. Working in a writing community for the week            celebrates the Earth.
     will enable you to receive and give feedback in a supportive
     space. You will discover how dialogue can be used to generate          Gregory Norminton is the author of two
     dramatic traction, and reflect on ‘What your story is about’ in        story collections and five novels, most recently
     terms of the underlying message(s) of your narrative and how           The Devil’s Highway.
44   to approach the development of your characters. We will help                                                                         45
     you discover energy and inspiration to give your writing new           Liz Jensen is the author of eight novels
     meanings and renewed vigour.                                           including the Hollywood-adapted The Ninth
                                                                            Life of Louis Drax. Her work, which spans
                   Kerry Young has written three novels, Pao,               speculative and historical fiction, comedy
                   Gloria and Show Me A Mountain. Her work has              and psychological suspense, has appeared
                   been short- or longlisted for the Costa First Novel      in anthologies, been broadcast on radio, and
                   Award, Commonwealth Book Prize, Bocas Prize              translated into 20 languages.
                   for Caribbean Literature and the East Midlands
                   Book Award.                                              Guest Ben Smith is a Lecturer in Creative
                                                                            Writing at Plymouth University, specialising
                   Tyler Keevil is a novelist, short story writer and       in environmental literature. His first poetry
                   Lecturer in Creative Writing at Cardiff University.      pamphlet, Sky Burials, was published by
                   He has received several awards for his work,             Worple Press. Doggerland is his first novel.
                   including the Journey Prize and the Wales Book
                   of the Year People’s Prize.

                   Guest Rosalind Stopps’ first novel was published
                   at the age of 64, but five earlier ones never made it.
                   She lives a life full of people and dogs.
25–30 May, The Hurst                                             Totleigh Barton, 8–13 June

                      18 FICTION                                                   19 EDITING A NOVEL
                Perspiration to inspiration                                          Making writing work
     This course is for anyone who wants to get better at writing       Are you close to finishing a manuscript? Maybe you’re
     fiction, from the complete beginner to someone with a              stuck, or looking at a manuscript that somehow still doesn’t
     finished novel under their belt. Writing well means striking       work? This course, led by a novelist and an editor, will
     a paradoxical balance between instinct and judgement.              guide you through the necessary re-writing, re-thinking and
     The course will address both aspects: the spontaneous,             revision from the beginning to the end of your novel. We’ll
     free, instinctive impulse towards self-expression; and             also help you to understand the process of publication,
     the complementary need for understanding the goals                 from submission to a publisher or agent, through to the
     of storytelling. Together we will sharpen your sense of            marketing of your book. We’ll help you sharpen and
     how a story works and discover that even the low points            structure the story you want to tell, and use our experience
     – distraction, hopelessness, stuckness – can provide               to provide a sounding board as to how readers might react
     invaluable assistance towards the final goal of truly finishing.   to it. We say ‘the story you want to tell’, because ultimately it
                                                                        is your creation.
46                Marcel Theroux is a prize-winning writer                                                                                  47
                  and broadcaster. He has published five                Patricia Duncker is the author of six novels
                  novels, most recently The Secret Books, has           and two collections of short stories. Her work
                  written a number of original screenplays, and         includes Hallucinating Foucault and Sophie
                  written and presented more than a dozen               and the Sibyl. She is Professor Emeritus at the
                  documentaries.                                        University of Manchester.

                  Jenny Parrott has worked at Bloomsbury,               Richard Beswick is Publishing Director
                  Little, Brown and HarperCollins and is currently      at Little, Brown and Abacus. He has
                  publishing director of the Point Blank literary       commissioned and edited a range of fiction
                  crime imprint at Oneworld.                            and non-fiction, working with writers including
                                                                        Beryl Bainbridge, Alexander McCall Smith,
                  Guest Michael Donkor is the author of the             Vikram Seth, Donna Tartt and Robert Winder.
                  novel Hold, longlisted for the International
                  Dylan Thomas Prize and shortlisted for the            Guest Jo Unwin is a literary agent, previously
                  Desmond Elliott Prize.                                at Conville and Walsh and currently Jo Unwin
                                                                        Literary Agency. She represents authors of
                                                                        literary fiction, commercial women’s fiction,
                                                                        comic writing and narrative non-fiction.
15–20 June, Lumb Bank                                            The Hurst, 22–27 June

                 20 CRIME FICTION                                                 21 SHORT STORY
                  The killer inside you                                         A miracle in a matchbox
     Are you duplicitous, deceptive, an evil mastermind hatching    Short stories offer huge freedom for creative play and
     plans for world domination? Then crime fiction is for you!     experimentation, but they require great discipline and
     The bestselling genre in the UK is a thriving place for all    precision to make an emotional impact on the reader.
     manner of literary miscreants, from those that lurk in the     Together we’ll explore the essential skills of great story
     dark corners of history to those who play the game for         writing, including: how to come up with original ideas; how
     governments or make home the place where the horror            to develop arresting core images; plots that grab a reader
     is. Our course will release your inner demons and turn         and don’t let go; creating conflict and characters with depth;
     them into compelling fiction. We’ll explore different areas    editing; and engineering powerful endings. We’ll lift the lid
     of the genre – hardboiled, historical, spy, domestic, police   on examples of classic and contemporary short stories to
     procedural, detective, noir – and we'll look at how to         explore the machinery that drives them. And through one-
     turn sources of inspiration into corking plots, compelling     to-one tutorials, we’ll discuss practical solutions to take your
     characterisation and the forensic skill of editing. We’ll      writing to the next level. Whether you’re a beginner or a
     be taking down your own particulars with one-to-one            pro, a fantastical absurdist or a gritty realist, you’ll soon be
48                                                                                                                                     49
     tutorials aimed at getting your work ready for the court of    writing stories that will linger long in your readers’ minds.
     publication. Bring your cunning schemes, nerve and verve –
     the game’s afoot!                                              Adam Marek is the award-winning author of
                                                                    two short story collections: Instruction Manual
                  Cathi Unsworth is the author of six pop-          for Swallowing and The Stone Thrower. His
                  cultural noir novels, often based on real-life    work has appeared on BBC Radio 4 and in The
                  unsolved crimes, and Defying Gravity, the life    Penguin Book of the British Short Story.
                  and times of punk icon Jordan.
                                                                    Zoe Gilbert’s short stories have been
                  Alex Reeve writes the Leo Stanhope novels.        published widely, broadcast on BBC radio and
                  He’s been a Richard and Judy Book Club pick       won prizes including the Costa Short Story
                  and shortlisted for both a CWA Dagger and an      Award. Her first novel, Folk, was shortlisted for
                  RSL Prize.                                        the Dylan Thomas Prize 2019.

                  Guest Alison Hennessey has worked in              Guest Eley Williams’s collection of prose
                  publishing for over 16 years and now runs the     Attrib. and Other Stories won the Republic of
                  Raven Books imprint at Bloomsbury.                Consciousness Prize and the James Tait Black
                                                                    Prize 2018.
6–11 July, Lumb Bank                                         Totleigh Barton, 13–18 July

                22 EDITING FICTION                                        23 EXPERIMENTAL FICTION
                     Make your writing sing                                   Freedom and structure
     Once you’ve completed the first draft of your novel or           Are you the kind of writer who feels exhilarated by taking
     short story, the hard but thrilling process of editing begins.   risks? Do you feel curious about the possibilities of tight
     Aimed at writers who have completed a draft, this course         restrictions, prompts, and looking at writing in a different
     will take you through the different facets of a great work       way? Or are you simply interested in trying something out of
     and help you navigate some of the pitfalls common to new         the ordinary? During this course we’ll explore what it means
     writers. Working with an author known for the precision          to write experimentally, leaving our preconceptions behind,
     of his prose, and an experienced editor with in-depth            and combining freedom with structure to create genuinely
     knowledge of the publishing industry, you will deepen your       exciting work, whatever your goal.
     characters, trim dead weight from your plot, and fine-tune
     your sentences until they sing from the page. Approaching
                                                                      Toby Litt is the author of four books of short
     your writing with an open mind and fresh eyes, this course
                                                                      stories and 12 novels, including deadkidsongs
     will help you make your fiction as good as it can be, and
                                                                      and Patience. He runs the MFA in Creative
     give you the confidence and drive to do what it takes to
50                                                                    Writing at Birkbeck College.                                   51
     write the best possible version of your work. We’ll invite you
     to send a short, polished extract and a synopsis before the
     course begins.
                                                                      Sophie Mackintosh is an award-winning
                                                                      short story writer and the author of The Water
                                                                      Cure, which was longlisted for the 2018 Man
                  Cynan Jones is a prize-winning author whose         Booker Prize. Her next novel, Blue Ticket, is
                  work has been published in over 20 countries        published in 2020.
                  and in numerous publications including Granta
                  magazine and the New Yorker.                        Guest Kevin Barry is the award-winning
                                                                      author of the novels Beatlebone and City of
                  Anne Meadows is Editorial Director at Granta        Bohane and the story collections Dark Lies the
                  Books, where she works with a range of              Island and There are Little Kingdoms.
                  writers, from debut novelists to established,
                  prize-winning authors.

                  Guest Rowan Hisayo Buchanan is the author
                  of Harmless Like You and Starling Days. She
                  has won the Authors’ Club Best First Novel
                  Award and a Betty Trask Award.
27 July–1 August, Totleigh Barton                                    The Hurst, 10–15 August

                24 FICTION:                                                 25 WRITING A NOVEL
          WORK-IN-PROGRESS                                              Finding your voice and developing
     Reach wider and deeper in your fiction                                         your story
     This course will equip you with a versatile set of writing      This will be a lively week of productive experimentation,
     tools to deepen and widen the reach within your fiction.        creative surprises and practical support as you work on
     Alternate workshops with Amanda and Richard will guide          your novel. Suitable for both the shy beginner and the
     you on all aspects of the process: the importance of place      more experienced writer, this course will stimulate your
     in an imagined world; the crucial difference between story      imagination and help you to find your own unique style.
     and plot; creating strong, believable characters; and the       We will give propulsion to your story and also provide the
     daunting questions when it comes to editing. Come with a        tools to continue with your book once you’ve left The Hurst.
     work-in-progress and you will finish the course with a firmer   Most of all, the week will be fun.
     idea of where to go next.
                                                                     Stephen May is the author of five novels
                  Amanda Smyth’s first novel, Black Rock,            including We Don’t Die of Love and Life!
52                won the Prix du Premier Roman Etranger and         Death! Prizes! He has been shortlisted for                     53
                  was selected as an Oprah Winfrey summer            the Costa Novel Award and the Guardian's Not
                  read. Her short stories have appeared in           the Booker Prize.
                  New Writing, London Magazine, The Times
                  Literary Supplement and been broadcast on          Samantha Harvey is the author of four
                  BBC Radio 4. She is currently writing her third    novels, The Wilderness, All Is Song, Dear
                  novel, Fortune.                                    Thief and The Western Wind. Her novels have
                                                                     been short- and longlisted for various prizes
                  Richard Skinner has published four books:          including the Orange Prize, the Guardian First
                  three novels and a book of non-fiction, Writing    Book Award, the Walter Scott Prize, the Baileys
                  a Novel. His work has been nominated for           Women’s Prize and the Man Booker.
                  prizes and is published in eight languages.
                  Richard is Director of the Fiction Programme at    Guest Gautam Malkani is author of the
                  Faber Academy.                                     2018 novel Distortion. His debut novel was
                                                                     Londonstani and he spent 19 years as an editor
                  Guest AL Kennedy is the author of 21 books:        and journalist at the Financial Times.
                  nine novels, six short story collections, three
                  works of non-fiction and three books
                  for children.
17–22 August, Lumb Bank                               Totleigh Barton, 31 August–5 September

                    26 FICTION                                      27 FICTION TUTORED RETREAT
               Give your writing a boost                               Make a deeper commitment to
     You’ve been writing, you’ve worked hard, and you’ve
                                                                              the writing life
     already taken several steps along your writing path. But
                                                                   Have you ever cheated on your novel? What does it take to
     now it’s time for a boost of inspiration and encouragement.
                                                                   get to the end of a long writing project in one piece, and still
     How can you take an unexpected event or overheard
                                                                   in love? Novels are like relationships; they take commitment,
     conversation, a word of advice or a strange sight, and
                                                                   and this course will help you conquer the self-doubt and
     spin them into the fabric of your fictional world? Together
                                                                   endless distraction that gets in the way of would-be stories
     we’ll find moments of insight, challenge and provoke with
                                                                   that the world might really need. Structured time alone
     writing exercises, and share experiences in this beautiful,
                                                                   with your project will be supported by the presence of other
     secluded place. Bring a notebook, your imagination, and
                                                                   people who are doing exactly the same thing as you are,
     a story to tell.
                                                                   and professional feedback will be on hand from seasoned
                                                                   writers who understand that the journey is tough but also
                 Kirsty Logan is the author of two novels, The     achievable. Participants are invited to send 1,000 words
54               Gloaming and The Gracekeepers, and two            for us to read in advance to by           55
                 story collections, A Portable Shelter and The     Friday 31 July.
                 Rental Heart.

                 Tim Pears has written 11 novels, including        Diana Evans is the multi-award-winning
                 In the Place of Fallen Leaves (awarded the        author of Ordinary People, The Wonder and
                 Hawthornden Prize), Landed and the West           26a, and an Associate Lecturer in Creative
                 Country Trilogy.                                  Writing at Goldsmiths, University of London.

                 Guest Mahsuda Snaith is a winner of the SI        Chris Cleave’s award-winning novels have
                 Leeds Prize and Bristol Short Story Prize. Her    been published in 30 countries. His most
                 novels include The Things We Thought We Knew      recent novel, Everyone Brave Is Forgiven, was
                 and How to Find Home, which was read on           published in 2016.
                 BBC Radio 4.
                                                                   Guest Jessie Greengrass is the author of the
                                                                   short story collection An Account of the Decline
                                                                   of the Great Auk, According to One Who Saw It
                                                                   and the novel Sight, shortlisted for the Women’s
                                                                   Prize for Fiction.
31 August–5 September, The Hurst                                   Lumb Bank, 14–19 September

            28 HISTORICAL FICTION                                           29 SCI-FI AND FANTASY
            Inventing the past for readers                                   Building fantastical worlds
                     of tomorrow                                     Science fiction and fantasy encompasses a dazzling array
                                                                     of potential worlds and stories. The scope is so wide it can
     How do you create a sense of time and place in the
                                                                     be hard to know where to begin. Designed for budding
     historical novel? Where do you draw the line between
                                                                     writers of SFF, this course gives you the tools to understand
     period language and modern readability? How much
                                                                     the opportunities these exciting genres can offer. This
     wriggle room is there where authenticity of character and
                                                                     includes specialised techniques such as world-building
     morality is concerned? Research is a creative boon – but
                                                                     and creation of magical and technological ‘systems’, and
     is it also a limitation? And what about dialogue? How
                                                                     a robust grounding in technical aspects of the craft –
     many ‘prithees’ do you actually need? In this course we will
                                                                     storytelling, character creation and writing style. Delivered
     consider a diversity of approaches to the genre to accelerate
                                                                     by two award-winning SFF authors, this course also gives
     your development as writers of historical fiction.
                                                                     the opportunity for you to examine and overcome your own
                                                                     writing blocks.
                  Diane Setterfield is the bestselling author of
56                The Thirteenth Tale, Bellman & Black and Once                                                                      57
                                                                     Emma Newman is an award-winning
                  Upon a River. Her work has been adapted for
                                                                     writer of short stories, novels and novellas in
                  TV (but the books are better).
                                                                     multiple speculative fiction genres, and also a
                                                                     professional audiobook narrator.
                  Andrew Taylor is a bestselling crime and
                  historical novelist. A triple winner of the
                                                                     Gareth Powell is a bestselling SF author. He
                  Historical Dagger, he thinks, like Novalis, that
                                                                     has twice won the BSFA Award for Best Novel
                  novels arise from the shortcomings of history.
                                                                     and his writing guide, About Writing, is an
                                                                     essential resource for aspiring authors.
                  Guest Sara Collins is the author of the novel
                  The Confessions of Frannie Langton. She has        Guest Temi Oh graduated with a BSc in
                  a master’s degree in Creative Writing from         Neuroscience and went on to pursue an MA
                  Cambridge University.                              in Creative Writing. Her novel Do You Dream
                                                                     of Terra-Two? was published by Simon and
                                                                     Schuster in January 2019.
21–26 September 2020, Totleigh Barton                      The Hurst, Mon 28 September–Thurs 1 October

                   30 SHORT STORY                                        31 FICTION SHORT COURSE
                    Igniting the spark                                     From first page to first draft
     On this course, you will explore the strategies and             Have an idea for a novel but don’t quite know where to
     techniques short story writers often use to bring a story to    start? Bringing stories, characters and whole worlds to life
     life. How do we as writers find that life-giving spark? What    can be exhilarating; our imagination sparks with the endless
     are the dynamics that sustain the tension and the power of a    possibilities and with the thrill of creating something magical
     short story, page by page? Why do stories sometimes seem        and truly ours. However, when faced with that opening blank
     to fizzle out? What elements create the unique ‘charge’ of      page, enthusiasm can falter. This short taster course will help
     a good story? We will explore openings and conclusions;         you make the initial leap. We’ll teach you how to sustain the
     the art of revelation and compression; and the crafting of      reader’s interest, create believable characters, find your voice,
     voice, dialogue and imagery. We will learn together from        and, perhaps most importantly, help you stay motivated to
     published stories, and experiment with new approaches and       get to ‘the end’. We’ll cover the basics of writing a novel and
     ideas. You will work with two experienced short story writers   provide you with inspirational activities to ease the process, as
     who love the form, both its possibilities and its challenges.   well as time to test out and develop your ideas. Whether you
                                                                     are a complete novice or a short story writer looking to take       59
                  Tom Lee is the author of a collection of short     on something more ambitious, this course will provide you
                  stories, Greenfly, and a novel, The Alarming       with practical tools and the self-belief to take those confident
                  Palsy of James Orr. He teaches creative writing    steps towards completing your first draft.
                  at Goldsmiths, University of London, and is
                  Royal Literary Fund Fellow at the University of    Emma Hooper is the author of the
                  Greenwich.                                         internationally bestselling and award-winning
                                                                     Etta and Otto and Russell and James and Our
                  Alison MacLeod’s last short story collection,      Homesick Songs, with further publications in
                  All the Beloved Ghosts, was shortlisted for        Timothy McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern, the
                  the Edge Hill Prize and Canada’s Governor          Guardian and Elle magazine.
                  General’s Award. Her most recent novel,
                  Unexploded, was longlisted for the Booker          Jason Hewitt’s debut novel The Dynamite Room
                  Prize.                                             was longlisted for the Desmond Elliott Prize
                                                                     for new fiction, while Devastation Road was
                  Guest Chris Power’s short story collection         longlisted for the Walter Scott Prize for Historical
                  Mothers was published in 2018. His fiction has     Fiction. He is also a playwright.
                  appeared in Granta, The Stinging Fly and The
                  White Review, and been broadcast on BBC
                  Radio 4.
12–17 October, Lumb Bank                                      Totleigh Barton, 19–24 October

                    32 FICTION                                                33 EDITING FICTION
             Bringing the imaginary to life                                From first draft to published work
     A world a reader can step into, believable characters and a      How does the first draft become a published work? From
     compelling story: these are what most of us love about the       editing your own first draft to working with a commissioning
     fiction that moves us. Join us in stimulating discussions, and   editor, this course will explore character, plotting, setting and
     take part in writing exercises designed to explore narrative     editing. It will explore when to cut and when to add, and
     voice, setting, character, dialogue and plot structure. Every    how to trust your own instincts and your editor’s. Led by a
     novel or short story is unique, but every fiction writer is      novelist and editor, the course will also look at the process of
     confronted with the same questions: what’s happening,            submitting to agents and publishers, considering how and
     where, when and to whom, and who is telling the story?           when to send your work out to the publishing industry.
     Bring your work-in-progress for editorial advice, or come
     prepared to write your first fiction with the tutors’ expert     Ayisha Malik is author of the critically
     guidance and support.                                            acclaimed Sofia Khan series and the novel
                                                                      This Green and Pleasant Land, and is the
60                Chibundu Onuzo is the author of The Spider          ghostwriter for Great British Bake Off winner                       61
                  King’s Daughter and Welcome to Lagos and is         Nadiya Hussain. She is a WH Smith Fresh
                  a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.        Talent pick, and has also been shortlisted for
                                                                      The Asian Women of Achievement Award and
                  Lucy Hughes-Hallett has written a novel,            Marie Claire’s Future Shapers’ Awards.
                  Peculiar Ground, and a collection of short
                  stories. Her biography The Pike: Gabriele           Ailah Ahmed is Editorial Director of Little,
                  D’Annunzio won the Samuel Johnson Prize, the        Brown and Virago Press. She publishes critically
                  Duff Cooper Prize and the Costa Biography           acclaimed novelists Andrew Sean Greer
                  Award.                                              (winner of the Pulitzer Prize) and Chigozie
                                                                      Obioma (shortlisted for the Booker Prize). The
                  Guest Stuart Turton’s The Seven Deaths              first half of her career was spent at Canongate
                  of Evelyn Hardcastle won the Books Are My           Books where she published Ruth Ozeki’s A Tale
                  Bag Readers Award for Best Novel and was            for the Time Being (shortlisted for the Booker).
                  shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award.
                                                                      Guest Sam Copeland is an agent and
                                                                      director at Rogers, Coleridge and White. His
                                                                      writers have won or been shortlisted for over
                                                                      20 major prizes, including the Man Booker
                                                                      Prize for Fiction.
2–7 November, The Hurst

                34 EDITING FICTION
                 TUTORED RETREAT
                   Nothing is sacred
     Whether you have been edited before or this is your first
     experience of showing your work to a professional, we aim
     to share our enthusiasm for editing as an indispensable
     and inspiring part of the writing process. Whatever stage
     the material is at, every edit can be seen as a mini creative
     writing course, improving instincts for pacing, setting, drama
     and characterisation. Nothing is sacred and editing is always
     a creative act. We’ll help hone those tricky early chapters, as
     well as identifying the key areas of your novel which need the
     most attention. Participants are invited to send 1,500 words
     to by Friday 2 October for the tutors to
62   read in advance.                                                           63

                  Richard Beard’s six novels include Lazarus is
                  Dead, Dry Bones and Damascus, which was a
                  New York Times Notable Book of the Year. His
                  most recent novel Acts of the Assassins was
                  shortlisted for the Goldsmiths Prize and his
                  memoir The Day That Went Missing won the
                  2018 PEN Ackerley Award.

                  Arzu Tahsin has over 25 years of editorial
                  experience, most recently as Publishing
                  Director at Weidenfeld & Nicolson. She has
                  published prize-winning authors including
                  Khaled Hosseini (The Kite Runner), Malala
                  Yousafzai (I Am Malala) and Téa Obreht (The
                  Tiger’s Wife).

                  Guest Claire Adam won the Desmond Elliott
                  Prize 2019 for her debut novel Golden Child.
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