Saturday, 12 November 2011

Arvon Adventures

This time last week, I had just come back from a week at The Hurst, the Arvon Foundation's centre in Shropshire. Like the other Arvon centres, it is a lovely house in a beautiful place, peaceful and tranquil, with lots of space to think and write. It was the playwright John Osborne's house, and so has lots of writerly associations and reminders, with playbills up everywhere and loos sponsored by Maggie Smith.

I'm a bit late blogging about it, but it has taken me a week to:

a) Recover.

b) Catch up on other stuff enough to get round to writing my own blog.

I was beaten to it first by by my co-tutor, Linda Newbery, on the excellent site: Do Authors Dream of Electric Books? To see what she has to say, just click on the link below and while you are there, have a look round, particularly if you are interested in publishing e books.

I was also beaten to it by Jo Wyton who got her blog up on the equally excellent Notes From The Slushpile . Jo was on the course, so her perspective was particularly interesting for me.

I've tutored four Arvon courses now, and each one has been different, made so by the setting and by the people, tutors and tutees, who have been taking part. But they all had some things in common. They were all intense, hard work, but inspirational. There's something about a group of people with a common interest and a common purpose. Wherever you are at: just beginning, stuck in a rut, blocked, putting off the evil day before you get started, a week away on an Arvon course seems to free the spirit and untie the knots. It's an opportunity to be a writer, not a doctor, or a house wife, or a web site manager, or a lawyer, or a student, or whatever you are when you are at home, and to join with other writers, to learn from the tutors, who are all experienced writers, but also from each other. By the end of the week, Arvon has done its magic. Everyone seems to have made significant progress with the work that he or she brought with them, or has started something new.

You'll find all you need to know there, but perhaps what it won't tell you is that going on an Arvon course is also extremely good fun.

I'm indebted to Linda for this snap of our last supper.


K.M.Lockwood said...

I am really glad that you too got something out of it, Celia. It was a joy working with you, Linda and all the other talented writers on the course. Definitely a 'buzz' and your editing tips were just what I needed.
By the way, I beat you all to it: my blog was posted on Saturday 5th November!

Jo Wyton said...

Sounds like you had just as much fun as we did Celia, which is great news! Don't think I'll ever forget that course, so thank you very much for that.


Sol said...

The loos were memorable weren't they? :P I think you're right that the fun aspect isn't something you can predict in advance, but it was needed. Thank you again for a wonderful week, and glad that you had fun as well!

Celia Rees said...

Thanks for your comments. It seems we all enjoyed the week. Linda and I were very pleased it went so well.