Most aspiring writers would probably benefit from taking a writing course or two. I know I did. The one that I got the most out of, and which kick started my first novel, was the one I attended at Moniack Mhor. Although it was several years ago, the memories of my experiences on the course have remained with me. It was a happy, creative and productive week.
The Arvon Foundation is a charitable organisation dedicated to developing new writing talent. Moniack Mhor is one of four residential centres owned by the Foundation. The others are in Shropshire, Yorkshire and Devon. Courses last for a week and are run by published, professional writers whose field of expertise matches the subject matter of the course. These writers are engaged as guest tutors.They are all practising, well known authors and are not permanent employees of the foundation. The novelist Ali Smith was one of two tutors on the course I attended and she was kind, patient and inspirational.
Course titles include – ‘Starting to Write’, Writing for Children’, Work in Progress’, ‘Writing Poetry’, ‘Advanced Fiction’, – to name a few.
Moniack Mhor is a simply furnished, large cottage. Students help themselves to breakfast and lunch and all take their turn to cook the evening meal (along with a couple of other students) – recipes and ingredients provided. Everyone then dines together, including the tutor. This was a course highlight – great ‘craic’ round the table. There is plenty of beautiful open country around the cottage so students can take walks whenever they need a break from writing. As well as group tuition, students also get one to one time with the tutor.
There are grants available to cover the course fees if you are on low/no income. And in my opinion the fees are an investment in your future as a writer.
So if you’re serious about improving your writing, do consider taking an Arvon course- I can’t recommend it highly enough.
Visit Arvon’s blog at http://arvonblog.org