Festival of Writing Day

  • DATE

    1 June 2024

  • TIME

    10:00 am to 6:00 pm

  • AGES

    All ages welcome


    From £65


    The Birchcliffe Centre
    Birchcliffe Road
    Hebden Bridge
    HX7 8DG

Experience the Arvon magic in Hebden Bridge with an inspiring day of fiction, non-fiction and poetry writing workshops led by Arvon tutors. Day tickets include your choice of 2 x two-hour workshops, industry talks, peer networking, tea and coffee served throughout the day, a light lunch and cake, and an option to add on a speed pitching slot.

Poetry Workshop with Kim Moore

Writing the self

With award-winning poet, Kim Moore, you will explore the joy and perils of writing about the self. Looking at a broad range of poetry, we will examine voice, self-portraits, memory and masks to examine how the self can be both disguised and illuminated in poetry, and how our inner landscape can be rich and fertile ground for creativity. You will leave with boosted confidence and a toolkit of techniques for writing and editing your poems in the future.

Poetry Workshop with Raymond Antrobus

The real and the imagined

How can poetry play with the line between the real and the imagined? What is poetic truth and how does it relate to the emotional truth of experience and living in the world? How can poetry imagine ideal worlds whilst being rooted in the ‘here and now’? Through a series of practical writing exercises and close readings of poems, you’ll explore these big questions in a supportive environment with award-winning poet Raymond Antrobus.

Fiction Workshop with Stacey Halls

Bringing the past to life

In this fiction workshop, Stacey Halls shares how to bring the past to life. Having written in several historic periods, from Jacobean to Victorian, Stacey explores how she thinks of the past as a setting and not a genre. As well as sharing how to develop ideas and approach research, with detailed information on sources and how to access them, Stacey will workshop story ideas based on real events. She says: “For me, writing is about connection. I have to connect with something to be able to work on it. All of my novels have been creative responses to something that really happened, however long ago, that speaks to me. I’m thrilled to be able to share how I work and to furnish you with the confidence that will make the prospect of writing your novel – whether historical or not – more exciting and less daunting.”

Fiction Workshop with Cynan Jones

Improving your writing

Having ideas, imagining events, making up characters, describing details. That’s the fun stuff! But to make a text as strong as it should be, you’ve got to put in the graft. This two hour workshop will arm you with ways to look at a piece of writing, once the first draft is done, and give you the tools to improve it. At the beginning of the session, you’ll generate a new piece of writing, inspired by a prompt; then you’ll put that piece of writing through a series of hands-on, practical exercises that you’ll be able to take away and apply to any text you work with. This will help you embrace the vital stages of redrafting, rewriting, and editing, and give you the confidence to take your writing forward with a clear eye.

Non-Fiction Workshop with Cathy Rentzenbrink

How to begin

The most important thing in memoir is to make a start! The next is Voice and in this session we’ll look at how to develop a sense of personality and presence on the page so we can start telling our stories. We’ll explore the importance of aiming to sound like ourselves, and how to cultivate the freedom, commitment and permission to do that. We’ll also look at what makes for a good beginning, and what to avoid! You’ll leave the session full of enthusiasm for your own voice, with practical tools to further develop it, and having created some brilliant opening lines.

Non-Fiction Workshops with Rhik Samadder

The plot thickens, as do the people

Memorable writing has a satisfying shape, and vivid characters. In this session we will look at some of the most successful story archetypes, and how to employ them in non-fiction without compromising truth. (We may also talk about the Truth.) We will then explore how to portray real people in your writing with the same care. Writing exercises will distil the use of character description and dialogue, and there will be opportunities to share short responses to those exercises in pairs, as well as group discussion. Participants will leave with a sense of their story’s potential, and a firm grasp of how to write into it.