Sunday, 20 May 2018

Starting to Write with the Brontës – Lumb Bank Arvon Centre, 14-19 May 2018

Haworth Main Street
It was with a heavy heart that I left Lumb Bank after an incredible week of Starting to Write with the Brontës. Breaking the Arvon formula somewhat, we didn’t spend the whole week in workshops at Lumb but took two days in Haworth. The first of which consisted of a visit to the parsonage, workshop exercises based around what we’d seen, and a private tour by the expert Ann Dinsdale. We all took a lot away from the day having gained a better understanding of how the Brontës lived and worked, and for me it brought to life some of the characters around them. The second day trip saw us out on the moors hiking up to Top Withins. We stopped at various points en route to read out poems and snippets from novels that were inspired by the landscape, a truly special experience that I would highly recommend.

On the moors
Our days at Lumb consisted of morning workshops split between poetry with Katrina Naomi and prose with Tiffany Murray. They were wonderful, very approachable tutors who got us thinking about our writing in different ways and equipped us with various techniques to get our creativity flowing. We were also given one-to-one tutorials with them both. For someone like me who finds sharing their work excruciating it was nerve wracking but well worth it.

View from my window at Lumb Bank
In keeping with Arvon tradition we spent Friday night sharing work we’d produced during the week, having been treated to readings by our tutors and special guest Claire Harman throughout the week. I think it’s fair to say we were all apprehensive at the prospect of reading out our work but it was a great end to the week, and unexpectedly it was poetry that I shared, the first of my adult life.

I cannot fault the week – the location is breathtaking, the staff and tutors were great, the special guest was entertaining and incredibly knowledgeable, and we were kept well fed with delicious fresh food. If you ever have the chance to experience an Arvon course take it, it’ll be one of the best things you ever do.
View of Lumb Bank from further down the valley

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