I've just spent a lovely week at Lumb Bank on an Arvon Fiction Course tutored by Edward Docx and Alice Jolly.
It was a little bit magical and although I've only been home for 24 hours I'm already finding it hard to believe I was away for most of last week.
I didn't get very much writing done. We spent the mornings (10 - 1 o'clock) being taught by Ed and Alice. These sessions were interesting and informative with Ed concentrating on structure and planning and Alice discussing editing and dialogue.
Lunches were prepared by the Arvon staff. We ate at this enormous table which gave everyone the opportunity to get to know each other.
The afternoons were our own (unless it was our day to cook) and the weather was mostly good so I was able to sit outside with my laptop and do some editing.
We each had one tutorial with Alice and another with Ed. We were allowed to submit three pages of prose and a synopsis. The tutorials lasted for half an hour, which isn't much so I thought beforehand about what I wanted to discuss/ask. Alice looked at the opening of my novel and Ed looked at a comic scene between a young boy and a much older man. Both tutorials were helpful and I came away with new ideas.
Marina Lewycka came on Wednesday evening and read from her new novel 'Various Pets Alice and Dead.' Thursday was an evening off; some people went to the pub and others stayed to chat and work. We read our own work on Friday evening.
I've managed to make a very entertaining week sound staid and boring. There was a lot of laughter, very little sleep, some excellent teaching, delicious food, lovely people and, for the most part, beautiful weather. When it was time to start packing, I didn't want to come home.