Friday, 3 September 2010


6pm Thursday 10th March to Sunday 13th March 1pm at

The Arvon Foundation-Totleigh Barton-Sheepwash-Devon-EX21 5NS

Who’s it for? We are very keen to welcome newcomers. You need to enjoy the writing process and be prepared to share your efforts and those of others, but you certainly don’t need to be an expert writer or literary clever-clogs. A sense of humour is always an advantage. Seasoned Totleigh participants, who are coming for their annual fix, are always welcome of course.

Dixie Darch is one of the founding tutors of this residential weekend, which has been a popular fixture since the early 1990's. An experienced teacher of English to degree level, she is an inspirational facilitator who plays close attention to participants’ creative contributions, ensuring all feel comfortable enough to let go and take risks, as well as moving writers on in terms of skills and writerly self awareness. She is a keen writer of prose and remains in awe of anyone who can write poetry.

Polly Hall has been a keen participant, organiser and ideas factory within the group, as well as being a qualified teacher. Winning a box of maltesers, aged 9, for her story 'The Granny's Gang' set her on a path of chocolate addiction and a passion for creative writing. Since then she has had articles published in various national magazines and websites. She worked for six years as Editor of Reflexions for The Association of Reflexologists and published The Art of Foot Reading in 2009. Polly created and its linked blog for writers to share their work and interact.

The Place: Totleigh Barton is an ancient thatched farmhouse that is used for writing courses taught by professional writers for most of the year and is the ideal place to switch off and enjoy the beautiful surroundings. The house is warm and comfortable and very special in terms of atmosphere. This year we hope to co-ordinate a volunteer rota of food provision and preparation so that good food is shared with the minimum of labour and we avoid sixteen people heating up their ready meals for one in the microwave.

What we'll be doing:
The writing weekend consists of mornings devoted to writing exercises and allows you time and space to develop your own writing uninterrupted over the weekend. Dixie and Polly will be on hand to give feedback and tutorials if you would like them during the three days.

You are requested to bring along a piece of your own writing and a piece by a published author, any genre, (writers' names omitted). These will be read out on the first and second evenings and it is always a revelation to find such high quality writing from amongst our group when the authors are disclosed. One side A4 maximum please, so we have time to hear and discuss all pieces.

Further details about what else to bring for the weekend will be forthcoming in mid December. Feel free to phone or email if you have a query.

There are 18 places available, and a few people will have to share, due to the character of the building. However there are plenty of quiet corners where you can tuck yourself away to write, even if you do have to share. It would be most helpful if you are okay about sharing, if you could let us know in advance who you'd like as a room mate.

Cost: £90 in total (a deposit of £25 will secure your place). Please send this as soon as possible to Dixie, or you can give it to Polly.

This year we will have to pay the full amount by the end of December as new more formal letting arrangements have been put in place. The fee has gone up this year for the first time, hence the slightly increased price from 2010 but still great value. The fee does not include food.

Address for deposits: Send your name, address and phone number with deposit to: Dixie Darch, The Old Wellhouse, Nailsbourne, Taunton, Somerset TA2 8AG (cheques payable to D Darch)

Any enquiries:
Dixie tel: 01823 451399 or
Polly tel: 07811 447213 or

We hope you can join us this year

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