from Preston Poets' Newsletter:
..... but March is more promising with the Huddersfield Literature Festival taking place between the 6th and 16th with Lemn Sissay alongside authors like Joanne Harris.
Between the 7th and 16th at the Theatre by the Lake in Keswick guests include Blake Morrison, Don Paterson and Melvyn Bragg. The full programme for this event is amazing with a diverse selection of talks and guests. Here’s one that took my fancy. It’s by Katie Waldgrave and is entitled The Poets’ Daughters and is about the lifelong friendship between Dora Wordsworth and Sara Coleridge.
From the 20 to the 31st is the York Literature Festival and includes Roger McGough. Just down the road from the 28th to the 30th is the Otley Word Feast which has the delightfully sounding Sonnets and Scones on the 29th and A Terribly Sedate and Right Proper Poetry Reading on the same day.
Those are the most local events I could find that one can dip in and out of. But what if one wants something more structured to help oneself on a one to one or group basis. I’ve been on an Arvon Residential course back in 2007 not for poetry but for script writing. However Simon Armitage was the course tutor with his partner Sue Roberts, a drama producer at the BBC and editor of the Verb. Apart from some useful technical advice the main thing I got from the week was some writerly friends who I still keep in contact with. For £500 ( then ) that’s a lot of money. So you need to know what you want.
There are all sorts of courses - for instance local weekends such as at Weetwood Hall, Leeds where Alison Chisholm is explaining ‘All you need to know about Writing Competitions’ from the 14-16th March, no price for this as yet. There is a 4 day writing retreat in Mungrisdale, Cumbria with Grevel Lindop for £199 from the 9th to the 12th May.
If you want to combine a summer holiday with a writing course there are loads of choices. This seems to be the business to be in. How about a week in Alicante for a week long poetry course from the 24th to the 31st of May run by ( the very influential ) Ann Sansom. That will knock you back 750 Euros. Which, if you’ve got the money, isn’t a bad deal.
To sum up: there’s probably some course out there that will suit you. It depends on the cost and what you want out of it. And don’t forget that some of these places, especially the Arvon ones, give grants to those on a small income.