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Trustees selected this highly respected foundation which offers residential courses for writers of many disciplines and with a vast range of experiences as a suitable link with The Barbara and Philip Denny Charitable Trust because we felt a strong link with Barbara’s lifelong works of historical writing, journalism and poetry.


Arvon Grant Report Aug-Dec 2019

“Often, it is actually those in the most challenging financial straits who most desperately need the opportunity Arvon provides to writers: time to write, in an environment designed to inspire, nurture and develop creativity. It’s carers, those on low incomes, those from BAME backgrounds, who most struggle to justify the space and time to write. By funding this grant programme, you are bringing writers and new literature into the world, that might not otherwise have the chance to ever be written.” – Grant recipient

Arvon is extremely grateful to the Trustees of The Barbara and Philip Denny Charitable Trust for their ongoing support of the Grant Fund. Over the last nine years, your vital support has helped writers on a low income from across the UK to find their voice, develop their craft, or to create time and space to focus on their work in progress. Your generosity continues to make an invaluable contribution to our Grant Fund and helps ensure that the most diverse range of voices possible can attend our courses.

In 2019, we awarded over 130 grants to writers on a low income, enabling them to attend Arvon’s courses. Below are three writers on a low income who benefited from your generous support.

Read the full report here.


Arvon Grant Report Aug-Dec 2018





“The Arvon experience seemed like a distant luxury I had no way of accessing, and therefore didn’t deserve. A grant made it possible to have a week to learn, to grow, to get better. I’m hugely grateful for everything the course has meant to me.” – Grant recipient, 2018

2018 marks fifty years since the very first Arvon course at Totleigh Barton, and we have spent the year celebrating our 50th birthday. We ran 88 courses across our three rural centres covering a range of genres and forms, from Radio Drama to Experimental Fiction to Writing with Ted Hughes. Thanks to your generous support and that of other donors we awarded grants to nearly 125 writers in 2018. This year, 87% of grant recipients had an income of £23,000 or less.

Read the full report here.


Arvon Grant Report Aug 2018





A woman from Devon received a grant to attend Fiction: Tutored Retreat at Lumb Bank in August 2018. The tutors were novelist and screenwriter Helen Cross and novelist and short story writer Stuart Evers.

The woman applied for the grant after being made redundant from her job at a newspaper and she also volunteers for a local arts organisation and writers’ group. Her eldest of three daughters is disabled, and she said, “we struggle most months to pay bills, food, transport and essential items for the girls”. She reflected on what she gained from her Arvon week: “It has helped me to see the value in the work I do… As a writer, I think the week at Arvon gave me a clearer sense of myself, of what I have that is unique to me, and persuaded me that my work is publishable.”

Penny described how helpful tutor and peer feedback was and said the course was instrumental in her decision to apply for an MA in Creative Writing.

Read the full report here.


Arvon Grant Report 2017





“I found my Arvon week quite life changing. It has given me the confidence to carry on writing.” —Grant recipient 2017

By the end of 2017, we will have delivered over 80 courses across our three rural centres developing writers’ skills in a variety of forms, ranging from Fiction to Poetry, Playwriting to TV Screenwriting. There continues to be a high demand for financial assistance from writers to attend Arvon courses. This year we have awarded over 75 grants to date. Grant applications reopened in August for courses running from September to December.

Read the August report here.

Read the full report here.

Arvon Grant Report 2016

“It has been the most wonderful experience of my life…I’m totally inspired. The time and space given to dedicate to writing in an idyllic quiet location made this week, perfect.” —Grant recipient 2016

Arvon is extremely grateful to the Trustees of The Barbara and Philip Denny Charitable Trust for their ongoing support of our Grants Scheme. We value the relationship with the Trust highly and are thrilled that the Trustees have decided to increase their annual contribution from £5,000 to £6,000 enabling more writers facing disadvantaged and challenging lives the opportunity to participate in an Arvon course.

Read the full report here.

Grant Report 2015

“Without the grant I could not have come to the course. The grant system also makes the course more eclectic. Not everyone who is a gifted writer has been successful enough in the real world to afford the fee, so the grants bring greater variety and a bigger range of experience to the group.” –Grant recipient 2015

Your ongoing commitment has been vital in ensuring that Arvon courses remain open to everyone – regardless of age, background, income, or ability. The continued support of a handful of Trusts, including The Barbara and Philip Denny Charitable Trust has enabled Arvon to grow our grant fund in 2015 to £54,000. Despite the increase of the fund, demand for financial assistance has remained high. Arvon will continue to identify ways in which we can grow this pot to meet demand over the next few years.

Read the full report here.