Those Guardian Masterclasses look good… but do they work?

There’s a debate about whether creative writing can be taught. The demand for courses is steady and the supply apparently limitless, so a lot of people must think it can.

I got a great deal from some of the writing courses I’ve been on. But the best weren’t about the teaching-learning transaction but something much more diffuse, more involving, and ultimately more valuable.

For my money, the oldest-established and by far the best are run by the Arvon Foundation at their three retreats in beautiful places. I only ever went on one and it was years ago, but it had a lasting impact.

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