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Arvon Foundation

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Arvon Foundation

The Arvon Foundation is a charitable organisation in the United Kingdom that promotes creative writing. It is based in the Free Word Centre for literature, literacy and free expression in London.



It was founded by two young poets, John Fairfax and John Moat, in 1968.

Arvon runs residential creative writing courses at centres in three locations: Devon, Shropshire and Yorkshire. The courses provide an inspirational space and dedicated time to practise the art of writing.

The Chief Executive is Ruth Borthwick and the Board of Trustees is chaired by Alistair Burtenshaw and consists of Patience Agbabi, Nii Ayikwei Parkes, Tony Cohen, Kate Donaghy, Marion Gibbs CBE, Robert Hingley, Sir Andrew Cahn KCMG, Sophie Rochester, Meriel Schindler, Michael Symmons Roberts, Simon Trewin, Virginia Wedgwood, Andy Wimble.

Previous tutors include Willy Russell, Ian McEwan, Andrew Motion, Arnold Wesker, Ted Hughes, Ali Smith, Carol Ann Duffy, Ian Rankin, George Szirtes and Will Self.

Arvon also runs residential creative writing courses for under-18s and partnership organisations. Arvon fundraises to ensure that those people who could not afford the full course fee can be offered grants to attend a course.


The Arvon Foundation used to run the biennial Arvon International Poetry Competition, which was first judged in 1980 by Ted Hughes, Charles Causley, Seamus Heaney and Philip Larkin. In 2010 the judges were Carol Ann Duffy, Elaine Feinstein and Sudeep Sen. As of 2012, they no longer run the competition.


Arvon Foundation Wikipedia

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