If you think this might be the thing for you and would like to talk it through, please do contact me at
We need to hear from you by October 24th 2014
You may have noticed that in February 2015 we hope to be enjoying the first ever NWP Arvon course at Lumb Bank. This will be no ordinary course, in fact, we probably shouldn’t call it a course. This will be a much needed clear space for teachers to write. For themselves. There will be times to be solitary and there will be times when being part of a writing teaching community will lift the spirits, inspire, nourish.
If you have already experienced a writing workshop where teachers write and share their work together, you will know how revitalising it can be. Here in Norfolk, we meet once a month from 5- 7, after a long school day and always agree that we feel lighter, inspired and refreshed as we leave to return home. What’s the magic? That is something we are working to articulate. The ingredients include: the space to write for oneself; the words themselves, on the page, arriving sometimes to surprise us; our own words spoken, and the affirmation of others’ laughter, quietness or enthusiastic response; the words of others, which never fail to touch us, amuse us, remind us of who we are and of the utter pleasure of working with words; new ways of thinking about writing, or finding ways into and out of it; conviviality, the sharing not only of our words and lives, but more particularly our teaching lives; the sharing of classroom practice; the celebration of children’s writing; the mutual engagement with the puzzles and frustrations of writing in school; tea, and cake, and the chance to talk; the growing of a community of practice.
All that happens in two hours. It has, of course, grown over time, but even people meeting for a much shorter time express their delight in the energy that is generated by a teachers’ writing group. Imagine, now, the space and the community of eighteen people over five days at Lumb Bank. Arvon’s great work is to provide space for ordinary people to work as writers alongside published writers. Two writers will work with us one of whom will be a poet. They will run workshops and offer time to work with us individually. There will be free time, in which to write, to walk, maybe, to read and just to be. Do e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you think this is the thing for you.
And there will be time that is focused on the practice of teaching writing, not in a didactic way, but in a way that will allow us to share and develop our ideas together. We know that when we write ourselves we think differently about how we work with young writers. One of the main aims of the NWP is to foster teachers’ confidence in themselves as teachers of writing and to celebrate and share principled and thoughtful ways of working. Working together with other teachers who write affirms the ways in which we can think about teaching writing and gives authority to our practice. It allows the possibility of flexibility and change and of real growth.
One of the things that is exciting about working with others in an NWP setting, is that it generates ideas and thought. It can be a clear lens through which to view children’s work as they grow as writers. It opens up possibility. It is a celebration of words and making, of teaching and learning together, of the many different ways that individuals and communities may inhabit and be released by writing.
If you care about writing and teaching writing, maybe these days at Lumb Bank could be just the thing for you.
NWP director; UEA group leader
The NWP blog
Thoughts & updates from the National Writing Project in the UK.