23 February 2018

CBC writing classes at this year’s Laugharne Weekend festival

by John Williams Course News, Events,

For the second year running, Curtis Brown Creative will be running creative writing workshops at the Laugharne Weekend – an eccentric and bohemian festival, taking place in West Wales this April. Here’s festival organiser John Williams to tell you more:

CBC and the Laugharne Weekend festival got acquainted last year, when their excellent tutor Nikita Lalwani came along to teach a three day creative writing bootcamp.  The course was a great hit with the writers – while the festival itself was a big hit with the CBC team, who thoroughly embraced its anarchic spirit. Nikita even promised to sing a song with Keith Allen’s band at the uproarious Laugharne’s Got Talent evening, but claimed to have lost her duet partner at the vital moment. Thankfully CBC’s office supremo Jack Hadley jumped into the breach with a jaw-dropping (honestly!) performance of Bob Marley’s I Shot The Sheriff. (You can read more about last year’s antics here)

This year CBC are heading back to West Wales, and Jake Arnott will be teaching two creative writing workshops. If you’d like to try your hand at writing fiction, you can join one or both of these classes, which will take place at Dylan Thomas’s old haunt, Browns Hotel  on April 7th and 8th, from 10 am-12 noon – with the festival itself running from April 6th to 8th, in the township of Laugharne, Carmarthenshire.

Jake Arnott is a regular CBC tutor, and one of our most distinctive contemporary novelists – a man with a rare talent for turning history into great fiction. His first two novels, The Long Firm and He Kills Coppers – both of which were adapted into very successful TV series – dealt with the recent past of British gangsterism. His latest, The Fatal Tree, takes us to Georgian London – a ribald, fascinating den of iniquity, full of molly houses and thief takers.

So what exactly is this Laugharne Weekend? It’s is a singular event in the literary calendar – a lost weekend in West Wales. Laugharne itself has achieved global literary fame as Dylan Thomas’s last home, and the setting for his immortal Under Milk Wood (my co-organiser and I like to say that it’s not a Dylan Thomas festival – rather it’s the sort of festival Dylan Thomas might have enjoyed). However, Dylan’s far from the only literary great to have spent time in this unique seaside eyrie. Others range from the pioneering feminist Mary Wollstonecraft to the rather less feminist Sir Kingsley Amis.

The festival, now in its eleventh year, combines literature, comedy and music in one great anarchic mix. There are no individual event tickets – attendees buy tickets for the whole weekend. It’s a deal that makes sure you discover all manner of new favourites alongside the ones you already know. There are no green rooms either: the artists mix with audience in the pubs and cafes of the town.

In addition to Jake Arnott, who’ll be reading and talking as well as teaching, this year’s Acts include novelists Joe Dunthorne and Stella Duffy; Britain’s hot new crime writer Mick Herron; actor turned writer Ruth Jones; poet Owen Sheers; folk feminist icon Peggy Seeger; doctor turned comedy writer and author of  This Is Going To Hurt, Adam Kay; Squeeze songwriter Chris Difford, and even 70s TV legend David Soul. The full line-up can be seen on the festival website and you can also join the Laugharne Weekend Facebook group for all the latest news about the festival.

So if you want to find your writing voice in a beautiful and crazy town much loved by literary greats, then hurry to enrol for one of the very limited places (only 12 participants in each class!) on this exclusive course presented by CBC. And if you want tickets for the festival as well as a place in the workshops, then don’t hang about – there are only a handful left!

The Laugharne Weekend Creative writing workshops cost £40 for one session or  £70 for both. Festival weekend tickets: £100. If you want to buy a weekend ticket plus both masterclasses, there’s a special all-in price of £150.


To find out more and reserve a place on CBC’s Laugharne Weekend creative writing workshops with Jake Arnott, email laugharneweekend@gmail.com

To find out about CBC’s other creative writing courses, in London and online – click here 

And you can read more about the Laugharne Weekend festival in this great New Statesman article by Tracy Thorn

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