The Imaginative Flourish with Jennifer Higgie

An intensive deep dive into the writing process with the author of The Other Side and The Mirror and the Palette.


Friday 26 – Sunday 28 January 2024


Jennifer Higgie


Dartington Trust, South Devon


Unless otherwise stated, our Short Courses are for adults 18+ years


Includes all lunches, suppers, field trips, materials and all teaching from supper on the day of your arrival through until the lunchtime before your departure.



All the perks included in your course fee, PLUS breakfast and accommodation from the day your course starts to check-out on the morning of the day the course ends. (More info about accommodation can be found below.)


About this course

Join bestselling writer, Jennifer Higgie, for this effervescent and atmospheric creative writing weekend.  

On this course you will explore the various approaches to writing ‘think pieces’, poetry, essays, creative non-fiction, magazine writing. Students will learn to identify what kind of writer they want to be and who their intended audience is; how to shape an argument and translate work into a language that is clear, engaging and original. Students will also receive guidance, if relevant, about how to make a living as a professional writer: from pitching ideas to working with an editor and promoting their work via social media.

Author of ‘The Other Side’ and ‘The Mirror and the Palette’ , Jennifer Higgie, the former editor of Frieze magazine, explores the life and work of an extraordinary group of often overlooked women innovative artists and their spiritual investigations into this realm and the next.

 KATY HESSEL, author of THE STORY OF ART WITHOUT MEN said ‘The Other Side lit up my brain. A radical, fascinating exploration of art and the otherworldly, Higgie is an expert and erudite guide in this brilliant reclamation of female artists’

Whatever your ambition or level – creative non-fiction, fiction, art writing or poetry – join us for a weekend of writing, analysis, exercises, constructive criticism and group and individual discussion.

This course introduces you to various approaches to writing, from creative non-fiction to fiction, art writing and poetry.

Each day will be a mix of analysis, writing exercises, advice and group discussion. We will explore questions such as what constitutes good writing; how to build a scaffold for your text, whatever your aim; how to seduce the reader, structure an argument and use language in an imaginative and compelling way; and who your audience is.

You will also receive advice on how to make a living as a professional writer: from pitching an idea to a publication or a publisher, to working with an editor and promoting your work via social media.

on this course you will

  • Learn to identify what constitutes good writing, who your audience is, what kind of writer you want to be and how to animate an idea in language that is clear, engaging, and original.
  • Develop short pieces of writing that will be read aloud and discussed.
  • Get the opportunity to pick the brains of an established writer on how to make a living through writing.
  • We will also put together a list of suggested reading that each student will contribute to.

typical schedule for short courses

  • Check-in to the room is between 3-3.45pm on the day of arrival. Check-out is 11am on the day of departure, although if travelling by public transport, luggage can be left at the Welcome Centre until the course has completed.
  • Teaching generally begins at 4pm on the first day and ends at 2pm Fridays or 4pm Sunday (whichever is the last day of the course).
  • The daily timetable can start at 9.30am and end around 9.15pm, with free time available at set times throughout the day.
  • For residential participants breakfast is included, followed by a morning gathering and community work groups on weekdays, which are open to all participants and the college community. Non-residential participants can pay extra if they wish to have breakfast on one or more of the days.
  • Lunch for all participants is between 1-2pm and supper is 6.30-7.30pm (both meals are included in the residential and non-residential course fee).

If you have any questions about your course schedule please contact

what to bring

A willingness to work both individually and in a group in a positive and supportive manner, to share writing, to contribute to discussions, remain open to innovative ideas and to constructively critique each other’s writing.

You will need a laptop and a shortlist of your top five pieces of writing – in any form – that you find inspiring/moving/challenging.


Jennifer Higgie

Jennifer Higgie

“I have had a 25-year career as a writer and editor. I was editor-in-chief of Frieze magazine and, more recently, the editor of The Annual, published by the National Gallery of Australia. I have published a novel, Bedlam, illustrated and written a children’s book, There’s Not One and in the last three years have published two books. I have also written numerous articles for magazines, newspapers and artist’s catalogues, hosted a podcast and written a five-part essay for BBC Radio 3; I also write screenplays. Read More



Our courses are part of the wider Learning programme at Dartington, and you will join a community of students on site studying at Schumacher College and Dartington Arts School as well as other short course participants, volunteers and visitors.

While you are here we invite you to take part in our learning community life by attending morning meetings, taking part in activities such as meal preparation and clearing, and evening social events. This is entirely voluntary, but participants tell us that taking part adds to their experience at Dartington.

short course community lunch


We recommend that if possible, you stay on-site during your course. All our courses are best experienced holistically: through studying, relaxing, eating and staying with other course participants, volunteers, staff and tutors.

When you book your course with accommodation this includes one of our hostel-style single rooms with shared facilities and easy access to your main learning space. They are the perfect base to rest your head, relax and recharge. You can find out more about the rooms here.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included throughout the duration of the course, each made with fresh, locally-sourced produce by our award-winning team.

Accommodation is available at a discounted rate for course attendees, and on a first come, first served basis only. Choose this option by selecting ‘Course Fee Plus Accommodation’ at checkout.

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optional: upgrade to a courtyard room

It is also possible, subject to availability, to upgrade your accommodation to a single or double en-suite bedroom in our beautiful and historic courtyard. Upgrade pricing is as follows:

For courses starting before 1/9/2023

  • Single room with en-suite bathroom: additional £27.25 per night
  • Double room with en-suite bathroom is an additional £43.60 per night

For courses starting on or after 1/9/2023

  • Single room with en-suite bathroom: additional £31.07 per night
  • Double room with en-suite bathroom is an additional £49.70 per night

If you would like to upgrade, please first book with residential option included, and then contact our Guest Services team on 01803 847150 or email to check availability. Our Guest Services department is open daily, 8am–8pm.

Should you decide to upgrade to our en-suite accommodation, please be aware that this is 20 min walk, or 3 min drive, to the Old Postern site, where some of our courses are held. There is car parking available near to all venues on the estate.


You may like to stay on our beautiful and relaxing campsite, amidst the stunning rolling hills and ancient woodlands of Dartington. Find out more about the campsite here.

Should you decide to stay on the campsite, please be aware that this is 10 min walk, to either Schumacher College or Dartington Hall, where our courses are held. There is car parking available near to all venues on the estate.

Book now

Begin your online booking below. You will receive an e-ticket for this event. You are welcome to email us at or call us at 01803 847008 with any queries you have. Full Short Course T&Cs can be found here >

If you place a deposit, you will be contacted by us four weeks before the course start date to pay the outstanding balance. You will also be contacted with full details about the course before you arrive.

Please note that in most cases bookings for all our Short Courses close at midday on the Thursday before the course begins. This enables us to give you the best possible course experience and ensures all bookers receive the relevant course materials before they arrive.

Offer: Special rate for Dartington Members

Dartington Members will receive a 10% discount, applied when they log in during the checkout process. For more information about Membership, click here (opens in new tab).

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