The Arvon Foundation runs residential creative writing courses at centres in four locations: Devon, Shropshire, Yorkshire, and Inverness-shire. The courses provide an inspirational space and dedicated time to practice the art of writing.
The Chief Executive is Ruth Borthwick and the Council of Management is chaired by Nigel Pantling and consists of Patience Agbabi, Nii Ayikwei Parkes, Kate Donaghy, Marion Gibbs C.B.E Robert Hingley, Sir Andrew Cahn KCMG, David Kelleher, Rachel Lewis, Keith Pybus, Michael Symmons Roberts, Simon Trewin, Virginia Wedgwood.
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.