Writing Tips Posts

13 January 2017

How to build suspense in your novel

by Anna Davis From the Agents, Opinion, Writing Tips

Lots of students join our creative writing courses to work on psychological suspense novels – one of the biggest-selling genres at the moment. We associate suspenseful writing with other genres too, particularly crime fiction, action thrillers, horror and supernatural novels. But actually lots of other sorts of novels make use of suspense: When a young girl, […]

08 December 2016

All writers start their novels in one of two ways – which is you?

by Anna Davis From the Agents, Opinion, Our Courses, Writing Tips

Curtis Brown Creative’s director, Anna Davis, believes that when you start writing a novel, you will inevitably fall into one of two categories. Here’s her theory and her tips to help you get going …  When you decide to write your novel, there are two basic starting positions. *Sweeping generalisation alert* – but bear with me, […]

10 November 2016

CBC Tutor Q&A: Simon Wroe

by Jack Hadley Author Interviews, Writing Tips

For our next London-based creative writing course beginning in February, Curtis Brown Creative has hired a new tutor, Simon Wroe. Simon’s debut novel Chop Chop, a brilliant, darkly comic story of a young graduate working in a gastropub in Camden,  was shortlisted for the 2014 Costa First Novel Award, longlisted for the Desmond Elliott Prize and […]

04 November 2016

National Novel Writing Month: Best of the Web

by Jack Hadley Writing Tips

For many on our creative writing courses, one of the most important things Curtis Brown Creative can offer is structure. Whether it’s our six-week Starting to Write Your Novel course, or our longer London-based or online courses, the shape, incentive and deadlines provided by a formally structured course can be key in helping to get that novel off the ground. Structure is […]

28 October 2016

A Halloween Reading List

by Jack Hadley Opinion, Writing Tips

As our creative writing courses get into full swing, the nights draw in ever further. The November darkness beckons –  we’ve long cast off our cosy summer reads; we want to engage in something which can supply that thrill of discomfort and fear. Clichés aside, the horror tradition is a rich vein of exciting and […]

07 October 2016

What Novel Are You Writing: Literary or Commercial?

by Jack Hadley Opinion, Writing Tips

One of the most frequently asked questions on our creative writing courses is, ‘What kind of novel am I writing – literary or commercial?’ Our students are often confused about what the terms mean and are uncertain of what they should be aiming for. It wasn’t always this way. Dickens was not wracked with despair […]

03 October 2016

Tips on preparing your submission package

by Anna Davis From the Agents, Opinion, Writing Tips

As we enter the busiest time of the year for many literary agents, how do you put together a submission package that will catch their eye and make them want to read your work? Here are some tips on how to do it – and, by the way, most of them also apply to putting […]

29 September 2016

This month’s #Pitch CB: Agent tips

by Richard Pike From the Agents, Guest Blog, Writing Tips

#PitchCB is Curtis Brown’s monthly Twitter pitching party for authors looking for agents. This month we’re focussing on contemporary fiction and we’ve invited two leading editors from top UK publishers Trapeze and HarperCollins to join in. And as per last month, we’ve asked for some top tips to help you put together your pitches.  Sam […]

27 September 2016

How to get the best out of your creative-writing course

by Anna Davis From the Agents, Opinion, Our Courses, Writing Tips

Each time I welcome a new bunch of students to one of Curtis Brown Creative’s novel-writing courses in London, I always make a point of telling them how to get the best out of their experience with us. And actually, much of my advice also applies to studying on many other creative-writing courses – whether […]

19 August 2016

We want to hear your crime, thriller and mystery pitches

by Richard Pike and Rebecca Ritchie Events, From the Agents, Writing Tips

#PitchCB is Curtis Brown’s monthly Twitter pitching party for authors looking for agents. This month (on Friday 26 August) we’re focusing on crime, thriller and mystery novels – and we’ve invited two of the UK’s leading editors to join in: Frankie Gray, Editorial Director at Transworld and Vicki Mellor, Deputy Publishing Director at Headline. To […]

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