Three-Month Novel-Writing Course

The hugely popular and intensive course for 15 aspiring novelists, featuring direct input from our literary agent team, and based in Curtis Brown's Central London offices.

CBC photo

Dates


Nov 15 2017 - Mar 08 2018

Location


London

Fees


£1,800

SUMMARY

Our intensive Three-Month Novel-Writing Course, running from 15 November 2017 to 8 March 2018, is designed to give aspiring novelists everything they need to make their novels fly. Author and experienced tutor Charlotte Mendelson will lead weekly evening workshops, teaching sessions and one-to-one tutorials.

Tutors

Charlotte has written four novels: Love in IdlenessDaughters of JerusalemWhen We Were Bad, and Almost English, all published by Picador. She has 20 years' experience as a fiction editor and publisher, and is a Visiting Professor at Royal Holloway, University of London, on the Creative Writing MA course. Her first work of non-fiction, Rhapsody in Green, was published by Kyle Books in September 2016.

Anna Davis, Director

Anna is the founder and Director of the Curtis Brown Creative writing school. She is the author of five novels, published around the world in 20 languages: MeltingThe Dinner, CheetThe Shoe Queen and The Jewel Box.  She has worked for Curtis Brown for more than a decade as a book agent and has served on the management committee of the Association of Authors' Agents.

Guest Speakers

creative writing courses, creative writing, writing, writing courses, creative writing courses london, online writing courses, online creative writing courses, children's writing, children's creative writing, children's writing courses, children's creative writing courses, young adult writing, young adult creative writing, young adult creative writing courses, ya writing, ya creative writing, ya creative writing courses

Alice Lutyens


Agent
creative writing courses, creative writing, writing, writing courses, creative writing courses london, online writing courses, online creative writing courses, children's writing, children's creative writing, children's writing courses, children's creative writing courses, young adult writing, young adult creative writing, young adult creative writing courses, ya writing, ya creative writing, ya creative writing courses

Jonny Geller


Agent
creative writing courses, creative writing, writing, writing courses, creative writing courses london, online writing courses, online creative writing courses, children's writing, children's creative writing, children's writing courses, children's creative writing courses, young adult writing, young adult creative writing, young adult creative writing courses, ya writing, ya creative writing, ya creative writing courses

Norah Perkins


Agent
creative writing courses, creative writing, writing, writing courses, creative writing courses london, online writing courses, online creative writing courses, children's writing, children's creative writing, children's writing courses, children's creative writing courses, young adult writing, young adult creative writing, young adult creative writing courses, ya writing, ya creative writing, ya creative writing courses

Jonathan Lloyd


Agent
creative writing courses, creative writing, writing, writing courses, creative writing courses london, online writing courses, online creative writing courses, children's writing, children's creative writing, children's writing courses, children's creative writing courses, young adult writing, young adult creative writing, young adult creative writing courses, ya writing, ya creative writing, ya creative writing courses

Jeffrey Archer


Author
creative writing courses, creative writing, writing, writing courses, creative writing courses london, online writing courses, online creative writing courses, children's writing, children's creative writing, children's writing courses, children's creative writing courses, young adult writing, young adult creative writing, young adult creative writing courses, ya writing, ya creative writing, ya creative writing courses

Karolina Sutton


Agent
L J

Louisa Joyner


Publisher
IHG

Imogen Hermes Gowar


Author

Overview

The Three-Month Novel-Writing Course takes place at our London offices – in the heart of one of the UK’s biggest literary agencies. Acclaimed author and experienced tutor Charlotte Mendelson will lead weekly evening workshops, teaching sessions and one-to-one tutorials. The course also features four special visiting speaker sessions in which literary agents from Curtis Brown and C+W, paired with leading writers and top publishers, will talk to the students. At the end of the course, the Curtis Brown and C+W literary-agent teams will read the openings and synopses of the students' novels, and students get to meet the agents and discuss their works-in-progress at a drinks evening.

Thirty-four of the students who've attended our creative writing courses have gained book deals with commercial publishers. The school has celebrated its first Sunday Times number-one bestselling author – Jessie Burton (The Miniaturist and The Muse) – and several other students, including Jane Harper with The Dry, Nicholas Searle with The Good Liar and A Traitor in the Family, Kate Hamer with The Girl in the Red Coat and The Doll Funeral, and Lisa Williamson with The Art of Being Normal and All About Mia have featured in the top ten. While we can't guarantee publication or representation, we lavish our expertise on our students. The agents of Curtis Brown and C+W are hungry for new authors and actively looking for clients among our students. All workshops and visiting speaker sessions will take place in our boardroom.

The course is scheduled for evenings to suit participants with full-time jobs and other daytime commitments.

Applicants of limited financial means may be eligible to apply for our HW Fisher Scholarship. For more information about this, please click here.

We welcome applications from anyone with writing talent and a strong idea for a novel.

What does this course give you?

This course is ideal for aspiring novelists who are serious about writing, and it includes dedicated time and attention from literary agents. We have a selective applications process in order that students will be a part of a valuable peer group operating at a high level. Students will get:

  • Weekly writing workshops led by Charlotte Mendelson, focusing on 3,000-word extracts from students' work. Students participate in all workshops. Each student receives two workshops centred on their novels-in-progress during the course.
  • One 25-minute, one-to-one tutorial based on their novel-in-progress with Charlotte Mendelson, who will read and comment on a 3,000-word extract from a student’s novel. Students can focus this tutorial on their particular concerns and questions on key issues such as how to develop their storyline, how to write good dialogue, etc.
  • One 45-minute one-to-one tutorial with Anna Davis or a member of the Curtis Brown or C+W literary-agent team. This will be based around a 6,000-word extract of the student’s novel-in-progress, plus their synopsis, and will include both detailed feedback and an industry perspective - this takes place in the later stages of the course.
  • Weekly teaching sessions on key topics with Charlotte Mendelson, to include discussion and writing exercises (some of which may be set for homework).
  • Four visiting speaker sessions (two hours each) – evening talks from Curtis Brown and C+W agents partnered with major authors and top publishing professionals. The sessions will be hosted by Curtis Brown literary agent Norah Perkins or Curtis Brown Creative’s Anna Davis or Rufus Purdy.
  • A two-hour workshop on how to write pitch letters to agents with Anna Davis and Curtis Brown's Norah Perkins.
  • Advice on how to write synopses with individual feedback from Charlotte Mendelson.
  • Drinks with the Curtis Brown and C+W agent teams at the end of the course. Students will submit 3,000 words of their novel, plus a synopsis, which will be read by the agents prior to this meet-up.

Format

WEEKLY TAUGHT WORKSHOPS AND TEACHING SESSIONS
The weekly teaching sessions will take place on Wednesday evenings, from 7pm–9pm. In the first hour, Charlotte Mendelson will cover a range of topics important to novelists, such as characterisation and narrative point of view. The second hour is the writing workshop, with the discussion focusing on three students' work  per week. Students will be asked to submit synopses and extracts from their novels-in-progress one week ahead of their workshop, and also will receive written comments from the tutor and fellow students (so, students will each week be reading and giving feedback on three students' work). This provides focused feedback and encourages students to develop their capacity to self-edit, to read as writers, and to receive and provide constructive criticism.

ONE-OFF TALKS
The four visiting speaker sessions and the pitch-letter workshop will take place on Tuesday evenings from 7pm-9pm, to include time for Q&As. At some of these visiting speaker sessions, students will be given the opportunity to practise pitching their novels to industry professionals.

TUTORIALS
The 25-minute, one-to-one tutorials with Charlotte Mendelson will take place on Wednesday evenings between 6pm and 7pm.
The one-to-one, 45-minute tutorial with Anna Davis or a member of the Curtis Brown or C+W literary-agent team will take place towards the end of the course – appointment times will be agreed with the students.

EXTRACTS TO BE READ BY AGENTS
Towards the end of the course, students will be given a date by which to submit their 3,000 words plus a one-page synopsis to be shared with the full agenting teams at Curtis Brown and C+W. This is not a formal submission to the agency but a chance for students to share work-in-progress with our literary agents ahead of the drinks evening.

Schedule

Dates and details

All sessions take place from 7pm–9pm at Curtis Brown's offices.

Wednesday 15 November
Introduction and Beginnings, with Anna Davis and Charlotte Mendelson

Wednesday 22 November
Planning and Openings, with Charlotte
Writing workshop

Tuesday 28 November
Visiting Speaker Session – Alice Lutyens (CB) with Louisa Joyner (Faber), hosted by Norah Perkins

Wednesday 29 November
Inspiration, Voice and Point of View, with Charlotte
Writing workshop

Tuesday 5 December
Visiting Speaker Session: Jonathan Lloyd (CB) with Jeffrey Archer, hosted by Norah Perkins

Wednesday 6 December
Developing Your Protagonist, with Charlotte
Writing workshop

Wednesday 13 December
Plotting and Story, with Charlotte
Writing workshop

Christmas break

Tuesday 9 January
Visiting Speaker Session: Karolina Sutton (CB) with Imogen Hermes Gowar (author), hosted by Norah Perkins

Wednesday 10 January
Dialogue, with Charlotte
Writing workshop

Wednesday 17 January
Developing Minor Characters, with Charlotte
Writing workshop

Tuesday 23 January
Visiting Speaker Session – Jonny Geller (CB) with an author or publisher (TBC)

Wednesday 24 January
Description and Tone, with Charlotte
Writing workshop

Wednesday 31 January
Endings, with Charlotte
Writing workshop

Wednesday 7 February
The Synopsis I, with Charlotte
Writing workshop

Tuesday 20 February
Letters to Agents, with Anna Davis and Norah Perkins (CB)

Wednesday 21 February
The Synopsis II, with Charlotte
Writing workshop

Wednesday 28 February
Conclusions, with Anna Davis and Charlotte

Thursday 8 March
Drinks with the Curtis Brown & C+W literary agents

* Please note, teaching topics, speakers and dates are subject to change.

Fee

The course fee of £1,800 (inc VAT) per student is payable, in full, by bank transfer or cheque. Funds must reach our bank account before the course begins. We regret that we are unable to refund fees, and would suggest students make their own insurance arrangements if required.

Applicants of limited financial means may be eligible to apply for our HW Fisher Scholarship. For more information about this, please click here.

Apply now

This course has now closed for applications.