Curtis Brown Creative has been helping writers tell their stories for ten years. We launched in 2011 with our flagship London-based Writing Your Novel courses with the aim of finding talented writers, and helping them to get the best out of their writing and to develop their novels to their full potential. We put together a teaching team of acclaimed authors to work with our students, and we brought in literary agents from Curtis Brown and its sister agency C&W to demystify the publishing industry and empower our students to pitch their novels with confidence.
Our teaching approach was – and still is – practical and positive. We help people to write the book they want to write rather than trying to push them in a direction that is not their own. If you’re writing a crime novel, we won’t try to make you turn it into literary fiction. And we help writers find their trusted readers – this can be hugely important, and time and again we hear feedback that this is one of the best things writers get from our courses.
Fast forward a decade later and we now run lots of courses online as well as in London. We still run our three- and six-month courses for small groups of talented writers who are selected from a much larger group of applicants to work on their novels – and in 2020 we also unveiled an elite course on Writing an Original TV Drama Serial, with input from Curtis Brown’s film/TV agents.
But we also now offer a growing range of short online courses at a lower price point – covering not only novel writing, but also lots of other genres and forms, such as short stories, memoir writing, and writing for children. These shorter courses are designed to help you explore your potential and acquire new writing skills, no matter your current level. There’s no applications process for these courses – you can just enrol for the course of your choice, such as our four-week online Creative Writing for Beginners course, to start your writing journey with us.
I’m proud to say that over the past few years, many of our alumni have gained deals with major publishers. Some of our former students have written international bestsellers, others have won prizes and yet more have gained representation with literary agents and are working to prepare their novels for submission to publishers. And whether they end up getting agents and publishers or not, it’s wonderful to see a great many groups of our students continuing to support each other’s writing years after their courses are over. The act of writing is an end in and of itself.
We are also dedicated to amplifying under-represented voices. In 2020, supported by the Curtis Brown and C&W agencies, we launched the Breakthrough Writers’ Programme, offering creative writing courses, mentoring, and scholarships for writers facing barriers to entry when it comes to taking our courses and/or getting published. All opportunities are free for the writers taking part.
My team and I are passionate about finding and developing talent, and that hasn’t changed one jot from where we began ten years ago. These days, CBC is better equipped than ever to help talented writers: We now have two former commissioning editors from major publishing houses on our close-knit team, plus a former senior book publicist – adding further layers of industry experience to our unique literary agent-led academy.
Not everyone who comes on one of our courses will end up with an agent and a publisher (no one said this was going to be easy). But we can help you get the best out of your writing. You’re intrinsically alone as a writer, but you don’t have to be lonely.
Founder and Managing Director
MEET THE CBC TEAM
Anna Davis, CBC Founder & Director
Anna is the founder and Director of the Curtis Brown Creative writing school. She is the author of five acclaimed novels which have been published in twenty languages. She has been a journalist and Guardian columnist, as well as a Curtis Brown literary agent. She taught creative writing at the University of Manchester and in many other settings before founding Curtis Brown Creative in 2011.
Jennifer Kerslake, Senior Manager
Jennifer is Senior Manager for Courses and Operations at Curtis Brown Creative. She was previously an editor at Weidenfeld & Nicolson, the literary imprint of the Orion Publishing Group. In her time there, she worked with authors including Costa-shortlisted Elisa Lodato, Stella Prize-winning Heather Rose, Leila Aboulela, Francesca Jakobi, Chloë Mayer, Shannon Leone Fowler and Haleh Agar. She is passionate about nurturing new voices and excited to be part of CBC’s creative and dynamic team.
Abby Parsons, Senior Manager
Abby Parsons is CBC’s current Senior Manager for Courses and Operations (maternity cover). Abby has been editing commercial fiction since 2014, at Hodder & Stoughton, Little, Brown Book Group and, most recently, HQ, HarperCollins, where she worked on bestselling books and exciting debut authors. In 2016 she co-founded Dear Damsels, a publishing platform sharing the words of women, and has loved working closely with new writers to help them find the very best version of their story ever since.
Jack Hadley, Production & Courses Manager
After completing an MA in Victorian Literature in 2014, Jack worked as a reader and researcher at film/TV production company The Imaginarium Studios in Ealing, before joining the CBC team in September 2016 as an editorial and administrative assistant. He was promoted to Courses Manager in 2018. Also a keen musician and songwriter, he can often be found frequenting singer-songwriter nights in Farringdon. He is proud to work alongside the many talented students and superb tutors who are the beating heart of Curtis Brown Creative.
Lyndsey Ng, Courses Manager
Lyndsey Ng was previously Senior Publicity Manager at Hodder & Stoughton. Since then, she has work as Events and Media Manager for Village Books in Dulwich, at the Social Enterprise Leaders Plus, and continues to work as a freelance events consultant. She completed an MA In Publishing for the University of the Arts London. She’s proud to work with such innovative and exciting authors as part of Curtis Brown Creative.
Ria Cagampang, Ecommerce Manager
Since graduating from the University of Portsmouth in 2014, Ria has worked in an array of digital marketing roles. She spent just under five years working in Oxford University Press’ Educational division, marketing their online schools platforms, before joining the CBC team as Ecommerce Manager in 2020.
Katie Smart, Marketing & Content Executive
Katie joined CBC as the Team Assistant in 2018 after completing an MA in English Literature, specialising in contemporary fiction. Katie is currently CBC’s Marketing and Content Executive and loves finding exciting ways to engage with writers.