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02 March 2015

CBC’s online creative writing course bears Bitter Fruits

by Rufus Purdy

As you’ll have no doubt noticed from the great big digits on the CBC homepage, the number of ex-students who’ve gone on to sign book deals after completing our creative writing courses has risen to 15 – coincidentally, the same number of writers in each of our student groups. That big 1-5 has been reached courtesy of ex-human rights lawyer Alice Clark-Platts (above), who studied on our very first online course in 2013 and came back for our intensive one-week summer school in 2014. Alice’s debut crime novel Bitter Fruits, the first in a series featuring her creation DI Erica Martin, will be published by Penguin’s Michael Joseph imprint in July.

The novel is set in the university city of Durham, and concerns the death of Emily Brabents, a first-year student, who is found floating in the river. DI Martin visits Joyce College, a cradle for the country’s future elite, and finds a close-knit community full of secrets, jealousy and obsession. Her search reveals a vicious online trolling culture but could Emily, from the privileged and popular crowd, have been a victim? Should the sudden confession to the murder by the student president be believed? And just who is the mysterious Daniel Shepherd whose name keeps appearing in the investigation?

‘I loved doing the course,’ says Alice. ‘I gained a great deal from it, made some friends and shored up confidence as regards my writing.  I would recommend the Curtis Brown Online Writing course to anyone who might struggle to attend classes in London. It was invaluable in finishing my novel, and I enjoyed all aspects of it.’

Bitter Fruits will be published by Michael Joseph on 2 July.

As well as expert teaching from published authors, all our selective three- and six-month novel-writing courses offer dedicated modules on submitting your novel to literary agents – and include sessions on writing a synopsis and preparing a covering letter. Click for more information or to apply for our creative writing courses.

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