Mentoring is aimed at those seeking targeted, detailed one-to-one feedback. Each session will focus on how best to support you – whether you are working towards a finished manuscript, embarking on an edit, or looking for advice on next steps or guidance as you begin a new project.
Mentoring takes place over nine months and consists of three hour-long sessions with a mentor from our author/tutor team.
Your mentor will read up to 10,000 words of your work before each session and then provide valuable and constructive feedback verbally and by giving you 500 words of notes each time. You can also use a mentoring session to have an in-depth discussion about plot issues, by instead sending a synopsis plus an 8,000-word extract – or just a synopsis and a sheet of issues and questions to put to the mentor.
The sessions take place on a date to be agreed between you, for one hour. Usually mentoring takes place over Zoom, but where possible may take place in person (subject to mentor’s preference and availability). The three sessions should be spread so that they happen approximately every three months across the nine-month period.
Huge thanks for sending Emily into my writing life, we get on brilliantly – she ‘gets’ the book – and me – which is the most wonderful gift
If you sign up for our mentoring scheme, you’ll get access to our bespoke submission list service. When you’re ready to send the novel you’re working on with CBC to agents, we will produce a tailored list of UK agents (outside of Curtis Brown and C&W) for you to pitch your work to. Jennifer Kerslake, head of courses at CBC and former editor at Weidenfeld & Nicolson or Abby Parsons, senior manager at CBC and former editor at Hachette UK, will take a look at your synopsis, pitch letter and opening and draw on their experience and knowledge of agents and their interests to produce a personalised submissions list for your particular novel, with details of at least ten agents. (This service will be provided in addition to the personal submission to CB and C&W that all alumni can access.)
Fees & dates
The next round of alumni mentoring will run from March to November 2024. There are now a limited number of spaces available. The final deadline for signing up is Sun 29 Feb, but with a limited number of spaces available we recommend getting in touch as soon as possible.
£1,500, payable in full before mentoring starts, or via three agreed instalments.
How to sign up
Please email email@example.com with a 3,000-word extract from your opening alongside a one-page synopsis or short summary of the novel you’re writing and if you have a preferred mentor from the list below. As ever, if you’d like any advice on who might be a good fit for your work, please do ask. Each mentor only has limited spaces and they are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, so get in touch as soon as possible to avoid disappointment. If we can’t match you with your first choice mentor, we will endeavour to suggest a suitable alternative.
We’re pleased to be able to offer a small number of subsidised places for those who would like to undertake mentoring but can’t afford the fee. If you would like to apply for a subsidised place, email firstname.lastname@example.org and explain why you feel you should qualify for one of the few places available. Please include information about who you would ideally like to work with and the 3,000-word extract from your opening alongside a one-page synopsis or short summary of the novel you’re writing. Please note these subsidised places are few in number and there will still be a fee to pay (in three instalments).
Meet our mentors
All our mentors are published authors or industry professionals with significant teaching experience.
- #1 Bestselling author
- Author of 5 acclaimed novels
- Award-winning children's author
- Lecturer at Falmouth University
- Bestselling YA author
- Author of 13 novels
- Over a quarter of a million copies sold in the UK alone
- Columnist for Writing Magazine
- Author of 5 acclaimed novels
- Winner of the 2013 Tibor Jones Pager-Turner Prize
- Author of 2 historical novels
- Host of Radio 4's human interest arts programme, Sketches: Stories of Art and People.
- Feature journalist
- Renowned memoirist
- Has edited a variety of non-fiction books
- Shortlisted for the 2019 Costa First Novel Award
- Winner of the 2015 Theakstons Crime Novel of the Year Award
- Award-winning short story writer
- Author of 8 acclaimed novels
- Columnist for the Times
- Sunday Times bestseller
- Winner of the 2021 CWA Historical Dagger Award
- Author of 3 critically acclaimed novels
- Winner of The Diverse Book Awards
- Long-listed for the Man Booker Prize
- Author of five books for young readers
- Former literary agent and current freelance editor
- Shortlisted for the CWA Golden dagger
- Author of 10 crime novels
- Critically acclaimed author
- Guardian Best Book of 2020
- Writer, campaigner and podcast host
- Longlisted for the 2016 Desmond Elliott Prize
- Novelist and short fiction author
- Author of 6 acclaimed novels
- Winner of the Betty Trask Award
- Shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award
- Harper's Bazaar Short Story Prize winner