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Meet Clarissa Angus, winner of The Adam Kay Scholarship for Black Writers

BY Katie Smart
9th Sep 2020

We’re pleased to announce that Clarissa Angus has been awarded The Adam Kay Scholarship for Black Writers for her novel-in-progress Duppy Season. Clarissa has won a fully-funded place on our Three-Month Online Novel-Writing course taught by Suzannah Dunn. We are so grateful to Adam Kay for providing the full fee for Clarissa to join this online course.

The CBC team were blown away by Clarissa's compelling historical novel set in the British West Indies, 1833. The story is influenced by elements of folklore as it follows Kiyane, a house slave, and her journey to freedom. We loved the novel’s strong narrative voice as well as its supernatural elements.

Please could you tell us a bit about yourself and your novel-in-progress Duppy Season?

I'm a Londoner who's been blessed to have had two Jamaican-born parents that have lovingly indulged and nurtured my love of stories and writing over the years. Duppy Season is my attempt at putting a different spin to the many amazing stories already out in the world that speak to the history of slavery. I just hope I can showcase another side to my heritage, including that of West Indian folklore and duppies who have 'haunted' me all my life, in a good way!

What does winning this scholarship place mean to you?

Winning this place is completely unexpected. I am so utterly blown away and humbled. This scholarship means that I can learn more about what I need to do, to finally finish my novel, and that (maybe) my having applied without any expectations whatsoever shows other wannabe writers of colour that good things really are possible.

‘Curtis Brown Creative have an enviable reputation in getting major publishing deals for their students, and I’m delighted to be able to offer that opportunity to a talented Black writer’ – Adam Kay

The Curtis Brown Creative team consider that we have a responsibility to promote diversity in our student groups and to reach out to talented writers who face barriers to entry when it comes to gaining professional training and furthering their writing careers.

If you’re interested in funded opportunities with us, watch this space. Further fully-funded writing opportunities with Curtis Brown Creative are to be announced later in the autumn.