We’re delighted to open applications for our popular Breakthrough Mentoring Programme for Disabled Writers, which runs from Nov 2023 to Aug 2024. Four talented writers will each receive nine months of free, intensive, one-to-one mentoring from a published author, plus a one-to-one tutorial with a Curtis Brown literary agent. The scheme is open to disabled writers working on a novel, short story collection, memoir or narrative non-fiction project.
Is it right for me?
This mentoring programme is for you if you are a talented writer who fulfils the eligibility criteria and if you are seeking targeted, detailed one-to-one feedback on your work-in-progress, plus industry advice. You can apply to be mentored for a project at any stage of writing (from just starting to redrafting) and written in any of the following genres/categories:
- Novel written for adults
- Novel written for children (older than 7) or young adults
- Collection of short stories
- Narrative non-fiction
(We may extend the range of genres in future years of the Breakthrough Writers’ Programme).
How it works
If you’re selected for mentoring, we will match you with a mentor from our experienced team of author-tutors whose area of expertise/interest matches the kind of project you’re working on.
On three occasions over a nine-month period, you can send up to 10,000 words from your work-in-progress to your mentor, who will read it and meet with you on Zoom for one hour (on a mutually agreeable date) to discuss it in-depth, providing valuable and constructive verbal feedback plus 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 three sessions should be spread so that they happen approximately every three months across the nine-month period (though if you want to have the sessions across a shorter time period – e.g. six months, that’s usually possible if agreed in advance).
At the end of the nine-month mentoring period (or earlier, at your request), each mentee will receive a 45-minute one-to-one Zoom tutorial with a Curtis Brown or C&W literary agent. The agent will read the opening 3,000-word extract from your novel-in-progress plus your synopsis. They will provide detailed feedback as well as answer any questions about your writing more generally and your potential next steps.
Help with submitting your work
For all our mentees – when you’re ready to send the project you’re working on to agents, an experienced member of the CBC team will help you submit your work to the agents at Curtis Brown and C&W.
Meet our mentors
Mentees will be guided by a published author.
- Bestselling author
- Author of 7 acclaimed novels
- Winner of the 2018 White Review Short Story Prize
- Winner of the 2020 Pushcart Prize
- Poet and non-fiction author
- Middle grade author
- Nominated for the Man Booker Prize
- Nominated for the Guardians Note the Booker Prize
- Shortlisted for the Polari Prize
- Winner of the Wales Book of the Year
- Author of over 20 novels
- Carnegie medal nominee
- Author of 2 renowned novels
- Winner of the Polari First Book Prize
- Winner of the Saboteur Award for Best Short Story Collection
- Acclaimed novelist, short story writer and poet
- Sunday Times bestseller
- Shortlisted for the Wellcome Prize
- Writer, campaigner and podcast host
- Winner of the Good Housekeeping Novel Competition
- Winner of the East Anglian Book Award for Fiction