Guest Blog Posts

17 January 2019

‘Fight the fear’: Five tips to get you started on your novel

by Laura Barnett Guest Blog, Writing Tips

Laura Barnett’s debut novel The Versions of Us was a Sunday Times number-one bestseller, translated into 24 languages, and shortlisted for Debut of the Year at the British Book Awards. Her follow-up, Greatest Hits was published in 2017, with an accompanying soundtrack album by the musician Kathryn Williams. Laura has taught creative writing for Guardian Masterclasses, delivered a TedX talk on originality […]

06 December 2018

Children’s books and business – what you need to know

by Ren Renwick Guest Blog, Writing Tips

Ren Renwick, CEO of the Association of Illustrators, gives her top tips on becoming a professional children’s picture book illustrator.

05 December 2018

How to query a literary agent

by Catherine Cho From the Agents, Guest Blog, Writing Tips

Finding an agent is a matter of fit. It takes persistence and confidence, remember that publishing is a subjective business, and so what might be a NO for some agents is a YES for others. Catherine Cho, an Associate Agent at Curtis Brown, shares her top tips on how to send a query to a literary agent.

18 October 2018

3 things every writer should know about writing from life

by Nikita Lalwani Guest Blog, Writing Tips

Nikita Lalwani is the author of two acclaimed novels, Gifted and The Village, and she’s been a core member of the CBC teaching team for a number of years now, working across both our London and online courses.  When she’s teaching, Nikita is always keen to get students thinking about writing from experience. Not in a reductive ‘write what you […]

08 October 2018

Seven Tips for Writing a Children’s Picture Book

by David O'Connell Guest Blog, Writing Tips

David O’Connell is a writer and illustrator living in London, UK.  His first book was Monster & Chips, the first of a series of funny (and revolting) adventures of ‘hooman’ Joe Shoe whilst working at the Monster Diner of friendly monster Fuzzby Bixington. He then collaborated with  Sarah McIntyre on the picture book Jampires, inspired by a […]

04 October 2018

The big structural edit – a checklist

by Angela Chadwick From Our Students, Guest Blog, Writing Tips

Angela Chadwick was a student on our 6-month online novel-writing course in 2015. Angela’s debut novel XX was one of Sharmaine Lovegroves’ first acquisitions for the new Little, Brown imprint, Dialogue Books, and will be published in hardback and ebook today. XX follows a lesbian couple who take part in the first trial of ovum to ovum fertilisation. Here Angela […]

03 October 2018

Want to illustrate picture books? Here’s how you start …

by Sarah McIntyre Guest Blog, Writing Tips

Sarah McIntyre is an illustrator and writer whose solo picture books include There’s a Shark in the Bath, Dinosaur Firefighters and The New Neighbours. She also illustrates books for older children, working with Philip Reeve – their latest, The Legend of Kevin, is new out – and she’s the founder and co-director of the campaign, Pictures […]

10 September 2018

New term new stories: ‘We have to find the way to tell our stories that suits us’

by Catherine Johnson Guest Blog, Writing Tips

Catherine Johnson is the author of several YA and children’s novels including Sawbones, which won the Young Quills Prize for best Historical Fiction in the 12+ category, The Curious Tale of the Lady Caraboo, which was shortlisted for the YA Book Prize 2016 and her new novel Freedom, a middle grade novel about slavery in Britain. Catherine is also […]

03 August 2018

Dawn Goodwin: ‘the course fuelled my motivation to finish the novel’

by Dawn Goodwin From Our Students, Guest Blog

Dawn Goodwin studied on the very first of our online writing courses in 2013 – alongside fellow novelists Alice Clark-Platts and Catherine Bennetto. Her debut novel The Accident a gripping psychological thriller was published last year by Head of Zeus imprint Aria. Here Dawn discusses how the CBC course helped her to finish that first novel and then go on to write her second thriller The Pupil  (published […]

03 August 2018

Writing female friendships: ‘the best relationships in fiction are hard won’

by Jo Jakeman From Our Students, Guest Blog, Opinion

Jo Jakeman studied on our six-month online novel-writing course in the spring of 2016, taught by CBC veteran Lisa O’Donnell. Her debut novel Stick and Stones was snapped up at auction by Harvill Secker in a high-profile deal, and came out in hardback on July 12th. Sticks and Stones is a thriller centered on three very different women all […]

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