Opinion Posts

18 May 2018

Comic Fiction in 2018: Who’s laughing?

by Cathryn Summerhayes From the Agents, Opinion

Who’s laughing? … Apparently not the 2018 judges of The Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize for comic fiction, as they have announced that the prize will not be awarded this year. We asked Curtis Brown literary agent Cathryn Summerhayes for her views on what this means for the comic novel – and which books are making her laugh this […]

18 May 2018

The importance of story – have you found yours?

by Lisa O'Donnell Opinion, Writing Tips

Lisa O’Donnell is one of the tight-knit team of tutors on our online creative writing courses, as well as being a Commonwealth-Book-Prize-winning author in her own right. She’s helped many of our students develop their stories – including Jane Harper, whose debut The Dry has, this week, been named Crime Novel of the Year at the British […]

09 May 2018

Researching your historical novel: 6 Key Points

by James Hall From Our Students, Guest Blog, Opinion, Student Successes

James Hall took our London based novel-writing course in 2012, and his debut novel, The Industry of Human Happiness (Lightning Books), is set in the murky backstage world of late-Victorian theatreland. It lovingly depicts the early years of recorded music in turn-of-the-century London. James offers us some insights on how he approached the research for his book, a key question for anyone writing […]

20 April 2018

Why authors should be using social media

by Rae DelBianco Guest Blog, Novels by CBC Alumni, Opinion

Rae DelBianco was a student on our London novel-writing course in 2015 – in fact she came over from the US for six months specifically to study on our course! Her much anticipated debut Rough Animals is out from Arcade publishing on June 5th, and has already been compared to the likes of Cormac McCarthy. Rae grew up in Bucks […]

17 April 2018

How to tackle tough subjects in YA fiction

by Eve Ainsworth Author Interviews, Guest Blog, Opinion, Writing Tips

Eve Ainsworth is the acclaimed author of four YA novels, and is represented by Curtis Brown agent, Stephanie Thwaites. Before she became a published author, Eve worked in a large secondary school supporting pupils with their emotional and behavioural issues. Now she’s taken this interest forward into her fiction, which tackles real-life teen issues. Her latest novel, Tender, explores mental […]

28 March 2018

The difficult second novel

by Annabelle Thorpe Guest Blog, Novels by CBC Alumni, Opinion, Writing Tips

So, the hard part is over, you’ve published your first novel! Well, former CBC student and author Annabelle Thorpe is here to tell us all about the difficulties of writing that second novel from her own experience, and offers some guidance along the way. Considering it’s a known thing, like the Difficult Second Album, you […]

22 March 2018

Does your novel need a prologue?

by Lisa O'Donnell Guest Blog, Opinion, Writing Tips

We asked award-winning novelist and CBC tutor Lisa O’Donnell to tell us what she thinks about that most Marmite of literary devices – the Prologue. Here’s what she had to say – and she didn’t mince her words …  Prologues – I hate them. I’ve read a lot of novels in my life, but out […]

16 March 2018

When your book-writing leads to book-keeping …

by Jenny Quintana From Our Students, Guest Blog, Opinion,

Jenny Quintana studied on one of CBC’s London-based creative writing courses, and now her debut novel, The Missing Girl has been published by Mantle in the UK – with German, Italian and audio rights also sold. All great news – but publishing deals come with new responsibilities, and – like many authors before her – Jenny soon realised […]

09 March 2018

Anna Davis’s Q&A’s on writing and publishing

by Jack Hadley Opinion, Writing Tips

Our MD Anna Davis – a published author and former literary agent – gives out lots of practical advice to students of our creative writing courses, but yesterday she took to Twitter to answer as many questions on writing and publishing as she could in an hour. We thought we’d share a few of them here in […]

05 March 2018

Three things to know about narrative momentum

by Charlotte Mendelson Opinion, Writing Tips

Charlotte Mendelson is one of the small team of tutors who teach our creative writing courses. She’s the author of four novels, all published by Picador: Love in Idleness, Daughters of Jerusalem, When We Were Bad and Almost English (as well as one gardening memoir) and has 20 years experience as a fiction editor and […]

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