This September, we at Curtis Brown Creative are going to pack up our notebooks, check we’ve enough biros in our bag and head up to Scotland to take our successful creative-writing course out of London for the first time. We’re going to bring our combination of expert teaching and high-quality workshopping of students’ novels to Edinburgh – which, depending on Mr Salmond’s showing in the forthcoming referendum, may or may not be the capital of an independent nation by the time we set up shop at The Scottish Storytelling Centre this autumn.
The 12-week course, which takes place from 23 September to 16 December, will be taught by acclaimed author Lisa O’Donnell (above), whose debut novel The Death of Bees won the Commonwealth Book Prize in 2013. It is designed to appeal to writers who may have been put off from applying for a Curtis Brown Creative course due to the distance between our offices in London and Scotland or Northern England (though we have welcomed many Scottish writers to our London courses – and one keen aspiring novelist currently travels to the weekly sessions from Glasgow!). The course will feature three visiting-speaker sessions, featuring literary agents from Curtis Brown and Conville & Walsh, paired with leading writers and top publishers.
‘When I was told Curtis Brown Creative were teaching a creative-writing course in Edinburgh, I was thrilled,’ says Lisa O’Donnell, whose second novel Closed Doors will be published by Heinemann in July. ‘People from all over the world and from all walks of life apply for the Curtis Brown Creative courses, and having the opportunity to hear their stories excites me, as does the unearthing of new voices, which is the goal of the program. It’s easy to get lost when you’re writing and a little direction is all that’s required sometimes to unlock the discipline and the story you want to tell.’
‘The Scottish writing scene is incredibly vibrant,’ says Curtis Brown Creative director Anna Davis. ‘And this course will give us an incredible opportunity to work with some talented new novelists there.’
As always, we welcome applications from anyone with writing talent and a good idea for a novel. So if you fancy yourself as the next Ian Rankin, Alexander McCall Smith, Irvine Welsh or Val McDermid – or even the next Walter Scott or Arthur Conan Doyle – then please apply to us by midnight on Monday 7th July. We’re looking forward to it!
The Edinburgh Novel-Writing Course takes place weekly at The Scottish Storytelling Centre on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile from Tuesday 23 September to Tuesday 16 December. For more information or to apply, please click here.