Three Month Novel Writing Course With Suzannah Dunn
With teaching sessions designed for online spaces and flexible scheduling, you can join this course wherever you live, in whatever time you have free.
Apr 23 2018 - Jul 30 2018
This three-month online novel-writing course, led by author Suzannah Dunn, brings together all the ingredients of our successful London-based novel-writing courses to those unable to attend sessions at our offices. We welcome applicants from different countries and timezones – this course is incredibly flexible time-wise and it doesn’t matter how many hours ahead or behind the UK you are.
Suzannah Dunn, author
Suzannah Dunn wrote six critically acclaimed contemporary novels and a short story collection before her first historical novel, The Queen of Subtleties, was published in 2004. It has been followed by five more Tudor novels, the latest of which, Lady of Misrule, was published in May 2015 by Little, Brown.
Author and experienced tutor Suzannah Dunn will give direct feedback to students on their novels-in-progress via weekly online workshops, one-to-one tutorials and writing exercises. The 15 students will be selected from a broader group of applicants on the basis of quality of writing material, as demonstrated in their applications. Each course module will include specially filmed video and teaching notes on an aspect of the novel-writing process from one of our CBC tutor team. Students will access course notes and videos on our new, purpose-built, online learning platform, where they'll also share their work and take part in forum discussions with Suzannah and their peer group.
Our course features live Q&As and advice on pitching with the full Curtis Brown and C+W literary agent teams – something we believe to be unique in the online-learning arena. And the literary agents from both companies will read the openings and one-page synopses from our students at the end of the course.
Our online creative writing courses are all about flexibility, and are ideal for those with busy lives or who are unable to travel to London to attend our courses.
Curtis Brown and C+W have a reputation for launching new writers in a competitive publishing environment, and for developing successful writing careers. And in the five years since it was established, Curtis Brown Creative has seen many students gain major publishing deals – including now-well-known authors Jessie Burton, Jane Harper, Janet Ellis, Kate Hamer, Lisa Williamson and Nicholas Searle.
We welcome applications from anyone with talent, passion and a strong idea for a novel. Please submit the opening 3,000 words of the novel you want to work on during the course, plus a one-page synopsis giving us a sense of where your novel is heading.
WHAT DOES THIS COURSE GIVE YOU?
All our courses are designed, run and taught entirely by Curtis Brown Creative and its team of author-tutors. Unlike many other creative writing schools, we don't use third party providers to supply our online courses, and we have painstakingly developed our learning platform with our design team exclusively for the use of our students. On this course you'll get, direct from us:
• Participation in weekly writing workshops with Suzannah Dunn and your student peers, taking place in a secure group space, hosted on our exclusive Learn platform. Each student will receive two dedicated workshops on their novel-in-progress across the course.
• Two 30-minute, one-to-one tutorials with Suzannah Dunn, delivered on the phone or by Skype (depending on student’s choice), and scheduled in consultation with you.
• Weekly teaching sessions on key topics. A range of our popular tutors (see Speakers section and schedule below for details) will offer their in-depth insights on a range of subjects crucial to writing novels through specially filmed teaching videos and notes. Suzannah Dunn will set homework tasks on the teaching topics and lead discussions in our dedicated forums.
• A day-long session to get answers to your questions about writing and publishing from the Curtis Brown and C&W literary-agent teams.
• A first-page workshop with Suzannah Dunn, offering direct feedback for all students on their opening pages.
• An opportunity to get feedback from the Curtis Brown and C&W agents on the all-important pitch letter.
• The opportunity to get your 3,000-word opening and synopsis read by the Curtis Brown and C&W book agent teams at the conclusion of the course.
• A secure discussion space to share material and thoughts with your student peer group informally
• Teaching videos, notes and feedback from the course will remain available to participants after course-end
Weekly workshopping of students’ novels
Each week, three students will be asked to submit 3,000-word extracts from their novels-in-progress to a private online discussion space, and will receive comments from the tutor and fellow students (both private one-to-one comments and comments in the group discussion space). This provides focused feedback and encourages students to develop their capacity to self-edit, to read as writers, and to receive and provide constructive criticism.
Weekly workshop timetable:
Workshop extracts are submitted to the tutor and group on the first Monday of each week.
By Monday, one week later, students must have read the three extracts and submitted a fully annotated version of each text plus feedback.
Following this, the tutor opens up the group workshop discussion, which takes take place across 48 hours.
At the end of the 48 hours (Wednesday), the tutor closes the group workshop discussion and delivers all one-to-one written feedback to the relevant three students.
Each student will receive two dedicated workshops on their novel-in-progress.
Students will also submit their synopses and first pages for feedback from Suzannah
Weekly teaching sessions
Opening on the first Monday of each fortnight, teaching sessions will cover a range of issues crucial to the writing of novels, such as plotting, characterisation, point-of-view and rewriting. As the course progresses, new video material and teaching notes from the CBC tutors listed below will become available to the students, and form a library of resources. Suzannah will set homework tasks for each teaching module - writing exercises or topics to prepare for discussions.
Agent advice sessions
In a special day-long session, students are given the opportunity to put questions to the Curtis Brown and C+W agent teams in the discussion space, and to gain advice on how to navigate the choppy waters of the publishing industry.
In a further special session, Curtis Brown and C+W agents will give feedback to the students on their agent-pitch letters and show them how to bypass the dreaded slush pile.
The sharing of material with the agent teams at the end of the course is informal. The agent teams will get a taste of the students' work and an opportunity to express interest in seeing the completed novel at such time as the student is ready to send it to agents formally. Students are not under any obligation to send their material to the CB and C+W agents.
Each student will receive two 30-minute, one-to-one tutorials with Suzannah Dunn. These will be conducted over the phone or via Skype, and will each be based on 3,000 words from the novel-in-progress, which Suzannah will read ahead of time. Students will also be asked to highlight for Suzannah any issues they may wish to discuss and put questions to her.
Monday 23 April – Sunday 29 April
Introduction (Anna Davis)
Teaching topic 1: Inspiration and Reading as Writers (Chris Wakling)
Monday 30 April – Sunday 6 May
Teaching topic 2: Openings (Lisa O’Donnell)
Tuesday 8 May – Sunday 13 May
Teaching topic 3: Writing from Life (Nikita Lalwani)
Monday 14 May – Sunday 20 May
Teaching topic 4: Story, Plotting & Planning (Chris Wakling)
Monday 21 May – Sunday 27 May
Teaching topic 5: Voice and Narrative Point of View (Nikita Lalwani)
Tuesday 29 May – Sunday 3 June
Teaching topic 6: Characterisation (Suzannah Dunn)
Monday 4 June – Sunday 10 June
Teaching topic 7: Description, Tone & Style (Erin Kelly)
Monday 11 June – Sunday 17 June
Teaching topic 8: Dialogue (Suzannah Dunn)
Monday 18 June– Sunday 24 June
Teaching topic 9: Building Suspense (Erin Kelly)
Monday 25 June – Sunday 1 July
Teaching topic 10: Endings (Lisa O’Donnell)
Monday 2 July – Sunday 8 July
Teaching topic 12: Editing and Rewriting (Jake Arnott)
Monday 9 July – Sunday 15 July
Teaching Topic 11: The Synopsis (Anna Davis)
Briefing on end of course submission to agents (Anna Davis)
The Synopsis (I) – comments on 8 students’ synopses – Suzannah
Monday 16 July – Sunday 22 July
The Synopsis (II) – comments on 7 students’ synopses – Suzannah
Monday 23 July – Sunday 29 July
Final questions and farewell from tutor
Monday 6 August
Students to submit 3,000 word opening and one-page synopsis to be read by the Curtis Brown and C+W literary agents.
*Please note, teaching topics and dates are subject to change
The course fee of £1,600 (inc VAT) per student is payable, in full, by bank transfer or cheque. Funds must reach our bank account before the course begins. Successful applicants who have concerns about being able to pay the fee in full at the start of the course should email CBCcourses@curtisbrown.co.uk.
We regret that we are unable to refund fees, and would suggest students make their own insurance arrangements if required.
Please apply with the first 3,000 words of your novel, and a synopsis of no more than a page. The deadline for applications is midnight, end of day Sunday 8 April, and we will respond to applicants by Wednesday 11 April. Make sure you include your synopsis and opening 3,000 in the same document, as you can only upload ONE file as part of the application below. Please apply with a 3,000-word opening of the novel you would like to work on during the course. If you encounter any problems during the application process, or have any more questions about the course, please email email@example.com for assistance.
Note: Our server has been experiencing some issues in recent weeks: if you are unsure that your application has gone through, haven't received an automated confirmation email, or if you are unable to upload a file, please email us immediately at firstname.lastname@example.org