Edit & Pitch Your Novel – Advanced

Polish your novel and shape up a compelling pitch package with support from a tutor and publishing professionals.


04 Oct 2022 - 21 Dec 2022

Online & on Zoom

Study on our bespoke platform & in live Zoom classes

By Application

15 places will be offered


*Discounted rate of £1,450 for former students of Edit & Pitch Your Novel


Do you have a complete draft of a novel? Are you looking for help knocking it into shape, and getting ready to submit? Take your rough first draft all the way to finished and polished novel and put together a compelling pitch package ready to send to agents on this specially designed course, with expert feedback and encouragement from an experienced author-tutor, who has also worked in the publishing industry. You’ll also receive a series of masterclasses from publishing professionals and acclaimed authors to give you the inside track, a comprehensive set of teaching videos and resources, and will join a supportive peer group of 15 students, all working at a high level.

Across the last five years, our six-week online Edit & Pitch Your Novel course has become our most popular and bestselling course. Many students have wanted more – and some have asked us, ‘Why don’t you offer a much bigger version of this course – with more feedback, more time to work on each of the lessons offered, and with live classes with agents, publishers, and with Anna Davis on her Rewrite Doctor method of editing?’ Well, now it’s here! On this elite course – which includes the complete Edit & Pitch Your Novel teaching materials delivered on our online learning platform – you’ll have plenty of time to work through all of the tasks, so that you can hone that novel, build your confidence, as well as perfect your pitch over three months. Students will also attend six professional masterclasses live on Zoom, and interact online with weekly discussions prompted by your author-tutor Lauren Pearson – who will give you a one-to-one tutorial in the early part of the course to help you get started on your edit with confidence – and then, at the end of the course, will review your pitch package (your opening 3,000 words, synopsis and pitch letter) and give you a further one-to-one tutorial and written feedback.

This advanced course is perfect for serious writers with a complete first draft of a novel, who want a high level of support as they get their material pitch-ready. To apply, you’ll need to send us an extract of the novel you’re working on – and we will select the most promising 15 applicants to take part.

‘Brilliant tuition from Anna Davis in the videos – presentation, content and the materials. I found the Diagnosis Plan (Rewrite Doctor) an excellent forensic tool which I have put to effective use in editing the whole of my script.’

Chris Zakarian, former Edit & Pitch Your Novel student


Lauren Pearson, Author

Lauren Pearson has been in publishing for more than twenty years, both in the US and in the UK. A former agent, most recently with Curtis Brown, she has worked with authors including Audrey Niffenegger, Gregory David Roberts, Babette Cole, Isla Fisher, Paula Harrison and Emily Barr. Now a freelance editor and writer, she especially loves working on crime & psychological thrillers, both literary and commercial fiction, as well as middle grade and YA. She is also the author of the Crabtree School series from Scholastic and The Sleepover from Orion Children’s Books. She lives in Buckinghamshire.


Six Industry Masterclasses

Learn from top authors, literary agents & publishers

Industry experts will share their insights into editing and pitching in special 90-minute live Zoom teaching sessions. Topics will include rewriting, line editing and working with publishers. Students will be invited to ask questions.

Teaching Videos & Notes

From first draft to polished pitch package

You'll get a comprehensive set of teaching videos plus substantial notes and resources from Anna Davis, delivered to you in clear modules via our Learn platform as the course progresses, which underpin the live teaching.

Weekly Teaching Posts

Discussion and support from your tutor

Every Tuesday your tutor Lauren Pearson will post on our Learning Platform with insights and tips. These posts will stimulate lively online discussions.

Curtis Brown Creative learning platform forum

Student Forum

The hub of our online courses - find your writing community

Upload your work, give and receive feedback, and discuss the week’s topics with your fellow students and your tutor.

Feedback from Your Tutor

See how well you're progressing

Get guidance on how well your editorial process is going. Lauren will give you a 30 minute one-to-one tutorial on Zoom early in the course (based on 3,000 words plus a note of your questions) to help you get going on your edit. She'll then provide written feedback on the tasks set across the course.

Synopsis Advice

Expert critique of the dreaded synopsis

We'll draw on our agenting expertise to give you the vital ingredients of a great synopsis – then you'll write one, and get individual feedback from your tutor.

Pitch Letter Feedback

Perfect the all-important pitch letter

We'll give you the vital dos and don'ts of agent pitch letters – you'll then write your own and a literary agent will give you in-depth written feedback.

End of Course Tutorial

Get feedback from on your submission package

Make sure your pitch package is in the best possible shape before you send it out to agents. At the end of the course you'll be invited to submit your pitch letter, one-page synopsis and 3,000-word opening for a 30-minute Zoom tutorial with Lauren – who will also provide written feedback.


Writers meet their trusted readers on our courses, and many groups of students continue to support each other’s writing years after their course ends. You’ll take part in lively discussions with your 14 fellow students on a week-by-week basis. You’ll read your peers’ writing tasks and provide written feedback in our online discussion space, and will receive constructive comments in turn. We find this has a hugely positive impact on students’ writing.


We offer a range of writing services that are exclusive to the alumni of our selective courses, which you’ll be able to access after your course finishes. These services include individual mentoring from some of our most experienced tutors and a range of editorial reports.

Students of this course will be given an exclusive discount off our full manuscript report if requested within three months of the course ending (discounted from £750 to £700 for a manuscript of up to 90,000 words – plus £35 extra for each additional 5,000 words).

When you’re ready to send your novel to agents, the Curtis Brown Creative team will advise on which agents at Curtis Brown or C&W would be most suitable for your work and will help you to submit to them.

Masterclass Speakers


Our selective applications process means that you will be in a peer group of 15 students working at a high level. The course fee of £1,600 (inc VAT) per student is payable, in full, by bank transfer or cheque before the start of the course. However, if you are unable to pay the full fee upfront, let us know and we can arrange an instalment plan.

Alumni of our selective three- or six-month Writing Your Novel courses are eligible for a £150 discounted fee – as are writers who’ve taken the original Edit & Pitch Your Novel course (please note – the teaching materials from Edit & Pitch form the spine of this course – plus all of the extra special features outlined here, so students who’ve taken Edit & Pitch will find much of the material familiar). Or there’s a £50 discount available for writers who’ve taken Anna Davis’s one-day Rewrite Doctor course.

Please upload your application via the form at the end of this page. If you encounter any problems during the application process, or have any questions about the course, please email cbccourses@curtisbrown.co.uk and we’d be happy to help.

We read all application material promptly after the closing date and make our selection of students swiftly at that time.


This course will be delivered via our private online Learning Platform and in live teaching sessions on Zoom.


Introduction & Reviewing Your Novel


Tuesday 4 October

Lauren welcomes the students to the Learn platform. With videos and notes from Anna Davis on how to read your draft with a critical eye and prepare for your edit, plus tasks for students to undertake.


Masterclass 1, Anna Davis

Weds 5 October, 7–9pm (Zoom)

Anna Davis will welcome you to the course in this live Zoom session. Students will be invited to discuss their major editing issues, and Anna will walk the group through her Rewrite Doctor editing method.

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The Rewrite Doctor


Tuesday 11 October

Lauren posts to the group about big-picture editing, and responds to students re last week’s tasks. With teaching videos, resources and notes from Anna Davis on her system of editing. Students are encouraged to start work on applying the Rewrite Doctor to their own first draft (or using it to evolve their own preferred system).

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Editing: An Author's Approach


Tuesday 18 October

Lauren posts to the group and responds to questions and discussion from the group about their editing process.


Masterclass 2, Tutor editing clinic

Weds 19 October – 7–8.30pm (Zoom)

In this live Zoom session, Lauren will talk about her own experience of editing – as an author and as an agent. Students will also have the chance to talk to ask Lauren’s advice on thorny editing issues.

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The Rewrite Check-up


Tuesday 25 October

Lauren posts to the group on Tuesday, and responds to questions and discussion from the group about their rewriting process.


Masterclass 3, Rewrite Check-up with Anna Davis

Weds 26 October – 7–8.30pm

The group meets on Zoom with Anna Davis to discuss their experience of working with the Rewrite Doctor and editing their novels. Anna will offer each student the opportunity to talk about the discoveries they’ve made (with the full group present), and will answer questions and give advice on issues the students may be encountering.

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Revising and polishing


Tuesday 1 November

Lauren posts to the group and answers questions on the detailed rewriting and editing of your work. With videos and notes from Anna Davis on how to implement your rewrites and polish your novel to a shine, plus two tasks to undertake.


Masterclass 4, Line-Editing with Abby Parsons & Guest editor

Weds 2 November– 7–8.30pm

In this live Zoom session, CBC’s senior manager (and former editor at Hachette) Abby Parsons will be joined by a guest publishing editor to discuss a professional approach to the line-editing of your novel, and to answer all your questions.

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Scene by scene


Tuesday 8 November

Lauren posts to the group about fine-tuning your work scene by scene. You will post up a new or rewritten scene from your novel in response to last week’s writing task from Anna, and Lauren will give written feedback to eight of the students on their scene (with the remaining students getting feedback next week).

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The Synopsis


Tuesday 15 November

Lauren posts to the group about the elevator pitch and synopsis, and answers your questions. With teaching videos, notes and case studies, offering comprehensive advice on both one-line pitch and synopsis.


Students start work on their one-page synopsis.

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The Publisher's Perspective


Tuesday 22 November

It’s time to post up your one-page synopsis in the Learn forum. Eight of the group will get feedback from Lauren – with the others getting their feedback next week.


Masterclass 5, The Publisher’s Perspective

Wednesday 23 November – 7–8.30pm

In this live Zoom session, a publisher will talk about the process of working editorially with authors and the importance of the pitch – plus a chance to ask your questions.

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Writing Your Agent Letter


Tuesday 29 November

Lauren posts to the group and gives feedback to the remaining seven students on their synopses. With Anna’s videos and notes on the ‘dos and don’ts’ of writing a compelling agent letter.


Students start work on their own agent pitch letter.

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Agent Feedback on your Letter


Tuesday 6 December

After an encouraging post from Lauren, it’s time to share your own practice agent letter on the Learn forum.


Later in the week you’ll receive written feedback on your draft agent letter in the Learn forum from a Curtis Brown or C&W literary agent.


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The Agent's Perspective


Tuesday 6 December

Lauren answers your questions about preparing your pitch package and submitting your work to agents, with videos from the Curtis Brown and C&W literary agents offering their tips on how to pitch your novel. It’s time to prepare your pitch package to share with Lauren for your end of course tutorial.


Masterclass 5, The Agent’s Perspective

Wednesday 7 November – 7–8.30pm

Two literary agents from Curtis Brown or C&W will discuss everything you want to know about pitching and working with agents in this special Zoom class.

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Conclusions & Your Submission Package


Tuesday 13 November

You’ll hand in your pitch package to the tutor: the opening 3,000 words of your novel plus agent letter and one-page synopsis. You’ll also have the option to share it with your group on the forum. Farewell from Lauren!


Wednesday 14 December – Weds 21 December
On scheduled dates across this period, each student will have an individual 30-minute one-to-one tutorial with Lauren to discuss their pitch package.

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Please apply with the first 3,000 words of the novel you’d like to work on during the course, and a synopsis of no more than a page (both need to be in the same document, as you can only upload ONE file in the application below). The CBC team will select applicants based on the quality of the writing sample provided. The deadline for applications is midnight, end of day Sunday 11 September, and we will respond to applicants by Thursday 15 September.

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