Six-month Online Novel-Writing Course with Lisa O’Donnell
Online teaching means you can take part in this highly selective online novel-writing course at times to best suit you.
This novel-writing course is our 'biggest' online writing course - for people who are serious about writing a novel. We help you to write and edit your book to the best of your ability, identifying and playing to your strengths. You will also get advice on how to pitch to agents, a chance to ask all your questions about the publishing industry to our agent team and an opportunity to get feedback on your pitch from a publisher.
Lisa O'Donnell, author
Lisa O'Donnell is the author of the Commonwealth Book Prize-winning novel The Death of Bees, published by Windmill. Her second novel, Closed Doors is published by William Heinemann. Lisa won the Orange Screenwriting Prize for her screenplay The Wedding Gift and was nominated for the Dennis Potter New Screenwriters’ Award. She is currently working on her third novel.
Andrew Michael Hurley, Author
Andrew Michael Hurley has lived in Manchester and London, and is now based in Lancashire. His first novel, The Loney, was originally published by Tartarus Press, a tiny independent publisher based in Yorkshire, as a 300-copy limited-edition, before being republished by John Murray and going on to win the Costa Best First Novel Award and Book of the Year at the British Book Industry Awards in 2016. His second novel, Devil’s Day, was published in 2017.
Tutor Lisa O'Donnell - a Commonwealth Book Prize-winning author - will give direct feedback to students on their novels-in-progress via weekly online writing workshops, one-to-one tutorials and writing exercises. Each course module offers specially filmed video and teaching notes focusing on an aspect of how to write a novel - such as how to create convincing and memorable characters - devised and delivered by the CBC tutor team. The course is hosted on our purpose-built, online learning platform, where students can also share their creative writing and take part in forum discussions with Lisa and their peer group - all in a secure space. Flexible scheduling means you can take part from anywhere in the world, and at times to suit you.
This course also has two exciting new features: a first-page workshop where students will be get feedback from Andrew Michael Hurley, award-winning author of The Loney and a pitching session where students will pitch their novels to Editorial Director at Borough Press, Charlotte Cray. These brand new guest sessions will also take place on our purpose-built online learning platform.
Since it was established, Curtis Brown Creative has seen many students gain major publishing deals for their fiction – including now-well-known authors Jessie Burton, Janet Ellis, Kate Hamer, Jane Harper and Nicholas Searle. While we can't guarantee that students will go on to sign with agents and publishers, we give you the inside track to help you to develop your story and maximise your opportunities.
We welcome applications from anyone with talent, passion and a strong idea for a novel.
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 courses, we don't use third-party providers to supply our online courses. On this course you'll get:
• Participation in weekly online writing workshops with Lisa O'Donnell and your fellow writers, taking place in a secure group space, hosted on our exclusive Learn platform. Each student will receive three dedicated workshops on their novel-in-progress across the course. For each of the workshops focusing on your novel, you'll be submitting 3,000 words for Lisa and your fellow students to read and comment on. (You'll, in turn, be expected to read and give feedback on three students' extracts per week as part of the course).
• Two 45-minute, one-to-one tutorials with Lisa O'Donnell, delivered on the phone or by Skype (depending on student’s choice), and scheduled in consultation with you. For each tutorial, Lisa will read 3,000 words from your novel ahead of time.
• Bi-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 variety of subjects crucial to writing fiction and your novel through teaching videos and notes. Lisa will introduce the topics, set homework tasks and lead discussions in our dedicated forums.
• A one-day 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 guest tutor Andrew Michael Hurley, who will be offering direct feedback for all students on their opening pages. This is a new offering to our 6-month online course and we're extremely excited about it.
• A pitching session with guest publisher Charlotte Cray, editorial director at Borough Press, who will be offering direct feedback to all students on their pitches. This is another new feature of this course that is already proving invaluable to students.
• An opportunity to get feedback from the Curtis Brown and C+W agents on the all-important pitch letter.
• The opportunity to share your 3,000-word opening and synopsis with the Curtis Brown and C+W book agent teams at the conclusion of the course. (NB This is not a formal submission of your work to our literary agents, but a chance to informally share material from your novel-in-progress).
• A secure discussion space to share material and thoughts with your student peer group informally, with technical support from our team.
• Teaching videos, notes and feedback from the course will remain available to participants after course-end
Monday 18 Feb – Sunday 24 Feb
Teaching topic 1: Inspiration and Reading as a Writer (video and notes from Chris Wakling)
Mon 25 Feb – Sunday 3 March
Teaching topic 2: Writing from Life (video and notes from Nikita Lalwani)
Mon 4 March – Sun 10 March
Mon 11 March – Sun 17 March
Teaching topic 3: Openings (video and notes from Lisa O’Donnell)
Mon 18 March – Sun 24 March
Mon 25 March – Sun 31 March
Teaching topic 4: Story, Plotting and Planning (video and notes from Chris Wakling)
Mon 1 April – Sun 7 April
Teaching topic 5: Voice and Narrative Point of view (video and notes from Nikita Lalwani)
Wednesday 3rd: Guest tutor session with Andrew Hurley
Mon 8 April – Sun 14 April
Mon 29 April – Sun 5 May
Teaching topic 6: Planning and Research (video and notes from Jake Arnott)
Mon 6 May – Sun 12 May
Teaching topic 7: Characterisation (video and notes from Suzannah Dunn)
Mon 13 May – Sun 19 May
Mon 20 May – Sun 26 May
Teaching topic 8: Building Suspense (video and notes from Erin Kelly)
Fri 24th – Charlotte Cray Pitching session
Mon 27 May – Sun 2 June
Teaching Topic 9: Dialogue (video and notes from Suzannah Dunn)
Mon 3 June – Sun 9 June
Agent Q&A session
Mon 10 June – Sun 16 June
Teaching Topic 10: Description, Tone & Style (video and notes from Erin Kelly)
Mon 17 June – Sun 23 June
Mon 1 July – Sun 7 July
Teaching topic 11: Endings (video and notes from Lisa O’Donnell)
Mon 8 July – Sun 14 July
Synopsis Workshop for 8 students
Mon 15 July – Sun 21 July
Teaching topic 12: Editing and rewriting (video and notes from Jake Arnott)
Synopsis Workshop for 7 Students
Mon 22 July
Farewell and next steps from Anna
Summary and Final Conversations with Lisa
Pitch letter session
Mon 29 July
Students to submit 3,000 word opening and one-page synopsis to be read by the CB and C&W agent teams
* Please note, teaching topics, speakers and dates are subject to change.
The course fee of £2,600 (inc VAT) per student is payable, in full, by bank transfer or cheque. Funds must reach our bank account before the course begins. If you are unable to pay the full fee upfront don’t be deterred from applying, in the event that you are offered a course place we can discuss a payment plan if circumstances require. We regret that we are unable to refund fees, and would suggest students make their own insurance arrangements if required.