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. Includes one special scholarship place.

CBC photo

Dates


Sept 10 2018 - March 04 2019

Location


Online

Fees


£2600

SUMMARY

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 and a chance to ask all your questions about the publishing industry to our agent team. And THIS course offers The Marian Keyes scholarship - a fully funded place for one talented writer in need of financial assistance

Tutors

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.

Guest Speakers

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Nikita Lalwani


Author
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Anna Davis


Author and Agent
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Christopher Wakling


Author
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Suzannah Dunn


Author
Jake Arnott, Author

Jake Arnott


Author
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Erin Kelly


Author

OVERVIEW

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 includes a scholarship place for one talented writer with low income - fully-funded by the internationally best-selling author Marian Keyes. Click here to find out more about the scholarship and apply for it.

Since it was established, Curtis Brown Creative has seen many students gain major publishing deals for their fiction – including now-well-known authors Jessie BurtonJanet 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 range 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 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 Lisa, offering direct feedback for all students on their opening pages.

• A day-long 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

SCHEDULE

Monday 10 Sept – Sunday 16 Sept
Introduction

Teaching topic 1: Inspiration and Reading as a Writer (video and notes from Chris Wakling)

Mon 17 Sept – Sunday 23 Sept
Teaching topic 2: Writing from Life (video and notes from Nikita Lalwani)

Writing Workshop

Mon 24 Sept – Sun 30 Sept
Writing Workshop

Mon 1 Oct – Sun 7 Oct
Teaching topic 3: Openings (video and notes from Lisa O’Donnell)

Writing Workshop

Mon 8 Oct – Sun 14 Oct
Writing Workshop

Mon 15 Oct – Sun 21 Oct
Teaching topic 4: Story, Plotting and Planning (video and notes from Chris Wakling)

Writing Workshop

Half-Term break

Mon 29 Oct – Sun 4 Nov
Teaching topic 5: Voice and Narrative Point of view (video and notes from Nikita Lalwani)
Writing Workshop

Mon 5 Nov – Sun 11 Nov
Teaching topic 5: Voice and Narrative Point of view (video and notes from Nikita Lalwani)

Writing Workshop

Mon 12 Nov – Sun 18 Nov
Teaching topic 6: Planning and Research (video and notes from Jake Arnott)
Writing Workshop

Mon 19 Nov – Sun 25 Nov
Teaching topic 7: Characterisation (video and notes from Suzannah Dunn)

Writing Workshop

Mon 26 Nov – Sun 2 Dec
Writing Workshop

Mon 3 Dec – Sun 9 Dec
Teaching topic 8: Building Suspense (video and notes from Erin Kelly)

Writing Workshop

Mon 10 Dec – Sun 16 Dec
Teaching Topic 9: Dialogue (video and notes from Suzannah Dunn)

Writing Workshop
Briefing re First Page Workshop

Christmas Break

Mon 7 Jan – Sun 13 Jan
First Page Workshop (video and notes from Lisa)

Briefing from Anna re Letters to Agents Day

Mon 14 Jan – Sun 20 Jan
Teaching Topic 10: Description, Tone & Style (video and notes from Erin Kelly)

Writing Workshop
Briefing from Anna re Letters to Agents Day

Mon 21 Jan – Sun 27 Jan
Briefing from Anna on The Synopsis (for synopsis workshop in 2 weeks)

Writing Workshop

Mon 28 Jan – Sun 3 Feb
Teaching topic 11: Endings (video and notes from Lisa O’Donnell)

Writing workshop

Mon 4 Feb – Sun 10 Feb
Synopsis Workshop for 8 students

Briefing from Anna re preparation of material to be read by the CB and C&W agent teams

Mon 11 Feb – Sun 24 Feb
Teaching topic 12: Editing and rewriting (video and notes from Jake Arnott)

Synopsis Workshop for 7 Students

Mon 25 Feb – Sun 3 March
Farewell and next steps from Anna

Summary and Final Conversations with Lisa

Mon 4 March
Students to submit 3,000 word opening and one-page synopsis to be read by the CB and C&W agent teams

FEE

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. 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.

APPLICATIONS ARE NOW CLOSED

Please apply by filling in the form below and uploading the first 3,000 words of your novel-in-progress (ie, the novel you'd like to work with us on during the course), and a synopsis of no more than a page. Please include your material and synopsis in the same document, as you can only upload ONE file as part of this application. The deadline for applications is midnight, end of day Sunday 8 July, and we will respond to applicants by Thursday 19 July. If you encounter any problems during the application process, or have any more questions about the course, please email cbccourses@curtisbrown.co.uk for assistance, and we'll get back to you as soon as possible to help.

If you are applying for the Marian Keyes Scholarship place on this course, please click here for full information and eligibility criteria, and use the form on the scholarship page for your application (rather than the form following here). The scholarship has a later applications deadline of midnight at the end of 29 July.