Six-Month Novel-Writing Course With Simon Wroe

The hugely popular course, featuring direct input from our literary agent team, based in Curtis Brown's Central London offices. Includes one fully-funded scholarship place.

COURSE DATES

Sep 12 2019 - Mar 04 2020

London

In-person course in central London

Selective Entry

Apply to this competitive writing course

Course Fee £2,990

Work on your novel with the experts

Overview

Our Six-Month Novel-Writing course is our ‘biggest’ London-based course for anyone with writing talent and a strong novel idea, who has decided they want to take their writing seriously.

Tutor Simon Wroe will lead weekly writing workshops; provide one-to-one tutorials on how to write a novel, and give teaching sessions on key topics such as how to create memorable characters and how to develop your story.

This creative writing course also features five special guest speaker sessions in which literary agents from Curtis Brown and C&W, paired with leading writers and fiction editors, will share their experience and insights with students and answer their questions.

A unique feature of this course is the two ‘mini courses’, the first led by author Kerry Hudson (the second tutor is TBC) for three evenings each.

The course takes place in the heart of our London offices and is scheduled for evenings to suit participants with full-time jobs and other daytime commitments. All teaching sessions, workshops and visiting speaker sessions will take place in our boardroom.

In the eight years since we’ve started Curtis Brown Creative, over 60 of our former students have gone on to get major publishing deals for their novels. We’ve had some fantastic success stories across all genres, including London course students turned bestselling authors: Jessie Burton (The Miniaturist), Kate Hamer with (The Girl in the Red Coat) and Laura Marshall ( Friend Request). Read more about the published authors who’ve studied with us in London here. While we can’t guarantee publication or representation, we lavish our expertise on our students. The agents of Curtis Brown and C&W are hungry for new authors and actively looking for clients among our students.

Tutor

Simon Wroe, author

Simon Wroe's first novel Chop Chop was shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award, longlisted for Desmond Elliott Prize and the winner of a Betty Trask Award. His second novel, Here Comes Trouble, was published in April 2017 and was shortlisted for the Everyman Bollinger Wodehouse prize. He writes books and arts reviews for The Economist and features for The Guardian.

Kerry Hudson, Author

Kerry Hudson's first novel, Tony Hogan Bought Me An Ice-cream Float Before He Stole My Ma was in 2012 by Chatto & Windus and won the Scottish First Book Award and shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award. Kerry’s second novel, Thirst, won France’s most prestigious award for foreign fiction the Prix Femina Étranger. Her memoir, Lowborn, was published in 2019.  

WHAT DOES THIS COURSE GIVE YOU?

London class picture
London Workshop 2

Weekly Teaching Topics

Lively teaching sessions take place on Wednesday evenings

During the first hour of the class Charlotte Mendelson will teach on a variety of novel-writing topics, such as characterisation and narrative point of view. Charlotte will set creative writing tasks, set homework and provide reading materials.

Hand Writing

Weekly Writing Workshops

Led by Simon Wroe, focusing on 3,000 word extracts from students' work

Each student receives two workshops centred on their novels-in-progress during the course. Every week students will read and give feedback on three students' work. This encourages students to develop their capacity to self-edit, to read as writers, and to receive and provide constructive criticism.

Simon Wroe, author

A One-to-One Tutorial

Work closely with Simon on your novel in progress

You will receive two 25-minute tutorial with Simon Wroe, who will read and comment on a 3,000-word extracts from your novel. You can also choose to focus these tutorials on particular concerns and questions on key issues like plotting storyline or dialogue.

Norah Perkins

A 45-minute Agent Session

Get a literary agent's perspective on your novel-in-progress

Near the end of the course all students will get a 45-minute tutorial with a Curtis Brown or C&W literary agent. The agent will review a 6,000-word extract from your novel-in-progress as well as your synopsis. They will provide feedback and publishing industry insights.

London Workshop

Guest Speaker Evenings

Talk with published authors, agents and editors

There will be five guest speaker sessions, featuring Curtis Brown and C&W literary agents partnered with major authors and top publishing professionals. These special sessions allow time for Q&As and sometimes even pitching.

Kerry H

Two 'mini courses'

Six evening sessions with a guest author-tutors

At two points during the course two different published guest authors will lead a mini course compromised of three evening teaching sessions each, the first will be with author Kerry Hudson (the second tutor is TBC).

Pitch pic

Pitch Workshop

Practice your pitch in a workshop with literary agents

A two-hour workshop on how to write the perfect pitch letters to agents. The session will be led by Curtis Brown agent Norah Perkins and other members of the Curtis Brown or C&W literary agent team.

Editing image

Synopsis Sessions

Get advice on how to nail that tricky synopsis

All student's will get advice on how to write a great one-page synopsis. You will share your draft synopsis with the group and receive individual feedback from Charlotte Mendelson.

Glasses image

Share Your Work with Agents

Submit your opening to the literary agent team

At the end of the course students will be invited to submit 3,000 words of their novel, plus a synopsis, which will be shared with the team at CB and C&W. This is not a formal submission to the agency but a chance for students to share their work-in-progress ahead of the end of course drinks reception.

Jonny Geller, agent

End of Course Drinks

Attend an end of course drinks evening with Curtis Brown and C&W Literary Agents

At the end of the course you will be invited to a celebratory drinks reception with the literary agents. You'll get the chance to talk to agents about your novel, to practice pitching, and to chat about books and publishing in a relaxed, fun setting.

Student Engagement

Weekly teaching sessions will take place on Wednesday evenings, from 7pm–9pm. In the first hour, Simon Wroe will cover a range of topics important to novelists, such as characterisation and narrative point of view. The second hour is the writing workshop, with the discussion focusing on three students’ work per week.

Students will be asked to 3,000 word extracts from their novels-in-progress one week ahead of their workshop, and also will receive written comments from the tutor and fellow students (so, students will each week be reading and giving feedback on three students’ work). 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.

Ally Wilkes

Application Process

Our selective applications process means that you will be writing your novel in a peer group of 15 students working at a high level. Many of our former students have found their tribe with us – and continue to meet up with former class-mates who have become trusted readers long after the course is over.

The course fee of £2,990 (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.

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 more questions about the course, please email cbccourses@curtisbrown.co.uk for assistance.

Guest Speakers

Four special guest speaker sessions will take place on Tuesday evenings between 7pm-8.30pm. Students will hear from Curtis Brown and C&W agents partnered with authors and publishing professionals. These talks will be hosted by a member of the Literary Agent team.

Norah Perkins, agent

Norah Perkins


Agent

Course Schedule

WEEK 1

Introduction

Thursday 12 September

Teaching Session with Anna Davis and Simon Wroe. Anna and Simon will welcome the group to the course, explain how the course works and share what students should do to get the most out of the three-months.

see more

WEEK 2

Inspiration and Ideas

Thursday 19 September

Teaching Session and Workshop with Simon Wroe. This week Simon will discuss where writers get their inspiration.

see more

WEEK 3

Plotting and Story

Tuesday 24 September

Visiting Speaker Session with a CB or C&W agent and an author or publisher TBC

Thursday 26 September

Teaching Session and Workshop with Simon Wroe. Simon will give tips on how to plot and plan you story arc.

see more

WEEK 4

Openings

Tuesday 1 October

Visiting Speaker Session with a CB or C&W agent and an author or publisher TBC

Thursday 3 October

Teaching Session and Workshop with Simon Wroe. Simon will talk about what makes a good novel opening.

see more

WEEK 5

Developing Your Protagonist

Thursday 10 October

Teaching Session and Workshop with Simon Wroe. This week is all about getting inside the head of your main character: what drives them, how do you make them convincing, etc.

see more

WEEK 6

Narrative Point of View

Thursday 17 October

Teaching Session and Workshop with Simon Wroe. This week Simon will give guidance on choosing the right pov for your novel.

see more

WEEK 7

Guest Tutor ‘Mini Course’

Tuesday 29 October

Visiting Tutor Session with Kerry Hudson

Thursday 31 October

Visiting Tutor Session with Kerry Hudson

see more

WEEK 8

Voice and Tone

Tuesday 5 November

Final night of the first ‘mini course’. Visiting Tutor Session with Kerry Hudson

Thursday 7 November

Teaching Session and Workshop with Simon Wroe. Simon will discuss the different stylistic approaches to novel-writing that an author can take.

see more

WEEK 9

Developing Your Supporting Cast

Tuesday 12 November

Visiting Speaker Session with a CB or C&W agent and an author or publisher TBC

Thursday 14 November
Teaching Session and Workshop with Simon Wroe. It is important not to forget about the minor characters which help flesh out the reality of your story.

see more

WEEK 10

Dialogue

Thursday 21 November
Teaching Session and Workshop with Simon Wroe. Dialogue can make or break a novel and good dialogue is all about authenticity.

see more

WEEK 11

Writing Scenes

Thursday 28 November

Teaching Session and Workshop with Simon Wroe. Simon will talk you through what makes a compelling and convincing scene.

see more

WEEK 12

Description and Setting

Thursday 5 December
Teaching Session and Workshop with Simon Wroe. Simon will share examples of descriptions which really work.

see more

WEEK 13

Writing from Life

Thursday 12 December
Teaching Session and Workshop with Simon Wroe. This week Simon will discuss how best to draw inspiration from real life experiences and knowledge.

see more

WEEK 14

The Synopsis I

Thursday 9 January
Teaching Session and Workshop with Simon Wroe. During week one of the synopsis workshops Simon will explain why the synopsis is so important to get right and give tips on how to do this.

see more

WEEK 15

The Synopsis II

Tuesday 14 January

Visiting Speaker Session with a CB or C&W agent and an author or publisher TBC

Thursday 16 January

Teaching Session and Workshop with Simon Wroe. Week two of the synopsis workshops.

see more

WEEK 16

Guest Tutor ‘Mini Course’

Tuesday 21 January

Visiting Tutor Session with an author TBC

Thursday 23 January

Visiting Tutor Session with an author TBC

Thursday 30 January

Visiting Tutor Session with an author TBC

see more

WEEK 17

Editing and Rewriting

Tuesday 4 February

Letters to Agents session – get feedback on your agent letter from two agents from C&W or CB.

Thursday 6 February
Teaching Session and Workshop with Simon Wroe. Simon will talk you through techniques and tips for redrafting and editing your manuscript.

see more

WEEK 18

Endings

Thursday 13 February

Teaching Session and Workshop with Simon Wroe. Your novel needs an ending and finding the right one to do the story justice can be tricky, Simon will help lead the way.

see more

WEEK 19

Drinks Reception with Literary Agents

Thursday 27 February

Celebratory evening with a chance to meet the agents from Curtis Brown and C&W.

see more

WEEK 20

Conclusions

Thursday 5 March

Teaching Session and Goodbyes with Simon Wroe and Anna Davis.

see more

READY TO APPLY?

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 form). The application deadline is midnight, end of day Sunday 7th July, and we will respond to applicants by Thursday 11th July.

Not quite ready?

Enter your email to receive updates and reminders about this course. We will also subscribe you to our weekly newsletter for writing tips, agent advice and news about our latest events and courses.

  • Personal Details

  • Please include country code is applicable
  • eg. name@domain.com
  • We won't share this data
  • Application Details

  • No more than 150 words please....
  • State here the details of any previously published work, awards, prizes and other writing achievements
  • Accepted file types: pdf, txt, doc, rtf, docx.
    Please upload your synopsis and opening 3,000 words in one document. Only PDF, TXT and DOC files accepted, file size must be less than 8mb
-->