The Rewrite Doctor – Edit Your Novel

Anna Davis introduces her much-loved editing method – and you try it out on your novel in this day-long Zoom course.


20 Sept 2022 - 20 Sept 2022

Teaching on Zoom

As part of a small group

Big picture editing

Knock your draft into shape


+ £145 for a 500-word report


You’ve done brilliantly to write a whole novel – so why are you plunged into gloom when you read it through? It’s so hard to know what’s wrong with your first draft, let alone how to fix it. Sound familiar? Then this one-day intensive Zoom course led by CBC’s Founder and MD Anna Davis is just what you need.

In the morning, as part of a group of 16 students, Anna will walk you through the The Rewrite Doctor, her tried-and-tested method for editing a novel (as featured in our bestselling Edit & Pitch Your Novel course). You’ll learn how to gain perspective on your work and figure out all of the issues that need your attention – from the big picture to the smallest details. And you’ll be given a template that will take the pain out of editing and guide you all the way through the rewriting process.

You’ll have time to try out the Rewrite Doctor method on your own novel, and will then return later in the day for a further live teaching session with Anna as part of a smaller group (of eight students). There’ll be a chance to talk about your experience and ask questions, and Anna will draw on her expertise as a writer, tutor and former literary agent to advise on your biggest editing issues. By the end of the day you should be equipped with everything you need to construct a complete plan for editing your novel and to move forward with confidence.

This course is the perfect next step for writers who have finished the first draft of their novel and want to learn how to knock it into better shape. You don’t need to have taken any previous writing course – but students who’ve taken one of our long (three- or six-month) Writing Your Novel courses, get priority entry to this course. Anna’s Rewrite Doctor is featured in the teaching videos of our Edit & Pitch Your Novel online course – but this intensive day gives you the chance to work through it live, in person, with Anna – and to get her thoughts on your writing struggles.

‘The course was great, the Rewrite Doctor is a very useful tool and Anna did a fantastic job presenting it.’

Susan Swan, former Rewrite Doctor student


Anna Davis, CBC Founder & Director

Anna is the founder and Director of the Curtis Brown Creative writing school. She is the author of five acclaimed novels which have been published in twenty languages. She has been a journalist and Guardian columnist, as well as a Curtis Brown literary agent. She taught creative writing at the University of Manchester and in many other settings before founding Curtis Brown Creative in 2011.


All students will be given the option to purchase feedback on their final task from a CBC editor (a published author with relevant teaching/editorial experience).

  • CBC report: For an additional fee of £145, you can obtain a detailed 500-word report on your work (of up to 3,000 words) from one of our editors.
  • CBC report + tutorial: For an additional fee of £240, you can obtain a 500-word report from one of our editors and have a 30-minute video or telephone tutorial with them to discuss your work.

Further details about these report services will be shared with successful applicants.


For this course we are responding to entries throughout the application period. As places on this course are limited, we will be working to select 16 writers whose work we consider has the potential to really benefit from this course – but, mindful of the fact that people might need to book annual leave – we will not be waiting until the closing date to read applications and offer places. We therefore advise people who are keen to join this course to apply early.

We are offering priority entry to former students of our three- or six-month Writing Your Novel courses (online or in London). Alumni will be given entry to this course – on a first come, first served basis – provided they have a complete draft.

If you’d like to apply, please fill in the application form at the end of this page and send us a short extract from the novel you’re working on plus a one-page synopsis (see instructions below). The course fee of £125 (inc VAT) per student is payable, in full before the start of the course. Alumni of our selective three- or six-month Writing Your Novel courses are eligible for a £25 discount – as are writers who’ve taken the original Edit & Pitch Your Novel course.

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.



16 students will join Anna Davis for a day of teaching on Zoom. This course will run on Zoom from 10am to 5.30pm on Tues 20 Sept. Schedule shown in UK time.

Lesson 1

10am - 11.30am: The Introduction


Anna will lead an opening session in which the 16 students introduce themselves and their novels – followed by a discussion about big picture editing issues, with the group invited to put forward their own rewriting problems.



see more

Lesson 2

11.45am - 1pm: The Rewrite Doctor


Anna will talk the group through the Rewrite Doctor – her complete system of editing that covers: How to read and review your work; how to figure out your major editing issues, and then how to use the Rewrite Doctor method to build a comprehensive plan for your entire process of rewriting, taking in all of your Big Picture and Smaller Picture issues.


You’re then given everything you need to be able to apply the Rewrite Doctor to your own novel – and are set the challenge of starting to work with it on a few scenes.



see more

Lesson 3

2.45pm - 5.30pm: Working in a smaller group


The students will be divided into two groups of eight for the afternoon teaching. 


2.45pm-4pm: The first group of eight returns with the work they’ve been doing using the Rewrite Doctor. Each student gets the opportunity to talk about their experience of working with the method to Anna and their fellow students, including anything they’ve come to realise about their work – plus a chance to ask their editing/rewriting questions. Anna will answer queries and offer verbal advice to each student in turn. Then the day ends for that group.


4.15pm-5.30pm The second group of eight returns for their session with Anna, as detailed for Group 1 above.

see more


Please apply with the first 3,000 words of the novel you’d like to discuss and work with during the day, 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 screen applicants based on the quality of the writing sample provided. If you are an alumni of a previous selective-entry Writing Your Novel course you will be given a priority place on this course, subject to availability. We will respond to applicants throughout the application period, and not later than Thurs 15 Sept 2022.

Not quite ready?

  • Contact Details

    Please provide some essential details so we can get in touch with you about your application. We won't share this data.
  • eg. name@domain.com
  • Please include country code if applicable
  • About You and Your Writing

    We'd like to learn a bit about you and your writing. Don’t worry if you haven’t done a course with us before, please fill out in as much detail as possible. We won't share this data.
  • Date Format: DD slash MM slash YYYY
    Selective-entry alumni are guaranteed a place on the Rewrite Doctor course, these places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.
  • 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