Three-Month Novel-Writing Course With Charlotte Mendelson
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.
May 01 2019 - Jul 17 2019
In-person course in central London
Apply to this competitive writing course
Course Fee £1,800
Work on your novel with the experts
Our flagship Three-Month Novel-Writing course is an intensive London-based course for anyone with writing talent and a strong novel idea, who has decided they want to take their writing seriously.
Charlotte Mendelson 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 four 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.
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.
This course includes a scholarship place for one talented writer with low income – fully-funded by tax accountants HW Fisher. Click here to find out more about the scholarship and apply for it.
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.
Charlotte Mendelson, author
Charlotte has written four novels: Love in Idleness, Daughters of Jerusalem, When We Were Bad, and Almost English, all published by Picador. She has 20 years' experience as a fiction editor and publisher, and is a Visiting Professor at Royal Holloway, University of London, on the Creative Writing MA course. Her first work of non-fiction, Rhapsody in Green, was published by Kyle Books in September 2016.
Anna Davis, 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.
WHAT DOES THIS COURSE GIVE YOU?
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.
Weekly Writing Workshops
Led by Charlotte Mendelson, 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.
A One-to-One Tutorial
Work closely with Charlotte on your novel in progress
You will receive one 25-minute tutorial with Charlotte Mendelson, who will read and comment on a 3,000-word extract from your novel. You can also choose to focus this tutorial on particular concerns and questions on key issues like plotting storyline or dialogue.
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.
Guest Speaker Evenings
Talk with published authors, agents and editors
There will be four 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Weekly teaching sessions will take place on Wednesday evenings, from 7pm–9pm. In the first hour, Charlotte Mendelson 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.
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.
All sessions take place from 7pm–9pm at Curtis Brown’s offices in London.
INTRODUCTION AND BEGINNINGS
Wednesday 1 May
Teaching Session with Anna Davis and Charlotte Mendelson. Anna and Charlotte 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.
PLANNING AND OPENINGS
Tuesday 7 May
Visiting Speaker Session, with Jonathan Lloyd (CB) and Anthony Horowitz
Wednesday 8 May
Teaching Session and Workshop with Charlotte Mendelson. Charlotte will talk about what makes a good novel opening and give tips on how to plot and plan you story arc.
INSPIRATION AND POINT OF VIEW
Tuesday 14 May
Visiting Speaker Session with Emma Finn and Katie Greenstreet (C&W) with Charlotte Mursell (HQ)
Wednesday 15 May
Teaching Session and Workshop with Charlotte Mendelson. This week Charlotte will discuss where writers get their inspiration from and give guidance on choosing the right pov for your novel.
DEVELOPING YOUR PROTAGONIST
Wednesday 22 May
Teaching Session and Workshop with Charlotte Mendelson. This week is all about getting inside the head of your main character: what drives them, how do you make them convincing, etc.
PLOTTING AND STORY
Wednesday 29 May
Teaching Session and Workshop with Charlotte Mendelson. This week Charlotte will get into the nitty-gritty of plotting out your novel and making sure your story flows.
Tuesday 4 June
Visiting Speaker Session with Jonny Geller (CB) Fiona Neill (author)
Wednesday 5 June
Teaching Session and Workshop with Charlotte Mendelson. Dialogue can make or break a novel and good dialogue is all about authenticity.
DEVELOPING MINOR CHARACTERS
Wednesday 12 June
Teaching Session and Workshop with Charlotte Mendelson. It is important not to forget about the minor characters which help flesh out the reality of your story.
THE SYNOPSIS I
Tuesday 18 June
Letters to Agents Session with CB and/ or C&W agents
Wednesday 19 June
Teaching Session and Workshop with Charlotte Mendelson. During week one of the synopsis workshops Charlotte will explain why the synopsis is so important to get right and give tips on how to do this.
THE SYNOPSIS II
Wednesday 26 June
Teaching Session and Workshop with Charlotte Mendelson. Week two of the synopsis workshops.
DESCRIPTION AND TONE
Tuesday 2 July
Visiting Speaker Session with Lucy Luck (C&W) Anne Meadows (Granta)
Wednesday 3 July
Teaching Session and Workshop with Charlotte Mendelson. Charlotte will share examples of descriptions which really work and discuss the different stylistic approaches to novel-writing that an author can take.
Tuesday 9 July
Drinks Reception with the Curtis Brown and C&W agents.
Wednesday 10 July
Teaching Session and Workshop with Charlotte Mendelson. Your novel needs an ending and finding the right one to do the story justice can be tricky, Charlotte will help lead the way.
Wednesday 17 July
Teaching Session and Goodbyes with Charlotte Mendelson and Anna Davis.