Now that it’s almost time for the Curtis Brown Creative six-month creative-writing course to begin (13 February, to be precise), perhaps it’s time we introduced you to the tutors. Though their words of wisdom and expert teaching techniques will be supplemented by some seriously impressive guest speakers, this is the team that will be guiding those lucky enough to be offered a place on the course through the development of their debut novels. The staff room has never been more starry.
Anna Davis represents many of Curtis Brown‘s eminent authors and great literary estates. She is the director of Curtis Brown Creative, the first and only creative writing school to be run by a literary agency, and is also the Book Department’s Head of Book Contracts, negotiating the broad basis of our authors’ publishing agreements and overseeing individual deals.
Outside Curtis Brown, she is the author of five published novels, which have been released around the world in more than 20 languages. She is passionate about good writing and preserving our literary heritage, and served on the management committee for the Association of Authors’ Agents from 2008-2011.
Liz Jensen was born in Oxfordshire, to an Anglo-Moroccan librarian mother and a Danish violin-maker father. She studied English at Somerville College, Oxford, and worked first as a journalist in Hong Kong and Taiwan, then as a TV and radio producer for the BBC in the UK.
In 1987 she moved to France where she worked as a sculptor and freelance journalist, and began writing her first novel, Egg Dancing. This was published in 1995, after her return to London, where she wrote Ark Baby (1998), The Paper Eater (2000), War Crimes for the Home (2002), The Ninth Life of Louis Drax (2004), My Dirty Little Book of Stolen Time (2006) and The Rapture (2009). She is currently working on her eighth novel, a ghost story.
Liz’s work has been shortlisted for the Guardian Fiction award, nominated three times for the Orange Prize, developed for film, and translated into more than 20 languages. She has two sons, and shares her life with the Danish writer Carsten Jensen, bestselling author of We, The Drowned. She divides her time between London and Copenhagen.
Nikita Lalwani’s first novel Gifted was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2007, shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award and the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year. It is currently being translated into 16 languages. In June 2008, Nikita won the Desmond Elliot Prize for New Fiction, which she donated to human-rights organisation Liberty.
Her second novel The Village was published by Viking UK in June 2012. Set in a village modelled on a real-life open prison in India, it is a gripping story about manipulation and personal morality, about how truly frail our moral judgement can be. Nikita was born in Rajasthan and raised in Cardiff. She is a judge for the book section of the Orwell Prize in 2013.
Tony Parsons’ working life began in a gin distillery. Unfortunately for Tony, he developed an acute allergy to the spirit. From these dark days his first novel, The Kids, was born and so began a literary and television career that thankfully did not affect his health. He began as a writer with the New Musical Express in 1976 where he stayed for the next three years covering bands such as The Clash, Blondie and The Sex Pistols. Going on to write for the Daily Telegraph, Tony was poached by the Daily Mirror when Piers Morgan took over as editor and continues to write a weekly news column paper today.
Tony is the author of Man and Boy, winner of the Book of the Year Prize. His subsequent novels – One For My Baby, Man and Wife, The Family Way, Stories We Could Tell and My Favourite Wife – were all bestsellers. In 2010, he published Men from the Boys – the third part to the trilogy that began with Man and Boy. His latest novel, Catching the Sun, was released last summer.
Christopher Wakling’s six acclaimed novels include What I Did, The Devil’s Mask and On Cape Three Points. Born in 1970, he read English at Oxford, then worked as a farm hand, teacher and lawyer, before turning to writing full time in 2001.
As well as writing fiction, Christopher is a travel writer for The Independent. He is also the Royal Literary Fund Fellow at Bristol University and has tutored numerous creative writing courses for The Arvon Foundation and Curtis Brown Creative.
As well as expert teaching from published authors, all our novel-writing courses offer dedicated modules on submitting your novel to literary agents – and include sessions on writing a synopsis and preparing a covering letter. Click for more information or to apply for our creative writing courses.