It’s been a heady few weeks for the alumni of Curtis Brown‘s creative writing courses. Now the notes they took have been read, the wisdom of tutors and guest speakers processed, and the stories they were writing improved upon, some excellent novels are inevitably beginning to see the light of day. And bucking that depressing fact that most first novels end up being shoved into a drawer and forgotten about – even those by successful authors such as Jojo Moyes – several are now on the verge of being placed in front of the book-buying public.
First up is Jake Woodhouse, who attended the Spring 2012 novel-writing course. His Amsterdam-set novel After the Silence has recently been bought by Michael Joseph in the UK after a multi-publisher auction – and translation deals are following thick and fast. Not far behind is Jessie Burton (Spring 2011), whose historical novel The Miniaturist – set in 17th-century Holland – attracted attention from five agencies (including Curtis Brown) before she secured representation. James Hannah (Autumn 2011), represented by Susan Armstrong at our sister agency Conville & Walsh, is currently honing his novel The A to Z of You and Me – the gripping tale of a man attempting to escape his past.
And then there’s Kate Hamer (Autumn 2011), whose short story One Summer won The Rhys Davies Short Story Competition at the end of last year and was featured on BBC Radio 4. Kate contacted us recently to let us know that her novel-in-progress, The Girl in the Red Coat, has secured her a prestigious Literature Wales bursary, which will allow her to concentrate on writing full-time.
Huge congratulations all round. If the successes continue at this rate, we’ll have to order in some more Champagne and party-poppers to the CBC offices.
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.