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Discoveries Writing Development Course

All 16 writers longlisted for Discoveries 2022 will be invited to attend our specially designed novel-writing course.

We’re keen to help the talented writers longlisted for Discoveries hone their skills and make real progress on their writing journeys. To help them develop their novels we’ve designed a special two-week online course to take place 27 June to 8 July 2022 with expert tuition from author Charlotte Mendelson. All 16 writers longlisted for Discoveries 2022 will be invited to take part for free.

Tutor

Charlotte Mendelson’s most recent novel, Almost English, was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize and the Women’s Prize for Fiction. When We Were Bad was shortlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction, and was chosen as a book of the year in the Observer, Guardian, The Sunday Times, New Statesman and Spectator. Her second novel, Daughters of Jerusalem, won both the Somerset Maugham Award and the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize, and she was shortlisted for The Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year award. She is also the author of Rhapsody in Green, a memoir of gardening obsession.

Her new novel, The Exhibitionist, will be published in March 2022.

She worked in publishing for twenty years, is a critic and broadcaster and the Gardening Correspondent for the New Yorker; she is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. She lives in London.

Course Content

The Discoveries Writing Development Course will be hosted on our learning platform, where the group of 16 writers will have a secure forum space to discuss their work and access to writing resources. The forum will be moderated by the Curtis Brown Creative team – and will be a safe space for the longlisted writers to interact with each other and their tutor Charlotte Mendelson.

This is a course is designed with flexibility in mind. The writers will be encouraged to work through the materials at times that suit them. Any set times of the course will be confirmed in advance and will take place in the evening, outside of usual working hours.

Zoom teaching

On Monday 27 June and Monday 4 July Charlotte will lead live 1 hour 45 minute live teaching sessions on Zoom, provisionally scheduled to take place from 7.00pm to 8.45pm (with specific dates and timings to be confirmed nearer the time). Charlotte will deal with topics relating to the novel-writing process such as pacing, plotting and characterisation. The topics covered will be informed by the work the longlisted authors submitted to Discoveries. Each session will include a live writing task to help the students put the lessons into practice.

Weekly homework

Students will be asked to complete the homework writing task (which will relate to their novels in-progress) and post it up on the forum during the week following the class. Charlotte will give brief written feedback on everyone’s tasks in both weeks. Students will be encouraged to discuss the task and give written feedback to each other in the forum space.

One-to-one tutorial

All students will be offered a 30-minute one-to-one tutorial with Charlotte, conducted via Zoom or phone, based on the opening 3,000-word section from their novel-in-progress plus one-page synopsis (or note to indicate where the novel is headed).

Literary Agent Q&A

The course will culminate will a special 1 hour 45 minute Zoom session with two Curtis Brown literary agents, hosted by a member of Curtis Brown Creative (date and time to be confirmed). The longlisted writers will be invited to ask questions about the role of the agent and how to submit their novel when it is ready. They will also be able to practising pitching their novels to the agents and will receive live feedback on their pitch.

Further information about the course will be available closer to the time.

About Discoveries 2022

Discoveries is a pioneering development initiative run by the Women’s Prize Trust in partnership with Audible, Curtis Brown Literary Agency and Curtis Brown Creative. Our goal is to offer practical support and encouragement to aspiring female novelists of all ages and backgrounds, from across the UK and Ireland. The programme culminates with awarding the Discoveries Prize for an unpublished novel-in-progress.

The deadline to enter your novel-in-progress to Discoveries 11.59pm on 17 January 2022. Find out more below.