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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 latest novel The Exhibitionist was published in March and longlisted for the 2022 Women’s Prize for Fiction. Her fourth novel Almost English was also longlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction – as well as for the Man Booker Prize. 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. Daughters of Jerusalem won both the Somerset Maugham Award and the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize, and Charlotte 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.

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 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, both sessions to run from 7.00pm to 8.45pm. Charlotte will deal with topics relating to the novel-writing process such as pacing, plotting and characterisation (topics to be confirmed closer to the start time of the course). 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 with a special 1 hour 45 minute Zoom session with Lucy Morris and Jess Molloy from Curtis Brown, hosted by a member of Curtis Brown Creative, taking place from 4.30pm to 5.45pm on Friday 8 July. 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.

Lucy Morris joined Curtis Brown in September 2014 from Bloomsbury Publishing. She represents a variety of fiction and non-fiction authors, including former CBC students Elizabeth Lee (Cunning Women) and Hazel Barkworth (Heatstroke). She also represents Emma van Straaten, winner of the inaugural Discoveries Prize. Lucy is on the Discoveries 2022 panel of judges.

Jess Molloy joined the Curtis Brown literary department in October 2019 having previously worked at Curtis Brown in the talent and comedy department and within talent management for over 8 years. She currently assists Cathryn Summerhayes with her brilliant and eclectic list. Jess is also one of the team working behind the scenes on Discoveries 2022, and is a reader for the prize.