Frequently Asked Questions

Application Process

Q Who will read and assess my application?
A All applications to our creative writing courses will be read and places awarded by our course tutors and the Curtis Brown Creative team. All applicants will receive a response to their applications by the dates set out for the relevant course.

Q What should go in my one-page synopsis? Should I reveal the whole plot?
A We would like to see a page that talks about your novel in a lively and engaging way. You don’t need to tell us the entire plot if you don’t want to or if it’s not yet completely mapped out, but there should be enough in there to give us a good idea of what your novel is about.

Q Does the 3,000-word section have to come from the opening?
A Yes. We’re like any other readers – we like to start at the beginning!

Q Are applicants with previous publications favoured over those who are unpublished? And are highly educated applicants or applicants with high-powered careers favoured over those without?
A No. We’re interested in finding out more about potential students, but our decisions are made on the basis of the quality of the material sent in to us.

Q Are younger applicants favoured?
A No. Our students are of all ages. We’re just asking how old you are because we want to know who is connecting with us and who we’re failing to appeal to.

Fees & Payment

Q Does the fee include VAT?
A Yes, it does. We will provide a VAT invoice so that those who can reclaim VAT are able to do so.

Q Can I pay the fee by credit card?
A Not at the moment, but we’re going to fix that…

Q If I have to withdraw, will my fee be refunded?
A We’re afraid not. Unless previously negotiated with Curtis Brown Creative, fees are payable in full by the date specified. Students who are concerned about possible refunds are advised to investigate and take out personal insurance.

About our courses

Q Do I have to complete my whole novel by the end of the course?
A No. Though obviously we hope all our students will make strong progress on their novels while they’re with us!

Q Do I get a qualification at the end of the course?
A No. Our courses provide an opportunity for serious writers to receive focused support and comment from experts to help them shape their novels. They also provide a unique insight into one of the UK’s leading literary agencies. You don’t need a qualification to be a great writer. We want to offer something more useful.

Q Are there plans for further courses?
A We are constantly scheduling new courses. At the moment we offer three- and six-month novel-writing courses in our London offices in the spring and autumn of each year. Information will be displayed on this website when available.

Q I can’t attend a course in London. Do you run online courses or courses based in other locations?
A  Yes! We also offer three- and six-month online novel-writing courses in the spring and autumn of each year. We would love to provide courses outside of London, and will announce all new courses on this website. If you join our mailing list you will receive information about new courses as we schedule them.

Q If I apply to one of your courses, am I automatically submitting my work for consideration by the Curtis Brown agency for representation?
A   No. Our course applications system is entirely separate from submissions to the agency by writers seeking representation. Applications to the course are read and assessed by the course tutors and the Curtis Brown Creative team, not by the Curtis Brown or C+W agents. To apply for representation, go to our submissions section.

Q  I’m writing a children’s book. Can I apply to your novel-writing courses?
A You can if your work is targeted at teenagers/young adults. The course would not be suited to those writing for younger age-groups. You would be much better served by our children’s writing courses – which currently run twice a year. Or, if you are writing or have an idea for a children’s picture book aimed at 2-6 year-olds you may find our online courses on Writing & Illustrating Children’s Picture Books more suitable.

Q Will students be offered representation by Curtis Brown?
A Representation may be offered to students considered outstanding by the Curtis Brown or C+W book agents.