Covid-19 update London-based courses to return this autumn, with safety still our top concern – find out more here.

24 June 2021

London courses to return this autumn!

by Anna Davis Course News

I’m cautiously excited (if there’s such a thing as cautious excitement) to announce the return of our much-loved and much-missed London-based courses this autumn. We’re open for applications now for three courses starting in September: our six-month Writing Your Novel course led by Laura Barnett, our three-month Writing Your Novel course with Lizzie Enfield, and our Writing an Original TV Drama Serial course, taught by Colin Teevan.

In the grand scheme of Covid-related hardship, the absence of our London-based courses is the smallest of small fry – but my goodness, the CBC team have missed them! What a weird and nostalgic business it is to think back on that yester-year time when the whole team sat together every single working day in our lovely offices on the Haymarket, arguing merrily about whose turn it was to make the tea. Just before 7pm on certain weekdays, the novel-writing students would start arriving for class, and would relax on the couches in our entrance area, catching up, before their tutor would stroll in and lead them through to the boardroom. Perhaps it would be Charlotte Mendelson, who’d kick off each three-month class by asking if any of the students had been reading anything fab. Or Simon Wroe, whose six-month groups have been some of the most bonded of all our student cohorts. If I was still at my desk as a class got going, I’d invariably catch the sound of laughter from the boardroom – perhaps glance up to see, through the window, students passing the biscuit barrel around… (Oh, the biscuit barrel!)

Enough of this whimsy. You doubtless have your own equivalent. And, all in all, we at CBC have been lucky – our growing range of online courses have meant we’ve worked throughout the Covid time, and we’ve been able to communicate effectively with our students, our tutors and each other all the way through the long months of lockdown.

Your safety comes first

But now comes the exciting moment – well, quite possibly, anyway – when the London courses will make their wonderful return! We can’t wait to bring some of our student groups together in-person again. It’ll be a bit different this autumn, of course – no biscuit barrel, for one thing! We’ll be using comfortable venues that allow students to distance more effectively than they could in our somewhat ‘cosy’ boardroom – and just as many are moving into a ‘hybrid’ phase in their working lives, blending effective home-working with a partial return to the office – so our London courses will also be a bit hybrid this autumn. Students, tutors and guest speakers will meet up in Central London for lots of the classes – but in each course, some of the classes and tutorials will take place live on Zoom. We figure this mixture of in-person and remote live-learning will work well at this time – enabling the kind of group rapport that springs up most easily from being in a room together – while also not requiring students to travel to Central London every single week of the course.

However… There’s a reason for the tentative tone of this blog, and we all know what that reason is. Safety comes first – it has to. On the day of writing this blog, the end of social distancing in the UK has been delayed by four weeks. At CBC, we will watch carefully and act in the best interests of students and staff, and in accordance with government guidelines. Of course it’s nice to sit in a room together, but only if it’s sensible to do so. If the situation necessitates it, we will move these three autumn courses entirely to Zoom and our online platform. All elements of the courses can still be delivered very effectively that way, and we will give a partial refund if we’re unable to get together in person (see individual courses for details).

Online courses still running

AND I should just add that our full range of online courses will also continue to be available, ongoing – including our three-month and six-month online Writing Your Novel courses, which operate largely on our Learning platform, with flexible scheduling so you can take part when it suits you, and from other time-zones. Indeed Suzannah Dunn, one of our longest-standing and most popular tutors, who has taught for us both in London and online, announced to me recently, ‘I think the online courses are much better – they allow more space for relaxed and in-depth discussion and teaching.’ In fact, Suzannah doesn’t want to go back to teaching in London at all! Oh yes, and we’re offering a scholarship place on Suzannah’s three-month course for a talented writer with low income, via our Breakthrough Writers’ Programme, so do check it out if that sounds like you.

Choose the course that’s right for you

As a potential CBC student, it’s worth thinking carefully about which kind of course might suit you best: A live teaching session each week, in which you look your tutor and fellow students in the eye – which suggests applying for a London/Zoom course if that’s possible for you – OR teaching and discussion that builds and swells across the days, whenever you want to drop by, and takes place in our secure, bespoke forums – which suggests applying for an online three- or six-month course. Both types of course have fifteen students interacting intensely with their tutor – and live one-to-one tutorials with the tutor. Both have guest sessions with the Curtis Brown and C&W literary agents (via Zoom webinars), and both offer a tutorial with an experienced agent or editor and a chance to share your work with the agents at the end of the course.

Confused about what’s right for you? Have a careful read through the course descriptions and drop us a line on if you would like some advice.

Well, that’s pretty much everything. Oh, except to say that we’ve currently got some special offers happening: there’s a ‘Your Writing Summer’ £20 discount off the price of our shorter online courses (4-10 weeks) – and a brand new three-part Character Development Mini-Course that’s free for everyone who signs up.

Right – I’m off to cross all my fingers. See you soon.

Upcoming courses in London & on Zoom

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Our Courses


Writing Crime Fiction

03 Feb – 17 Mar

Character Development – The Deep Dive

21 Oct – 11 Nov
Simon Ings, Author

Writing Your Novel – Three Months

15 Nov – 07 Mar
Charlotte Mendelson, author
in london & on zoom

Writing Your Novel – Three Months

16 Nov – 08 Mar