Curtis Brown Creative’s first Six-Month Novel-Writing Course opened for applications a few days ago, and already submissions have started landing on our desks. Designed to guide writers through the novel-writing process and help them get their manuscripts agent-ready, the course’s luminous line-up of tutors currently include legendary writer Tony Parsons, novelists Christopher Wakling, Nikita Lalwani and Liz Jensen, and agent Anna Davis – a team that has published 29 novels between them – and students can expect to benefit from the wisdom of guest speakers such as agent Jonny Geller and author Jojo Moyes.
Much better value than the other similar six-month courses currently on the market, the Curtis Brown Creative novel-writing course is the UK’s only agent-led programme, and the 15 students whose work is considered promising enough to merit a place – applicants are required to provide novel synopses and show evidence of their writing talent – will receive weekly writing workshops, one-to-one tutorials and sessions on how to effectively present work to agents. There will also be an evening of drinks with Curtis Brown agents, in which students can discuss their novels with some of the most influential figures in the literary world.
Workshops will take place in Curtis Brown’s central London offices on Wednesday evenings, from 7pm-9pm, so that those with full-time jobs and other daytime commitments are able to attend. Students will be asked to submit synopses and extracts from their novels-in-progress for discussion at workshops, and will receive written comments from tutors and fellow students. This provides focused feedback and encourages aspiring authors to develop their capacity to self-edit, to read as writers, and to receive and provide constructive criticism. The workshops will also cover a range of issues crucial to the writing of novels, such as characterisation, point-of-view and rewriting. There will be dedicated longer sessions on plot and story.
‘The novel-writing course was invaluable,’ says Tim Glencross, a student on the first (shorter) Curtis Brown Creative course, who secured a publishing deal with Fourth Estate after workshopping his novel Barbarians with the group. And several other students – including Nan Craig – are currently putting the finishing touches to manuscripts that are eagerly awaited by Curtis Brown agents. With such a focused programme, the new six-month course, which gives authors time to develop their book under the watchful eyes of expert tutors and fellow writers, is by far the most effective way to finally realise those New Year novel-writing ambitions.
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.