08 July 2019

Norah Perkins: ‘Read your submission aloud to catch repetitions and awkwardness’

Norah Perkins CB120
by Curtis Brown 120 Author Interviews, Curtis Brown 120

As part of our 120th birthday celebrations, Curtis Brown – in partnership with Curtis Brown Creative – have launched the Curtis Brown First Novel Prize! Our mission is to find the exciting new voices of the future. To enter all you need is a 10,000 word novel opening and a one-page synopsis (find out more here). The deadline for entering the Curtis Brown First Novel Prize is August 1st …

Tracy Chevalier, bestselling author of Girl with a Pearl Earring and A Single Thread, will chair the judging panel formed of Curtis Brown agents and the Curtis Brown Creative team. 

To help you prepare your submission every Monday across 5 weeks a member of the Curtis Brown 120 Team will share their 3 top tips for writers thinking of entering the Curtis Brown First Novel Prize.

Last week Becky Brown talked about the importance of the synopsis. Now it is Norah Perkin’s turn. Norah represents Curtis Brown’s Heritage clients as well as a small list of living writers …

1. Read your submission aloud to yourself – it’s amazing how much you can catch this way – repetitions, infelicities, awkwardnesses. Frankly it’s a great way to call bullshit on yourself – and makes your writing stronger, sharper and better.

2. Don’t get hung up on what to send. Just submit the writing you’re proudest of – it doesn’t have to finished, or perfect, or the first chapter – we want to see your raw talent, and we want to read what you are excited about writing.

3. Most importantly, don’t get down if you don’t win. It’s always tough – let’s not pretend it’s not – but pick yourself up, dust yourself off and get right back to writing.

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