The Marian Keyes Novel-Writing Scholarship

Marian Keyes, Author

© Dean Chalkley

We’re hugely excited to announce that one of the most successful Irish authors of all time – Marian Keyes – has generously offered to provide funding for one talented writer who is in need of financial assistance to be able to join Curtis Brown Creative’s six-month online novel-writing course this Autumn.

Read more about the course – which will be taught by Lisa O’Donnell – and which runs from 10 September to 4 March here.

Marian Keyes has chosen to sponsor the 6-month online novel-writing course, rather than one of our London-based courses, because she wants the opportunity to be as potentially far-reaching and inclusive as possible. Our online courses are designed to enable people to take part from anywhere in the world – in any time zone, and at hours of the day or night that work best for the individual participant.

Marian and CBC would love to discover an exciting new voice through this scholarship opportunity. We are keen to promote diversity in our courses and warmly encourage writers from under-represented backgrounds to apply.


The scholarship is open to people over the age of 18, either:

    • unmarried and not co-habiting with a partner, with an annual (gross, pre-tax) income of less than £25,000 and personal savings of less than £5,000.
    • married or co-habiting with a partner, with a total annual (gross, pre-tax) household income of less than £35,000 and personal savings (jointly or individually) of less than £5,000.
    • If you do not fit these criteria but consider your personal financial circumstances merit inclusion in this scholarship opportunity, please give detail in the application form.


Curtis Brown Creative offers places on our courses on the basis of proven writing ability. We ask scholarship applicants to send us the first 3,000 words of a novel in progress, with a one-page synopsis, and to fill out the form below (please don’t use the form on the course information page for scholarship application). 

Please note that only those people who satisfy the above eligibility criteria should apply to the scholarship.


Applications for the Marian Keyes Scholarship must be received by us by midnight at the end of Sunday 29th July. We’ll then be in touch with all applicants by Thursday 2nd August.


The Marian Keyes Scholarship will be awarded to the applicant whose submission material shows the greatest potential and promise in our view. The decision will be made by the Curtis Brown Creative team and Marian Keyes.

To find out more about Marian Keyes and why she’s sponsoring this scholarship, read this blog.


    • Applicants to the Marian Keyes Scholarship must fulfil our eligibility criteria. Our form asks you to make a statement about your financial circumstances and background and why you feel you deserve the scholarship.
    • With respect to the earnings thresholds set out in our eligibility section: for salaried applicants, your current salary at date of application must be under the threshold. For self-employed applicants, your gross pre-tax profits (average figure for the last two financial years) must be under the threshold. State benefits such as jobseeker’s allowance should be counted as income.
    • We acknowledge that some people whose earnings do not comply fully with the criteria may nevertheless have personal circumstances that we would consider should merit inclusion in this opportunity (for example, a lone parent with sole financial responsibility for three children, earning a salary of £26,000 per year). If you feel your personal and financial circumstances should qualify you for inclusion in the scholarship opportunity, please give full details. Final decisions around eligibility will be made by the Curtis Brown Creative team on a case by case basis.
    • Applicants may be asked to provide proof of their financial circumstances in support of their scholarship applications.
    • Applicants may be asked to provide character references from 2 professional people who have known the applicant for at least 5 years and who are happy to confirm that the information being provided is correct (to the best of their knowledge). Referees should not be family members or spouses/partners of the applicant.
    • Applicants to the Marian Keyes Scholarship may also apply for other scholarships or bursaries offered by Curtis Brown Creative (though please note that in the event of your being awarded this scholarship or another scholarship place, any open applications for further scholarships become void).
    • Applicants to the Marian Keyes Scholarship are not eligible to be considered for ‘normal’ paying places on the courses listed above – this is because the scholarship is intended for a writer without the means to take up a paying place on the 6-month online course.
  • Personal Details

  • Please include country code is applicable
  • eg.
  • We won't share this data
  • Application Details

  • No more than 150 words please....
  • State here the details of any previously published work, awards, prizes and other writing achievements
  • Accepted file types: pdf, txt, doc, rtf, docx.
    Please upload your synopsis and opening chapter in one document. Only PDF, TXT and DOC files accepted, file size must be less than 8mb

  • I am over 18 years of age, unmarried and not co-habiting with a partner, with an annual (gross, pre-tax) income of less than £25,000 [or equivalent] and I do not hold personal savings in excess of £5,000; I am over 18 years of age, married or co-habiting with a partner, with a total annual (gross, pre-tax) household income of less than £35,000 [or equivalent] and personal savings (jointly or individually) of less than £5,000.