‘Curtis Brown Creative is world-class. I will always be grateful for my place on the course.’
Bestselling and award-winning debut novel The Miniaturist published by Picador, July 2014, winner of National Book Awards Overall Book of the Year 2014 among other awards. Second novel The Muse published by Picador, June 2016.
‘If it hadn’t been for the CBC course, this book would not have been written, simple as that. It was such a turning point for me, not just in all the fantastic lessons and feedback, but also in motivation and actually realising for the first time that I could finish a novel. I will be singing the praises of this course for the rest of my life, and I’m so grateful for having the chance to be part of it.’
Debut novel The Dry (first published 2016) is now an international bestseller and was adapted into a film starring Eric Bana. Jane also the author of four further acclaimed crime novels.
‘When I started the course, despite having already published non-fiction, I had very little confidence… The support and enthusiasm of my wonderful writing group and my tutors made me believe, for the first time, that I really could do it. Without that support, I doubt I would ever have finished the first draft.’
Clare’s debut novel The Authenticity Project was published by Transworld in 2020, it is now a New York Times bestseller.
‘The CBC Novel-Writing course was invaluable. The tutors were brilliant, and it was through Curtis Brown Creative that I found representation at Curtis Brown and now a publishing deal.’
Debut novel Barbarians published by John Murray, May 2014; shortlisted for the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain Best First Novel Award 2014, as well as for the Paddy Power Best Political Fiction Book of the Year 2015. His second novel, Hoffer, was published by John Murray in Spring 2017.
‘Workshopping the novel on the CBC course with people who were interested in the same things as me and took the writing process very seriously was invaluable. They would ask questions about characters’ motivations and query anything they weren’t clear about; and having that outside view coming in to what you’d done quite privately until then was just amazing.’
Debut novel The Girl in the Red Coat published by Faber & Faber February 2015, and shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award. Her second novel, The Doll Funeral, was published in February 2017.
‘The course really helped me to put everything together. Writing into a void is lonely and a little scary- getting reactions (of any sort) really shaped and focused what I was doing. The support of the group and the experience, professionalism and encouragement of the tutors was a fantastic combination and prepared me brilliantly for the next stage.’
Debut novel The Butcher’s Hook published by Two Roads in February 2016. Longlisted for the Desmond Elliott Prize 2016.
‘That three-month course was a good experience in self-discipline. You have your deadlines to write and feedback and you don’t want to let anyone down by being the one who didn’t hand in their homework… That time spent examining each other’s writing and having your own examined can be excruciating but is invaluable.’
Debut novel Happy Families was published by Welbeck in 2021 after winning the Richard & Judy Search for a Bestseller Competition.
‘Thanks so much for your advice and encouragement; I doubt I’d have secured an agent for my finished novel if I hadn’t attended the Curtis Brown Creative course. More specifically, it seems that the quality of my pitch swung it for me, so tell that to the next crop!’
Debut novel The A to Z of You and Me published by Black Swan, March 2015. Longlisted for the Desmond Elliott Prize 2015.
‘My novel just wouldn’t have happened without attending the Curtis Brown Creative novel-writing course. The teaching not only improved my skills as a writer, but also taught me about the business of writing and publishing.’
Debut novel Plague Land and sequel The Butcher Bird published by Hodder & Stoughton, September 2014 and October 2015.
‘I honestly can’t express how grateful I am for the opportunity, and I’d urge anyone considering applying for a Curtis Brown Creative scholarship to do it. The chance to spend time working on my writing, focusing on it and learning from our tutor, Lisa O’Donnell, and the other students was so precious.’
Elizabeth was awarded the Marian Keyes scholarship to study on our six-month online Writing Your Novel course. Her debut novel Cunning Women is to be published by Windmill in 2021.
‘Even stepping into the lift at the Curtis Brown offices for the first time gave me a wake-up call. This is a business: there are editors, publicity people, lawyers, agents, media rights… I hoped the Curtis Brown Creative course would empower me to come out as a writer who actually wanted readers. And it did. One hundred per cent.’
Debut novel The Well published by Canongate, March 2015.
‘Having the chance to meet with industry professionals, and get first-hand insight into publishing was hugely helpful, as was being part of a small group of people who were just as passionate about writing as I was.’
Debut middle grade novel Orphans of the Tide was published by Puffin in 2020. Puffin are also publishing two further books that make up this trilogy.
‘The tuition I thought was excellent – a big shout here for Chris Wakling – and focused on writing a real book that might even get published in the real world.’
Debut novel The Good Liar published by Viking, February 2016. Second novel, A Traitor in the Family, published March 2017.
‘For the first time in my life, I was surrounded by a group of people who took their writing seriously… The authors and agents who came along to talk to us every week, introduced me to a world where writing was a profession. Suddenly, writing a novel no longer seemed like just a vague fantasy, but a possible reality.’
Debut novel Would I Lie to You? to be published by Head of Zeus in 2021.
‘I cannot overstate the huge impact the course had on my writing. I learned so much … I started to take my writing way more seriously and dedicated time to it. And I learned the value of seeking out feedback and listening to it.’
Debut middle grade novel The Super Miraculous Journey of Freddie Yates was published by Usbourne in 2020 and it is was shortlisted for the Costa Children’s Book Award.
‘I found the very structured and practical process of working through the course really useful – and the wisdom and advice from Catherine Johnson was inspiring. I learned so much from the other students on the course – everyone was very supportive of each other, and the variety of imaginative worlds that people had created was amazing.’
Debut middle grade novel Tiger Heart was published by Orion in 2020.
‘I started the course with the bare bones of a plot idea and about 20,000 very rough words, and thanks to Chris Wakling’s expert tuition and the help of my course mates, I developed my plot and my writing style enormously. I learnt so many valuable lessons, and having a diverse cross section of readers in the group gave me a good audience to test material on.’
Debut novel The Flip Side was published by Michael Joseph in 2020.
‘I have loved doing this course. I have gained a great deal from it, made some friends and been shored up in confidence as regards my writing.’
Debut novel Bitter Fruits published by Penguin, January 2015. The sequel, The Taken was published 2016.
‘I will forever be grateful to CBC. Not only did the course offer invaluable industry advice and help me to secure an agent, it also allowed me to meet the best bunch of writing pals I could have ever hoped for!’
Debut novel Five Steps to Happy was published by Trapeze July 2019.
‘I’m one of those people who never wanted to do a creative writing course. You can’t teach it, or so I thought. How wrong was I? Everything I learnt – from the tutorials to the author’s talks to the fourteen amazing writers I shared the course with – made me a different class of writer. A huge THANK YOU to Curtis Brown Creative.’
Debut novel The People We Were Before published by Quercus, April 2016.
‘I’ll be forever indebted to Curtis Brown Creative for giving me a much-needed boost of confidence exactly when I needed it most, and for gently pointing out that I might be suited to writing for young adults. Lightbulb moment! I now can’t imagine writing for anyone else.’
Bestselling novel The Art of Being Normal published by David Fickling books, January 2015; shortlisted for the YA Book Prize and nominated for a Carnegie Medal, among other awards.
‘The CBC course was an invaluable resource to me when I was just starting to figure out the kind of writer I wanted to be. Writing can be extremely lonely and coming together with a group of people with a shared goal, all of whom took each other seriously, was calming and galvanising in equal measure.’
Her first short story collect Salt Slow was published by Picador in June 2019, her debut novel will also be published by Picador.
‘I went on the CBC course with a comedy diary (rough cut of Cow Girl) with a completely different name. CBC advised against the format of a diary, which I took on board and rewrote. I probably rewrote three times.’
Kirsty won the inaugural Comedy Women in Print Prize for unpublished authors. Her debut Cow Girl was published by HarperCollins in 2020.
‘Being able to study at CBC with Charlotte Mendelson had a hugely positive impact on the development of my novel.’
Kirsty was awarded the HW Fisher Scholarship to join our Writing Your Novel course. Her debut novel Careless to be published by Orion in May 2021. It is a Cosmopolitan, BBC, Stylist, Daily Mail, Good Housekeeping and Guardian best book pick for 2021.
‘The teaching and feedback I got on the CBC course from our amazing tutor Erin Kelly, as well as from Anna Davis and my fellow students, enabled me to look at my own writing with a critical eye, and to understand what was wrong with it, and how to make it better. It also gave me the confidence I needed to keep going, as well as an invaluable insight into the publishing industry. I would never have finished my novel, let alone be looking forward to publication in 2017, if I hadn’t done the course.’
Debut novel Friend Request published by Little, Brown in July 2017.
‘Curtis Brown Creative do a great job of taking the fear out of writing and submitting a novel. It never completely goes away, but by the end of a course, your manuscript will be stronger, and you’ll get good support to get it into the right hands. More than anything, the course is FUN, and that’s the best possible reason to do it.’
Debut novel The Crying Machine was published by HarperVoyager in April 2019.
Hannah Mary McKinnon
‘The CBC course was nothing short of fabulous. My classmates were incredibly talented both in their writing and at critiquing submitted pieces, and I still refer to the materials our brilliant tutor, Chris Wakling, shared. The course had a profound effect on both my writing and confidence, and it confirmed I want to continue making up stories for as long as I can. I will be forever grateful for the opportunity.’
Debut novel Time After Time published by Maze Books, June 2016. Second novel The Neighbors was published by Mira Books in March 2018.
‘My tutor on the CBC course was the incredible Erin Kelly. I took the course because I knew she’d be teaching, and I’d always adored her writing. She pushed me to understand what I wanted to do with my novel, and gave me the confidence to develop that vision. I loved how the course was a potent mix of the pragmatic and the imaginative.’
Debut novel Heatstroke was published by Headline in 2020.
‘Not only did we get this constant feedback but the weekly tutorials from our fabulous and supportive tutor, Chris Wakling, taught me vast amounts. The course was vital to completing my novel. I’m constantly recommending CBC to friends. Sign up! Get on with it! You won’t regret it one bit.’
Debut novel How Not to Fall in Love, Actually published by Simon & Schuster in January 2017.
‘When I started the course, I had written the very basics of the novel, but what the course did was teach me how to turn it from a collection of ideas into a fully stitched together story.’
Polly was awarded the Yesterday Scholarship (funded by author Felicia Yap) to join our six-month Writing Your Novel course. Her Debut The Illustrated Child was published by HarperCollins in 2020.
‘Curtis Brown Creative helped and challenged me in so many ways. From propelling me from my desk to travel to London every week, to gaining the insight of Erin and Anna, to receiving great feedback from my fellow students and meeting professionals from the industry. Not least, it was through the course I found representation at C&W and then a publishing deal.’
Debut novel The Missing Girl published by Mantle, Macmillan in January 2018.
‘After the CBC course, I finally had the confidence to go ahead and finish the novel. I tend to edit and re-write as I go along anyway, as I am a bit of a perfectionist, but once I’d reached the end, I put it aside for about two weeks, then re-read and did a fairly major structural edit to make sure the pace and relationship development felt right.’
Debut novel Saturdays at Noon was published by Michael Joseph in 2020.
‘CBC didn’t just set me on the path to publication, it pretty much steered me all the way, as the support, friendship, constructive advice and cheerleading continues even after you’ve left the boardroom for the last time. The rigour and high standards set by both the tutors and your fellow course-mates really stretches you and makes you question, not so much, “Can I write?” but, “Do I want this enough?” In my case, the answer to that question was a resounding yes and I owe CBC everything.’
Caz Frear’s debut Sweet Little Lies won the Richard and Judy Search for a Bestseller Competition and was published by Bonnier Zaffre in July 2017.