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The Breakthrough Writers' Programme

The exciting new programme of courses, mentoring and scholarships for under-represented writers, funded by Curtis Brown Literary Agency and partners

Curtis Brown Creative, supported by the Curtis Brown and C&W agencies, has launched an exciting new programme of creative writing courses, mentoring opportunities and scholarships for under-represented writers – with all opportunities fully funded for the writers taking part.

Our objective is to seek out talented writers, who would not otherwise have joined our creative writing courses, and give them the best of our tuition and mentoring, delivered by successful author-tutors, literary agents and publishers. We will draw on our expertise to help writers maximise the potential of their works-in-progress and pitch them with confidence to the book industry.

The central programme of intensive courses and mentoring for under-represented writers is funded in full by the Curtis Brown Group and Curtis Brown’s agents. We aim to run the programme for at least three years, addressing many barriers to entry – and with each writing opportunity having a clear eligibility focus.

The programme also offers scholarship opportunities to enable talented writers to gain a fully-paid place on Curtis Brown Creative’s three-and-six month novel-writing courses. Many of these scholarships are funded by our valued partners – whether individuals or corporate sponsors and, again, will focus on specific barriers to entry.

‘A great way to learn about writing and the publishing industry.’

– Dominic JP Nelson-Ashley, Breakthrough Novel-Writing Course Feb 2021

Read on to find out more about the opportunities we are offering and how to apply. Subscribe to our newsletter using the form at the bottom of this page for future opportunities as we continue to build the programme.

Spring 2021 funded opportunities

The Breakthrough Writers’ Programme opens in Spring 2021 with courses, mentoring and scholarships for Black writers and for writers with low income. We are now welcoming applications for the following:

Breakthrough Novel-Writing Course for Writers with Low Income

A five-day intensive Zoom/online course for 15 writers with low income. Led by tutors Jake Arnott and Cathi Unsworth, plus a class with agents and publishers, and a one-to-one with an agent for each student.

Course dates: 26-30 Apr

Find out more

Breakthrough Novel-Writing Course for Black Writers

Our five-day intensive Zoom/online course for 15 Black writers working on novels. Led by tutors Jacob Ross and Laura Barnett, featuring a class with literary agents and publishers, plus a one-to-one with a literary agent for each student.

Course dates: 8-12 Feb

Applications now closed


Do you want to study on one of our popular three- or six-month novel-writing courses? Our scholarships support writers who might not otherwise have the opportunity to attend these courses. Take a look at what we’re offering.

Find out more

Breakthrough Mentoring

Develop your long-form writing project with us. We’re providing talented, under-represented writers with nine months of mentoring from a published author plus a one-to-one tutorial with a literary agent.

Find out more