Loading...

Who’s laughing? … Apparently not the 2018 judges of The Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize for comic fiction, as they have announced that the prize will not be awarded this year. We asked Curtis Brown literary agent Cathryn Summerhayes for her views on what this means for the comic novel – and which books are making her laugh this year …

The Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize received 62 entries this year and deemed NOT A SINGLE ONE of them funny enough to find a winner, let alone a six-strong shortlist.  What does this say about the state of ‘comic’ literature?  Are writers with a sense of humour becoming a thing of the past? I remember crying with laughter at What A Carve Up! by Jonathan Coe and reading aloud the grotesque, snort-inducing passages from Martin Amis’ Dead Babies.

Have I really not guffawed at a novel since 1995? Of course I have.  But as we all know, humour is a subjective thing – as my 5-year old son Ernest demonstrates by collapsing in fits of giggles every time he changes the words of a song to make it naughty.  Twinkle, Twinkle Little Poo – HILARIOUS, Baa Baa Black Fart – SIDE-SPLITTING.   What I find funny, you may find in poor taste – and vice versa.

There is gentle humour in the wonderful Dear Mrs Bird by AJ Pearce, puerile and satirical humour in John Niven’s No Good Deed, satire in Pussy by Howard Jacobson, loud and long urination gags in Johnny Ruin by Dan Dalton.

Perhaps, in a world that is currently so unfunny, Trump, Brexit, Grenfell, writers are a little afraid to exercise their funny bones.  I laughed out loud at Manon’s dating disasters in Susie Steiner’s two wonderful crime novels, although making people laugh is unlikely to be their main ambition. Matt Haig makes me giggle, but also makes me cry. The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock is bawdy and incredibly amusing but also a literary masterpiece.

Novels can do more than one thing – which is perhaps why this prize isn’t quite hitting the mark.  Most readers don’t just want funny, funny, funny, the end, just as viewers of ‘The Office’ needed the pathos of new love (Dawn and Tim) as much as they wanted Ricky Gervais’ funny and mortifying dancing to feel fully satisfied by the show.

Where readers are finding more laughs these days is in non-fiction.  Adam Kay’s This is Going to Hurt packs an emotional punch – and a political one – but would it have attracted so many readers without ‘the de-gloving incident’ or ‘the Kinder Surprise’? (read it, you won’t be disappointed).  Robert Webb topped the charts with How Not to be a Boy, Caitlin Moran uses humour to showcase her strong-held opinions on everything from feminism to weight-loss, and books like The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F**k are performing as well as their more serious counterparts.

Perhaps Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse should consider changing the rules of the prize to allow non-fiction – and perhaps even children’s fiction, into the mix – I would challenge even the most cynical of judges not to find humour in the soon to be published Boy Underwater by Adam Baron, or not to laugh out loud at The Book With No Pictures by BJ Novak or the final line of Poo Bum by Stephanie Blake. Cynics may say the judges need to lighten up a bit… I couldn’t possibly comment.

Are you writing a work of fiction that could make us laugh out loud? Or, perhaps a novel with the potential to make readers bawl their eyes out? Then why not hone your writing skills on one of our 6-week writing courses for all-comers: Starting to Write Your Novel, Write to the End of Your Novel or Edit & Pitch Your Novel.

Read Full Article
Visit website
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Lisa O’Donnell is one of the tight-knit team of tutors on our online creative writing courses, as well as being a Commonwealth-Book-Prize-winning author in her own right. She’s helped many of our students develop their stories – including Jane Harper, whose debut The Dry has, this week, been named Crime Novel of the Year at the British Book Awards. Here she bangs the drum for Story Story Story. Have you found yours yet?

I’ve taught many a talented student and have come across some truly incredible prose. I have praised those students, admired their sharp sentences, their worldly insights and their language so sweet you could pour it on a pancake. But being a great stylist isn’t enough if you don’t have a story. Often my students come to the course with an idea; a seed of a story – and then it’s my job to help them nurture that seed, and make it flower into a fully formed novel.

I love working with writers who have a great idea for a novel – but all too often that seed of an idea doesn’t get the water it needs. It’s suffocated by pretty words and characters who are effectively ‘homeless’ because the writer has no story for them to belong in. Remember, stories should not be over-complicated: In fact a strong story arc should be so simple that it can be written on a post-it note – and that’s something I ask all my students to do in the first week of their course. They can then stick those post-it notes on their laptops or writing desks as a constant reminder of what’s at the core of their novel.

Recently, one of my students told me they didn’t believe in story. That’s fine for a modernist in the early 1900s, but this is not the early 1900s – and books are competing for people’s attention with Netflix, TV and social media. E-Book-buyers can download between 10% and 30% of your novel to read for free before deciding whether they want to pay to download the rest. So you’d better get your story up and running – and strong – in your first few pages to make sure they don’t move on to the next book or TV serial or game.

You should be working to develop a story which can be communicated in a synopsis of not more than a page (not more than about 500 words). In my experience, I’d say that if you can’t do that for your novel, it indicates a problem with story.

My grandfather was a storyteller. He never wrote a book, or even really picked up a pen, but he could engage you straight away.

“Did I tell you about the time the soldiers came and shot my school teacher?”

I’m glued to my chair. I know what the story is and I know the voice that shares it. There doesn’t have to be a twist or a high maintenance plot …

“Gaelic was forbidden,” he says. “You could not speak it and you could not teach it.”

My eyes are wide. The chocolate digestive I’m holding is not making it to my mouth. I am captive.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m not down on pretty words or modernists from the early 1900s. I love them both and I feel for your beautiful prose and I admire your skill with a pen, and it might just be enough to hold your reader’s attention, for a time. But if you don’t have a strong story, your reader will ultimately tire and look the other way. So will an agent or a publisher.

The language of your intended novel, the insights and the sharp syntax only matter if it supports a story your reader wants to hear.

My grandfather knew nothing of literature. He didn’t get much schooling, but he knew how to tell a story. He was direct, he kept it simple and he imbued every story with voice – a voice I trusted. More than that, he always delivered what he promised. That story about the school teacher who was shot teaching Gaelic – you’re not going to forget that, are you? Behold – a story.

To apply to Lisa’s next course – our six-month online course starting in September (with one fully funded place available), click here.

For more of our courses, click here.

Read Full Article
Visit website
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

We are completely thrilled to announce that the globally-bestselling and greatly-loved author Marian Keyes is personally sponsoring a fully-funded scholarship place for one talented writer with limited financial means to take up a place (worth £2600) on the next Curtis Brown Creative six-month online novel-writing course, starting in September.

The scholar will join 14 other aspiring writers from across the world for an intensive online course featuring writing workshops, one-to-one tutorials, in-depth teaching on key topics and special day-long events where the agent teams of Curtis Brown and its sister agency C+W answer questions and offer advice on the all-important pitch letter. The course tutor will be Commonwealth-Book-Prize-winning author Lisa O’Donnell. Students will have the opportunity to show their work to Curtis Brown and C+W literary agents at the end of the course.

The scholarship will be awarded on the basis of quality of material – applicants fulfilling the eligibility criteria should send in the opening 3,000 words and one-page synopsis for the novel they’d like to work on during the course. For details, information on eligibility criteria, and to apply – visit the Marian Keyes Novel-Writing Scholarship page.

Marian has chosen to sponsor this online course rather than one of CBC’s London-based courses because she would like the opportunity to be as potentially far-reaching and inclusive as possible. She says, “I didn’t have a degree in English, I didn’t feel interesting or important enough to be a writer, but I was wrong. I’d love to convince someone out there who has the desire to write but feels held back by a lack of entitlement, to give it a go. Everyone matters and their stories matter. It would be wonderful if we could discover an authentic new voice this way.”

Jonathan Lloyd – President of Curtis Brown, and Marian’s long-standing agent, says: “This award is typical of the person that is Marian Keyes . While she takes her own writing career seriously she is so generous with her time to mentor and encourage other writers. She is a wonderful champion of good writing and we are thrilled that she is such a supporter of CBC.”

Anna Davis – Founder and Managing Director of Curtis Brown Creative, says: “We at CBC are honoured that Marian Keyes is offering this generous decision to support a new writer – and our courses. We’re keen to promote diversity, and would like to encourage people from under-represented backgrounds to apply for this opportunity.”

If you have a burning desire to write a novel, a great idea – and a low income – take a look at the full details and eligibility criteria for the Marian Keyes Novel-Writing Scholarship, applications close Sunday 29th July.

Take a look at further coverage of this scholarship in The Bookseller.

We are always thrilled to be able to offer scholarship places for those of limited financial means – you can read about our most recent scholar who gained a fully-funded HW Fisher scholarship place on our current 3-month London-based course. Find out more about the scholarships we offer here.

And check the blog next week or sign up for our newsletters to read an exclusive new interview with Marian Keyes.

Read Full Article
Visit website
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

The laws around email communication and data protection are changing on 25th May to give you more control over your personal data. We’ve updated our privacy policy and are asking our newsletter subscribers to re-opt in.

If you’re already a subscriber, don’t forget to re-opt in on the email you will have received from us on May 9th. Or, if you want to become a newsletter subscriber, you can do so at the foot of this web page.

Here’s a round-up of some recent agent insights from our newsletter stories …

Jonny Geller: ‘I want books that will change my worldview’

On what he’s looking for in a submission …

I’m at the stage now where I want books that will change my world view or move me in a way that only a book can. Having worked with le Carré for so long now, and learned so much from writers like Will Boyd, David Lodge and Howard Jacobson, I ask myself the following questions:

  • Does the writer have a unique personal style?
  • How am I feeling as I read and most importantly, what am I left feeling at the end
  • Who could I recommend this book to?
  • Would I pay £15 for this if my best friend recommended it to me?
  • It doesn’t have to be flawless, but are there moments that stay with me after the last page? Visual imprints or emotional points?

Read the full interview with top literary agent Jonny Geller here.

Agent Sophie Lambert and author Fiona Cummins: ‘Stay true to your instincts’

On choosing which agents to approach …

Sophie: It’s best to send to more than one agent at a time so you’re not stuck endlessly waiting, and so that you potentially have some choice if you get interest from more than one. But don’t send simultaneously to more than one agent at the same agency.

Fiona: When I had a draft I was happy with, I sent it to a number of agents who I felt would be a good fit. I got a lot of interest pretty quickly, so I was able to choose. I was particularly drawn to Sophie because I liked the feedback she gave me on my work. It was so honest and astute – she talked to me properly about what still needed to be done, and I knew she was right.

Read more of Sophie and Fiona’s top tips here.

Sheila Crowley: ‘We have no business without authors’

On why she is drawn to books with an ’emotional hook’ …

An interesting question as this ‘emotional hook’ which I have loved for many years is now being categorized by publishers and the media as ‘Up Lit’.  David Nicholls and Jojo Moyes have been writing like this for over a decade, but suddenly people are saying it’s new. In today’s market we are competing so much with movie/TV content from many sources, plus the uncertain political landscape. Novels with great stories at their heart, including emotional, psychological, topical, literary, diverse will always rise to the top.

Read the full interview with top literary agent Sheila Crowley here.

This is a preview of the special collection of  writing tips and agent interview we will be sending all our subscribers at the start of June.

Read Full Article
Visit website
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Fiona Perrin is the forty-third CBC student with a book deal, and the fourth student from a particular 2012 London course cohort to sell her book, joining Lisa Williamson, Maria Realf and James Hall. Lots of this group are still meeting up regularly, and supporting each others’ work. It’s fantastic to see this paying off so well for them.

Fiona’s debut novel The Story After Us will be published in July by Aria (Head of Zeus). Her novel follows protagonist Ami who has two children, a terrifyingly large mortgage, and no idea who she is, or why she and her husband can’t even be in the same room anymore … Fiona tells us more below:

Your debut novel The Story After Us will be published by Head of Zeus this July with a second book to come. How does working on that second novel feel different from your debut? The Story After Us was several years in the writing. There was the whole day job/kids reason, like loads of other writers, but this was also a lengthy apprenticeship – I knew the story I wanted to write but I had a lot to learn. So far, the next one is easier, as I am putting into practice what I’ve learned about plot, pace, characters and story arcs – but ask me again when I’m close to the deadline.

The Story After Us looks at a family which is less-than picture-perfect. What inspires you to write about contemporary relationships and what comes after happily ever after? I wanted to write about a family that reflects the reality of many women – our families are no longer two-up, two-down, they don’t look like they belong in a magazine spread, but they are still full of love and laughter. I’m also divorced and good mates with my ex-husband while happily married to my second; and I’ve been a single parent. I wanted to reflect the hope that can come even if happy ever after doesn’t work out in the traditional way.

You were a student on our 2012 novel writing course taught by Chris Wakling in the same group as Maria Realf, James Hall and Lisa Williamson who have all also been published. It was fantastic to hear that so many in your group have kept in touch, how has it felt to see so much success amongst your cohort? It has been so exciting. Our spin-off group has met up rain or shine every fortnight for years and they have been a fantastic support for me. Seeing our hard work pay off has been so fulfilling – and there is a lot more success to come from Class of 2012.

How did your time on the course change the way you approached novel writing? I thought I had a good grasp of what I was doing but of course, I didn’t. I threw away more than half of my existing word count, changed point of view and learned to edit, edit and edit again. Plus, there were clearly some jokes where I was the only person laughing… they had to go, sadly.

If you could give new authors any advice on securing an agent and/or a book deal what wisdom would you pass on? My agent is Diana Beaumont at Marjacq and she is the best. Her editorial input made The Story After Us so much better. So, find an agent who is willing to invest in you and trust their expert guidance. And take any chances you can – Diana tweeted about wanting books about motherhood, so I emailed her my submission there and then.

After the release of your second book do you have any thoughts on what comes next for you? I would love there to be a third and a fourth and onwards. My books have a lot of comedy in amongst the drama, so it’s a complete pleasure to sit at my desk and snigger to myself about what my characters are getting up to. I feel as if I have so many stories yet to tell.

Find out more about The Story After Us here.

If you would like to take one of our selective entry novel writing courses like Fiona did we are currently open for submissions to our Autumn six-month courses both in London and online.

Discover the other novel writing courses we are currently offering on our courses page.

Read Full Article
Visit website
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

James Hall took our London based novel-writing course in 2012, and his debut novel, The Industry of Human Happiness (Lightning Books), is set in the murky backstage world of late-Victorian theatreland. It lovingly depicts the early years of recorded music in turn-of-the-century London.

James offers us some insights on how he approached the research for his book, a key question for anyone writing historical fiction.

One question keeps cropping up from friends and family members who have read proofs of my novel, The Industry of Human Happiness: how much research did you have to do?

The novel’s about technology, you see. Well, it’s about a lot more besides, but the story is set against the backdrop of the birth of recorded sound and the invention of the gramophone. On top of this, it’s set in a period of time – the late 1890s – when the world was undergoing rapid societal and cultural change. I had to get the details spot on. So the answer to people’s question is a very simple ‘yes’.

These questions have made me reflect on the writing process and the research that I undertook. This being my debut novel, I genuinely don’t know whether I spent too much time researching or too little. But I do know what worked and what didn’t. So here are my six points on the role of research in novel-writing.

1. You’re writing a novel not a dissertation. In other words, do your research but don’t become a slave to it. I remember saying to Anna Davis in the pub on the first night of our course in 2012 that, as a journalist, I found it very hard to write a sentence in my novel that couldn’t have actually happened in real life. This was a fundamentally wrong approach to the creative writing process. I’m sure I wasted time getting past it.

2.Beware the cul-de-sacs. During the research period, it’s far too easy to go down an interesting but fundamentally useless side street on the internet. There’s no point in investigating the history of Sioux moccasins when you’re writing about beekeeping, fascinating though it may be. Be disciplined. Only research what you think you’ll need.

3. Sometimes a great piece of descriptive writing – one that conveys a sense of place or colour or smell – can tell the reader more than a period-specific fact.

4. Get it right. There’s no point in spending time researching if you end up getting things wrong. Not only does it waste time but it will also undermine the trust of any readers who notice. Of course, we all will get things wrong occasionally, but guard against it.

5. Don’t just learn things, experience them. If you’re writing about the 1920s, for example, read books from the period rather than books simply about the period. What kind of language do they use? How do they feel? What do they look like? Try to do things and see things as people from your era did. Visit houses. Look at pictures. Touch items from the era. Hold them. Weigh them. Hell, sniff them if you want. That satisfying turn of phrase will be worth the strange looks.

6. Don’t assume that things have always existed. Everything was new once. We may be used to seeing records and turntables, for example, but in the 1890s they were new. People wondered what these strange black discs were. They were wary. “Eh? They play songs? You’re mad!” Research the provenance of things. Where applicable, imagine seeing them and reacting to them for the first time.

But the main point about research goes back to the age-old iceberg theory: only show the tip of what you know. Don’t show off. Less is more. Ultimately, research is all about knowing stuff with confidence. Then letting go.

The Industry of Human Happiness is out on 24 May. You can pre-order it here.

To find out more, and apply to the course James took in our London offices, click here.

And for information on the other courses we’ve got open at the moment, click here.

Read Full Article
Visit website
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

We’re SO happy to be able to say that Lesley Sanderson is now our 41st student to get a commercial publishing deal! (The very lovely) Lesley was a student on our London-based Six-Month Novel-Writing Course back in 2015. She’s just signed a contract with Bookouture for her psychological thriller, The Dorset Girls, plus one further novel. The audio rights to The Dorset Girls have been sold at auction to Audible. We asked Lesley to tell us more … 

Your debut novel, The Dorset Girls will be published by Bookouture in November. This is the novel you were working on during the CBC course with Erin Kelly, then titled On the Edge. What else changed while you were on the course, and since?
Everything! I had a vague idea of the plot when I started the course and getting feedback on this was invaluable, resulting in lots of changes. I moved some of the action abroad and added new characters. In particular, the telling of the past story changed from straight flashbacks to a mixture of flashbacks, diaries and newspaper reports. With each new draft I’ve written, something else has changed. It’s a very different novel to my first draft.

The Dorset Girls is a thriller which features a same-sex relationship between your protagonists Molly and Grace. Was it important to you to write about this relationship? Do you think crime thrillers need more diverse characters?
Yes, this was important to me. Teenage relationships between girls are very intense and I wanted to explore this on a deeper level – society had different attitudes twenty years ago and I wanted to see how the characters were affected by their past and the different choices available today. Crime novels and psychological thrillers are so popular at the moment – strong characters are essential and it’s important to me that characters reflect the diverse society in which we live.

Bookouture will be publishing your second psychological thriller in March 2019. Are you finding the process of writing a second novel very different from the first?
The second novel is very much a work in progress but it it has been totally different. My plot is thrashed out before I start, character arcs plotted and chapters planned. Things inevitably change as you write, but the foundations will be solid.

Are you still in touch with any of your CBC course-mates?
Most of us are in touch via email and a Facebook page and there is a monthly meet up with occasional critiquing sessions. They are a hugely supportive group.

What is one piece of advice you would pass on to authors working on their first novel?
Never give up, no matter how hard it gets – the highs and lows are all part of being a writer.

Finally, what is next for you, are you working on any other writing projects?
I have lots of ideas for future psychological thrillers and hope to write many more.

Find out more about The Dorset Girls here.

Lesley was a student on our 6-month selective entry novel-writing course in London. Find out more about our courses (both in London and online) on our courses page.

We also offer three shorter (6 week) online courses for all-comers: Starting to Write Your Novel, Write to the End of your Novel and Edit & Pitch Your Novel.

Read Full Article
Visit website
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

We’re delighted to announce that the latest HW Fisher scholarship, enabling one talented writer of limited financial means to study on one of our London-based creative writing courses for free, has been awarded to Kiare Ladner for her novel-in-progress Nightshift.

Nightshift is a story of obsession set in London’s liminal world of nightshift workers. It’s concerned with what happens when the central character wants to plunge herself into nihilism, when she meets someone she actually wants to be. It also looks at ambivalent female friendship, made additionally fraught when related to complex sexuality.

We were hugely impressed by Kiare’s interesting idea and captivating writing, and are delighted that she has joined us on the Spring three-month course, led by tutor Charlotte Mendelson.

Kiare says: ‘I was thrilled to be given the HW Fisher Scholarship. It has come at an incredibly helpful time when I am trying to work out how to move forward as a writer.  I am excited to have Charlotte Mendelson as a tutor, and hugely appreciate the generous input which agents and publishers give to the course. I also look forward to my writing practice being enriched by giving feedback and support to other writers, learning from them as I do so.’

Kiare Ladner is the fifth HW Fisher scholarship student. The Curtis Brown Creative team is hugely grateful to HW Fisher & Company Chartered Accountants for their ongoing support of our courses through the scholarship program, which has been running since Autumn 2016. You can find out more about HW Fisher and the scholarship opportunity by clicking here. The next HW Fisher scholarship will run this Autumn – make sure you continue to be signed up to our newsletter to receive early news when it opens for applications.

To learn more about HW Fisher and the work they do, click here.

Our next London-based novel-writing course with Simon Wroe starts in September, find out how to apply here.

Read Full Article
Visit website
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Our London-based novel-writing courses all feature sessions where the literary agents from Curtis Brown and C+W come in as visiting speakers with their author-clients or leading publishers. These evening events give our students a great chance to find out about the reality of publishing and pick up some really good tips on writing and pitching. There’s always plenty of time for questions, and the students are encouraged to ask anything and everything they really want to know, in a safe environment – with just their student group (of 15), the two speakers and the session host in the room. Except that at last week’s session for our current 6-month course, I was there too – notebook in hand …

The visiting speakers were C+W agent Sophie Lambert and her client Fiona Cummins, author of the bestselling Rattle and its sequel, The Collector. Fiona’s been acclaimed by the likes of Val McDermid and Lee Child as one of the most exciting new voices in crime fiction.

In an entertaining session, our students got a real sense of the close author-agent relationship between Sophie and Fiona, and of how important that bond can be for a novelist navigating the choppy and often-fast changing waters of publishing. The session ran for a lively 90 minutes, but here are some of their key pieces of advice …

When to send out a novel to agents …

Sophie: NEVER rush a submission. Only start working towards an approach to an agent once you feel you’ve got your writing as good as it can possibly be on your own.

Fiona: Find trusted readers who will look at early drafts and offer feedback. Don’t waste your chances of snaring an agent by sending out a rough draft.

Choosing who to approach …

Sophie: It’s best to send to more than one agent at a time so you’re not stuck endlessly waiting, and so that you potentially have some choice if you get interest from more than one. But don’t send simultaneously to more than one agent at the same agency.

Fiona: When I had a draft I was happy with, I sent it to a number of agents who I felt would be a good fit. I got a lot of interest pretty quickly, so I was able to choose. I was particularly drawn to Sophie because I liked the feedback she gave me on my work. It was so honest and astute – she talked to me properly about what still needed to be done, and I knew she was right.

On submitting to editors … 

Sophie: I sent Fiona’s novel out to publishers ahead of the Frankfurt Book Fair (the big publishing trade fair which happens in October every year). Although the response was incredibly enthusiastic, editors still felt there were changes that needed to be made. So we paused the submission to do a further round of edits and rewriting on the novel, and re-submitted it the following year. This time there was an auction, with lots of editors desperate to snap it up. In the end we decided to go with Tricia Jackson at Pan Macmillan.

On titles … 

Sophie: Rattle was Fiona’s first choice title. One-word titles are uncommon in crime, and in fiction more generally for that matter, but its punchiness and originality really helped to grab editors’ attention and made the submission stand out.

On Planning … 

Fiona: There are two different types of novelists : planners and pantsers (ie: ‘flying by the seat of your pants…’). Those who prepare heavily and often painstakingly in advance, and those who ‘just write’. I’m most definitely in the ‘pantsers ’ category – I don’t plan in great detail and I love the joy of discovery that comes from writing without ever having a clear sense of what’s in store for my characters.

On research …

Fiona: Instead of drowning in piles of research, it’s better to focus on the small areas you can really get your teeth into, and which will help you get going on your novel. Don’t get mired in reams of research which is unlikely ever to reach the page.

How often should you write? … 

Fiona: I write every day – even it’s only 200 words. This helps keep me present and locked into the novel I’m working on. I even write on Christmas day.

All in all, the session was direct and inspirational. Fiona emphasised the importance of grit and determination. The road to publication can be long, and there are always bumps in the road – but both agent and author told our students they should hold their nerve: “Stay true to your instincts – and to the novel you’re writing…”

For a chance to get involved in our courses and enjoy guest sessions with authors like Fiona, have a look at the courses we’ve got open at the moment…

Read Full Article
Visit website
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Once again, we’re delighted to offer our CBC newsletter subscribers an exclusive special offer of 25% off the price of tickets for the Curious Arts Festival – the most boutique and bohemian literary and music festival that you’re likely to encounter this summer, founded and co-run by our lovely colleague Clare Conville from the C+W agency. It all takes place on 20th-22nd July in the beautiful grounds of Pylewell Park, which will be filled with an eclectic mix of novelists, historians, poets, comedians, musicians and all-manner of other curious people!

Some of the bookish highlights include author appearances from bestseller (and CBC novel writing courses guest-speaker) Matt Haig How to Stop Time and Reasons to Stay Alive, 2018 Women’s Prize shortlisted (and also a past CBC courses guest-speaker) Imogen Hermes Gower The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock, journalist and acclaimed author of Everything I Know About Love Dolly Alderton, and many more.

As well as featured novelists, this unique festival includes fun activities for childrenlive music and comedy performances. Curious Arts is celebrating its fifth birthday this year and it is destined to be the perfect party for you curiously creative types:

Find out more about the Curious Arts Festival here.

Buy your tickets for the festival here, day tickets are £55, that’s just £41.25 with the CBC exclusive 25% discount and weekend tickets are only £96 with our discount (usually £128)! Find out how to get your 25% discount below …

We have an exclusive 25% discount code for subscribers to our newsletter. If you are already a subscriber you will receive the discount code in this week’s newsletter. If you want to become a subscriber and receive the discount code all you have to do is enter your email in the subscription box at the foot of this web-page and then email cbccourses@curtisbrown.co.uk to receive your discount code. Our newsletter subscribers receive exclusive CBC news and content weekly!

Read Full Article
Visit website

Read for later

Articles marked as Favorite are saved for later viewing.
close
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Separate tags by commas
To access this feature, please upgrade your account.
Start your free month
Free Preview