Archive for July, 2012
In October 2012, TLC offers another opportunity to join our writing tutors in a prime location for creative writing in the foothills of the Spanish Sierra Nevada. October 6th – 12th 2012, TLC will provide a week long intensive creative writing course in Andalucia and accommodation at Casa Ana. Writer and mentor Jacob Ross is returning for a second time to Andalucia and will lead the writing courses along with TLC director Rebecca Swift. Click here to find out more about Jacob Ross.
We still have rooms available, so don’t miss out on your chance to explore your creative writing abilities and be guided by TLC’s straightforward and honest standards for helping writers develop their skills. Click here to read Literary Adventurer Lindsay Waller Wilkinson’s blog about her experiences during the TLC holiday in 2011.
TLC client Mary McMahon’s manuscript Once in a Bluebell Wood has been shortlisted for the Spotlight First Page Competition. Mary submitted her manuscript to TLC at the beginning of 2012, where it was passed on to reader Shelley Weiner. The manuscript was also recently selected by a judging panel as the winner of A Novel Event, a competition run in conjunction with the Hexham Book Festival. The book is inspired by Mary’s Irish background and her fascination with local ghost stories, as well as her continued interest in childhood trauma and loss, and their after-effects.
Shifting from England in the 1940s to rural Ireland in the 1950s, Once in a Bluebell Wood is a moving story of escape, love and loss, as Jenny Fitzgerald tries to come to terms with the lies that surround her beloved father’s failure to return home after the war.
For more information about the Spotlight First Page Competition, click here.
AMITY & SORROW, my book about God, sex & farming, will be published in spring 2013 with Little, Brown (US) and Headline Review (UK). Foreign rights have sold with Orlando (Holland) and Presses de la Cite (France). I thought it was high time I changed my Twitter bio, too. Now, back to the war – and book two!
The Tinder Press list will launch in spring 2013 and will include playwright Peggy Riley’s AMITY AND SORROW, an extraordinary debut about sisters in an end-of-the-world cult,
Early in 2012, Literary Agent Jodie Marsh at United Agents took on Rebecca King’s young adult novel, The First Dance and the Last. TLC is particularly delighted about Rebecca King’s new status as she was selected by New Writing North for her high quality writing and granted an assessment via The Literary Consultancy under the Arts Council Free Reads Scheme.
The novel, set in 1914-15, it tells the story of sixteen-year old Lucy, in love with her sister’s fiancé, whose parents are keen for her to become a débutante with the aim of having her married off. After seeing the world-famous company of the day, Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes, Lucy dreams of carrying on her schoolgirl ‘fancy dancing’ lessons and becoming a ballet dancer. She begins to put these dreams into practice, secretly discarding her ballroom lessons for ballet lessons – and finding herself in a new, fascinating, seedy world. More and more, this bohemian world jars with her comfortable middle-class existence, and Lucy must choose between them. Amongst all of this, Lucy enters a relationship with an unusual concert pianist – as Britain enters war with Germany and is not only Lucy’s own world which is thrown into turmoil.
Rebecca had the TLC assessment with Jane Purcell in December 2011 and found representation by an agent already in early 2012, but the book is the product of many years. She writes, “I had begun writing the book whilst at university, and after having put it aside during my Honours years, resumed writing after graduation and was very lucky to be offered a TLC Free Read through New Writing North. My reader was Jane Purcell – whose work I had heard on the radio! – and her feedback was encouraging, sensitive and perceptive. She understood completely the kind of book I was writing, and none of her advice went against the grain. Her comments really made me look at the book afresh and I actually found that I became ruthless even beyond the tweaks she had suggested. I found an agent three months after receiving my TLC report and the feedback certainly helped me to acknowledge the stronger and weaker parts of my novel and to be confident that the re-draft I then offered to my agent was strong, marketable work.”
We wish Rebecca all the best with her book with United Agents.
It’s hard to have missed the excitement around TLC reader Doug Johnstone’s new thriller, Hit & Run, with its rave reviews and its number one spot on Amazon. The thriller was also chosen as one of eight titles on Fiction Uncovered’s Best of British list for this year.
Here’s a blurb for the book: Driving home from a party with his girlfriend and brother, all of them drunk and high on stolen pills, Billy Blackmore accidentally hits someone in the night. In a panic, they all decide to drive off. But the next day Billy wakes to find he has to cover the story for the local paper. It turns out the dead man was Edinburgh’s biggest crime lord and, as Billy struggles with what he’s done, he is sucked into a nightmare of guilt, retribution and violence.
Doug Johnstone currently reads literary fiction, thrillers and young adult fiction for TLC. Please contact the TLC office if you would like to find out more about having an editorial assessment.
Click here to listen to the Scotsman read from his new novel.
Literary agent David Godwin recently placed TLC client Neamat Imam with Penguin India. Neamat’s novel, ‘The Black Coat’, will be published in 2013. Neamat first came through TLC in July 2011 and had an editorial assessment by Kavita Bhanot, who has worked as an editor with India’s first Literary Agency and is the editor of the short story collection Too Asian, Not Asian Enough (Tindal Street Press, 2011). Kavita writes, “I was deeply impressed by Neamat Imam’s novel, which I found to be urgent and powerful. I can’t think of many contemporary novels that have an ambitious canvas, that make political, social commentary, but also touch your heart because they are written with compassion, experience, wisdom and psychological depth.”
TLC is delighted for Neamat and we look forward to having a copy on display here at the TLC office.
What do you do if you’re looking for an editorial assessment in the outback? Damien Brown wrote his novel Band-aid for a Broken Leg while working in remote Aboriginal communities and sent his novel to TLC for an assessment first in 2009 with Alan Wilkinson and then again in 2010 with Karl French.
Allen & Unwin, Australia’s largest independent publisher, released the book 2nd July and it will be published in the UK in February next year. It will also soon be available through http://www.bookdepository.co.uk/ or as an ebook on Amazon.
Damien’s book is an account of life on the medical frontline in Angola, Mozambique and South Sudan, while he was working for Medecins Sans Frontieres. It is also a moving testimony of the work done by medical humanitarian groups and the extraordinary and sometimes eccentric people who work for them. Damien writes about his experience with TLC, saying, “This was my first book, and although I was struggling to get it right, I couldn’t bear any criticism of it. What did these people know about the conditions I was writing about, anyway? They weren’t there with me, I told myself – they were mere academics! In retrospect, though, having a structured, systematic appraisal of what worked and what didn’t wasn’t was essential. I was far too immersed in my work to have that overview. And, at least after the initial day or two of yelling at the reports I’d received, I never looked back.”
TLC is delighted that we are able to help writers develop their writing, where ever they are in the world. Click here to read an interview with Damien.
At the recent TLC Literary Conference, one of the things author Kate Mosse wanted to highlight was the importance of taking your time as a writer and having patience throughout the writing and publication process. Four years after coming through TLC and many revisions later, Headline picked up TLC client Peggy Riley’s novel. The book, about sisters in an end-of-the-world cult, will be published in the UK spring 2013 and will also be out with Little, Brown in the US.
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