The benefits of being Creative

<p>The end of the world has come. Curtis Brown, one of the oldest and largest independent literary agencies has set up its own creative writing school. A conflict of interest, a cynical and desperate attempt to restore flagging revenues, a blurring of the lines...So I read on Twitter and on The Bookseller comment page.</p>
<p>Frankly, not the debate I anticipated. Should a writer write with the industry in mind? Will we be grooming a new breed of formulaic writers? These are the questions I expected to debate. </p>
<p>First off, let me say that CBC will be of no interest to bloggers who believe the old heritage industry of mainstream publishing is over anyway. For those who believe self publishing is the future and the big publishers are damned to hell in the new e-world , CBC is probably not for them. But to those who are committed to finding a good publisher via a good agent, let me clarify a few points.</p>
<p><a href="http://www.curtisbrowncreative.co.uk">Curtis Brown Creative</a> is the first writing course to be held by a literary agency.&nbsp; An intensive three-month course for new writers promising access to industry professionals and the opportunity of being represented by one of CB's agents.</p>
<p>Paying for access? No. We still are one of the few agencies that accept and welcome unsolicited manuscripts - 200 a week is our average. We are committed to discovering new talent, supporting our authors and providing career management. We have an incredible track record with new writers; this year we represented the best selling debut novel by a UK writer, Rosamund Lupton's <i>Sister</i>.</p>
<p>Launching new writers is hard. We all know that. With less time spent on editing, publishers are taking on fewer debut writers every year and there is less chance of publishers buying books that are not 100% perfect. We recognised that many manuscripts were falling at the first hurdle. So, why not get involved earlier in the process? </p>
<p>CBC is run by Anna Davis, a novelist and an agent here at CB. Crucially, she is an experienced tutor of creative writing (Manchester University) and will be teaching alongside Jake Arnott, the highly acclaimed and bestselling novelist, also an experienced tutor.&nbsp; CBC will not be simply promising access to the industry, but delivering it to writers who will gain creative tips, professional know-how and unbelievable contacts. </p>
<p>So, the fee. It will cover our tutorial costs. Our fee is comparable with the other top courses available (20% VAT has to be included too which pushes cost higher). In fact, authors seeking editorial advice can pay upwards of &pound;400 for a one-off report. This is not a money making venture.</p>
<p>We will continue to support other creative writing courses through bursaries, prizes and scholarships, as we have always done.&nbsp; We will look to extending this to our own course.<br />
So, is this our core business? No. Will this benefit new writers? Yes. </p>
<p>Will writers be compelled to be represented by CB? Of course not.&nbsp; The agent/author relationship is based on mutual trust and a deep bond between author and agent. The agency and the course are separate and distinct.</p>
<p>Publishing is often viewed as a closed door. With this course, we are opening it.</p>