Curtis Brown celebrates 120th birthday with novel-writing prize

Curtis Brown celebrates 120th birthday with novel-writing prize

Curtis Brown is to celebrate its 120th birthday with a series of events spearheaded by a team of young agents, culminating in the Curtis Brown 120 Novel Writing Prize.

Founded in 1899 by Albert Curtis Brown, one of the UK’s longest running independent literary agencies. This year Curtis Brown plans to “celebrate its heritage and offer a unique opportunity to the future.” Agents including Lisa Babalis, Becky Brown, Catherine Cho, Lucy Morris and Norah Perkins will help lead the year's events. 

The celebrations will culminate in the Curtis Brown 120 Novel Writing Prize, a mission to find the voices of the future, launched in partnership with the Curtis Brown Creative writing school. The prize will be open to novels both finished and unfinished, across all genres of adult fiction. Details of judging panels, process, prizes and submission dates will be revealed in April.

Gordon Wise and Sheila Crowley, managing directors of the Curtis Brown Books Department ,said: “The Curtis Brown 120 initiative is not only a wonderful idea in its own right but significantly is one that has been developed from the grass roots of our business. We admire enormously how the team behind it developed the strategy and vision for this special project, which represents both the talent of our wonderful clients and the contribution all members of our Books Department to our business. It’s a celebration of Curtis Brown as the home of new, established and rediscovered talent, and of amazing teamwork.”

Curtis Brown Creative m.d. Anna Davis added: “I’m so proud to be part of an agency that steps boldly forward when it comes to innovating and finding new talent. It’s fabulous to be running Curtis Brown Creative, and such a privilege to work closely with writers at the very early stages of their novel-writing journeys. I don’t think this would have happened at any other agency. Here’s to the next 120!”

“Over the year Curtis Brown will give insights from behind the scenes, exclusive writing tips from authors and agents and from the Curtis Brown Creative writing school, as well as story-makers and debut champions from across the industry, such as editors and marketeers,” said a spokeswoman. “A series of ‘Start the Story’ events will showcase the agency’s writers and heritage throughout the year. Agents will appear alongside their authors in a rare opportunity for readers to quiz the creative minds behind some of the UK’s best loved books.” 

The agency will also delve into the archives and debuts A Good Enough Mother by Bev Thomas (Faber), She Lies in Wait by Gytha Lodge (Michael Joseph) and Death and Other Happy Endings by Melanie Cantor (Bantam) will be showcased. A series of ‘Start the Story’ events will showcase the agency’s writers and heritage throughout the year. Agents will appear alongside their authors in a rare opportunity for readers to quiz the writers.