Author Felicia Yap is to fund a Curtis Brown Creative scholarship for a talented writer from a "less privileged" background.
Yap, herself a Faber Academy graduate with a six-figure publishing deal, was inspired to fund The Yesterday Scholarship after receiving help herself to study from a benefactor "with a generous heart".
Yap won a “healthy” six-figure sum for her debut novel Yesterday ahead of London Book Fair in 2016, which was acquired by Wildfire publisher Alex Clarke as his first acquisition for the imprint.
Named after her debut title, the Yesterday Scholarship will offer a writer the opportunity to work on their book with an expert author-tutor and 14 other hand-picked writers on either Curtis Brown Creative’s Six-Month Novel-Writing Course in London or its Six-Month Online Novel-Writing Course, beginning February 2018.
Yap said she was "absolutely delighted" to be offering the scholarship. "I understand just how difficult it is to make a leap, coming from a less-privileged family background", she said. "Someone with a generous heart made a real difference to my life fifteen years ago. He enabled me to study at Imperial College and later go on to Cambridge where my thriller Yesterday is set. In keeping with the wonderful principle of paying forward, I would love to do the same today (albeit in a very small way) for a writing star of tomorrow."
Yesterday is a high-concept psychological thriller that poses the question 'how do you solve a murder when you can only remember the previous day?' It will be published by Wildfire in August. Yap is represented by Jonny Geller, joint c.e.o. at Curtis Brown.
Geller said: "Felicia’s inspiring act of generosity with this scholarship to help less-privileged students of creative writing is a mark of what a special individual she is. She was given a chance by a benefactor at a key moment in her life and now she is passing that opportunity on. We are very proud to hold this place in her name."
Curtis Brown Creative director Anna Davis added: "I was so thrilled and honoured when Felicia Yap contacted us to say she’d like to work with us on this exciting initiative. It’s incredibly generous of her, and a wonderful opportunity for a talented new writer, as well as for Curtis Brown Creative."
Curtis Brown Creative has been running novel-writing courses since 2011, both in its London offices and online, working closely with the Curtis Brown and C+W literary agencies. And in six years, it has seen 34 of its former students go on to secure book deals with major publishers – including Jessie Burton, Kate Hamer, Jane Harper, Nicholas Searle, and Lisa Williamson.
More details on the Yesterday Scholarship are available from the Curtis Brown Creative website.