Marian Keyes to fund Curtis Brown scholarship for budding author

Marian Keyes to fund Curtis Brown scholarship for budding author

Bestselling author Marian Keyes is funding a £2,600 place on Curtis Brown’s online six-month writing course for one “talented writer with limited financial means”.

Keyes is providing financial support for the place on Curtis Brown Creative’s (CBC) next novel-writing course starting in September.

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 would like to work on during the course.

“I didn’t have a degree in English, I didn’t feel interesting or important enough to be a writer, but I was wrong,” Keyes said. “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.”  

Anna Davis, managing director of Curtis Brown Creative said the author selected the course so the opportunity could be as “potentially far-reaching and inclusive as possible”.

The successful applicant will join 14 other aspiring writers from across the world to be tutored by Commonwealth Book Prize-winning author Lisa O’Donnell. They will take part in 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 pitching. Students will have the opportunity to show their work to Curtis Brown and C+W literary agents at the end of the course.

Jonathan Lloyd, president of Curtis Brown, and Keyes’ agent, said: “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.”

Davis revealed the team were "honoured". 

"We’re keen to promote diversity, and would like to encourage people from under-represented backgrounds to apply for this opportunity,” she said.

The centre is the only writing school to be owned and run by a major literary agency and provides creative courses online and in London. In the eight years since it launched, 43 of its former students have signed with major publishers – and a further four publishing deals for alumni are currently being finalised according to a spokersperson. It expanded into online courses in 2016. Successful students of its London-based course include Jessie Burton, Kate Hamer and Janet Ellis.

Keyes has written 13 novels and four non-fiction books and has sold 6.5 million copies for £40.7m through Nielsen BookScan since records began. Her latest novel, The Break, is published in paperback by Penguin on 31st May. 

For more information, visit this website before the deadline of 29th July.