01 July 2019

Becky Brown: ‘Good novels come from the brain and the heart’

Becky Brown CB120
by Curtis Brown 120 Curtis Brown 120, From the Agents, Writing Tips

As part of our 120th birthday celebrations, Curtis Brown – in partnership with Curtis Brown Creative – have launched the Curtis Brown First Novel Prize! Our mission is to find the exciting new voices of the future. To enter all you need is a 10,000 word novel opening and a one-page synopsis (find out more here). The deadline for entering the Curtis Brown First Novel Prize is August 1st …

Tracy Chevalier, bestselling author of Girl with a Pearl Earring and A Single Thread, will chair the judging panel formed of Curtis Brown agents and the Curtis Brown Creative team. 

To help you prepare your submission every Monday across 5 weeks a member of the Curtis Brown 120 Team will share their 3 top tips for writers thinking of entering the Curtis Brown First Novel Prize.

Last week Lisa Babalis talked about the importance of authenticity. Now it is Becky Brown’s turn. Becky is an agent on the Heritage team and looks after many of Curtis Brown’s literary estates …

1. Don’t underestimate the power of your synopsis. It’s just as important to perfect a concise overview of your novel as it is to actually write it! So take your time, and use the synopsis not only to show us you have a handle on the bigger story but also to display your creative abilities in miniature!

2. Be brave, be brutal. It can be tempting to preserve an unsatisfactory passage or a page because it feels like a waste of all that time and effort to discard it – don’t! We want to see you at your very best, so try to be unsentimental and only keep your most brilliant writing.

3. Stay hydrated. Good novels come from the brain and the heart – both are almost 75% water. So make sure you have your eight glasses a day.

Find everything you need to know about the Curtis Brown First Novel Prize here

Meet the Curtis Brown 120 Team

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