03 April 2019

Celebrating three novel-writing scholarship winners with book deals

Louise McCreesh, Polly Crosby and Kiare Ladner
by Katie Smart Events, From Our Students

At Curtis Brown Creative we are committed to championing talented writers and helping them to get the best out of their novels. We are thrilled to be able to find a writers through scholarship programs who we might not otherwise have heard from. Over the past year three of our novel-writing scholarship winners have gone on to get publishing deals and many others are hard at work getting their manuscripts ready to submit to agents.

Here we celebrate the three incredible authors whose debut novels are soon to be published after attending one of our novel-writing courses on a fully-funded scholarship place …

Kiare Ladner, HW Fisher Scholar 2018

Kiare Ladner, author

2018 was a great year for Kiare, in April she became HW Fisher scholar on our London-based novel-writing course. Then in June, with the help of Curtis Brown agent Cathryn Summerhayesshe landed a major book deal with Picador for Nightshift – the novel she was working on in class. In September, Kiare’s short story ‘Van Rensburg’s Card’ made the five-strong shortlist for the BBC National Short Story Award. Listen to it here.

When Kiare applied for the scholarship we were hugely impressed by her mesmerising writing style and her idea for Nightshift, a gritty urban tale of same-sex obsession set in the strange world of night shift work. We can’t wait for it to be published this autumn (2019).

Kiare had this to say about her time the London course: ‘Charlotte Mendelson’s classes are stimulating and inspiring. Being in a workshop situation with exciting writers is a privilege and a chance to learn. The atmosphere is supportive and the agent-author discussions are full of interest and encouragement.’

Read more about Kiare Ladner in this interview.

Louise McCreesh, HW Fisher Scholar 2016

Louise McCreesh, author

Louise McCreesh was awarded the HW Fisher Scholarship in 2016, giving her a fully-paid place on our 3-month novel-writing course in London, taught by Charlotte Mendelson. Her novel stood out to the CBC team for its unique narrative voice, which she used to tell a compelling crime story. Now Louise has a deal with Hodder & Stoughton for Cracked, the novel she was writing on the course. We can’t wait for its publication in February 2020.

Louise had this to say about being awarded the scholarship: ‘When I applied for the CBC scholarship, I had just quit a full-on day job because I could not stop having panic attacks about it and was worrying about my future. I thought I had no chance whatsoever of receiving the scholarship – so when I did, it felt like permission for me to pursue this thing that I had loved for so long.’

Find out more about Louise’s journey to publication here.

Polly Crosby, Felicia Yap’s Yesterday Scholar 2018

Polly Crosby, author

Polly was a student on our 6-week online Write to the End of Your Novel course before joining our 6-month online novel-writing course with Lisa O’Donnell in 2018 after being awarded the Yesterday Scholarship (generously funded by author Felicia Yap). Felicia and the CBC team were instantly enchanted by Polly’s writing when her application came in. Not long after Polly completed the online course she was shortlisted for the Bridport prize, then shortly after that we were delighted to get the news that Polly’s debut The Illustrated Child had been sold to HarperCollins UK and US in an amazing two book deal!

The Illustrated Child is a heart wrenching story which follows Romilly whose eccentric father starts to suffer from early onset dementia. Then she realises that the children’s picture books which made him famous contain a hidden treasure hunt – just for her. Set to be published in the summer of 2020.

Polly had this to say about being awarded the scholarship: ‘To know that someone has such faith in you that they’re willing to invest their money in your writing journey is pretty spectacular.’

Read more about Polly in this interview.

If you have the desire to write, a great idea and a compelling voice, and if you’re without the financial means to attend a Curtis Brown Creative course, then the  HW Fisher Scholarship is for you. This is a scholarship opportunity for talented writers of limited financial means – the winner will receive a fully-funded place on our 3-month London-based novel-writing course taught by Charlotte Mendelson. Applications close Sunday 7th April.

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