It’s been just over a week since the winner of the Curtis Brown Creative and ITV This Morning ‘Be A Best Seller’ novel-writing competition was announced. Judges Marian Keyes, Caroline Quentin and Jonny Geller went onto the programme last Thursday to meet the five writers who had been shortlisted, and award the prize of a free place on one of our creative writing courses and literary representation to Megan Hodson (pictured above), a 21-year-old writer from Cardiff.
Megan’s tearful victory was the culmination of a busy month for all of us here at Curtis Brown Creative. More than 4,000 entries (only a fraction of which are pictured above) were read over the two-week competition period by Curtis Brown agents and their assistants – and almost as many calories were consumed by readers in the form of the cakes that we laid on each day to keep them going. These submissions were eventually narrowed to a longlist that Marian, Caroline and Jonny (below) further whittled down to five talented finalists.
All five writers – Lucy Brooke, Andrew Ewart, Caroline Tudor, Katy Wilson and, of course, Megan Hodson – appeared on ITV This Morning in the run-up to the live final (though a train breakdown in Slough prevented Megan from making it into the studio for her scheduled chat with Philip Schofield and Amanda Holden), so by the time Thursday came around, viewers were familiar with them and their work.
Then, after an anxious wait in the studio while an interview with F1 driver Lewis Hamilton overran, it was time for the final. Caroline Quentin was given the job of announcing the winner – which she did in nail-biting X-Factor-style – and the competition was at an end. Weeks of hard work by the Curtis Brown Creative and ITV This Morning teams (not to mention the incredible support we had from everyone at Curtis Brown) boiled down to this. And, as the winner’s mother sobbed loudly and proudly on our shoulders, and the other four writers surrounded Megan to offer their heartfelt congratulations (below), we knew it had all been worth it.
As well as expert teaching from published authors, all our selective three- and six-month novel-writing courses offer dedicated modules on submitting your novel to literary agents – and include sessions on writing a synopsis and preparing a covering letter. Click for more information or to apply for our creative writing courses.