TLC July Newsletter
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Dear Friends of TLC,

Welcome to this July edition of the TLC newsletter. As things start to slowly open up again here in the UK, we hope that you are staying safe and looking after yourself and your loved ones. For now, on with the writing news from us!

The big news this month is that for the first time ever, we're going to be running two Literary Adventure writing retreats in 2021, one in the Spring and one in the Autumn! It's an exciting step for us, and one which we hope will open up some new doors for some of you, with this offer of some Spanish sun, slightly earlier in the year. 

We have another fantastic opportunity for you women poets out there, as the Rebecca Swift Foundation's 2020 Women Poets' Prize opens for submissions. Please do help us share details of that to women poets that you might know - it's a fantastic opportunity about which more details below.

There's also news of a brilliant journal platform for underrepresented writers; an interview between TLC Mentor Tom Bromley and TLC Mentee Pauline Walker in our monthly Blog, and a fantastically experimental TLC Showcase mixing comic art and playscript from our friend, writer and disability rights campaigner, Vince Laws. 

And as ever, if you're looking for our assistance on your work in progress, or completed manuscript, we continue to provide
manuscript assessment, online mentoring and copy-editing and proofreading.

As always, happy writing, and reading. 


TLC Literary Adventure 2021 Now Open for Spring & Autumn Booking

We're very pleased to announce that for the first time ever, we will be running two Literary Adventure writing retreats in 2021, one in Spring, and one in Autumn. Booking is now open for our first ever Spring-time writing retreat, taking place March 20th-26th 2021. The 2020 September retreat is sadly not taking place in order to protect the safety and wellbeing of our writers during these unprecedented times, but we are so delighted to be able to welcome you to join us in 2021.

We will also be running our usual Autumn retreat, running September 4th-10th 2021.

Our tutor for the Spring retreat is the award-winning novelist Paul McVeigh. Paul will be joining us at the beautiful Casa Ana, nestled in the Alpujarras where he will lead a range of morning workshops on elements of writing craft. Groups are limited to a maximum of 12 writers, to allow writers the creative space and freedom to help develop their projects in a focussed and supportive environment. The retreat is open to all writers of fiction and memoir with works in progress.

Read more about the Literary Adventure here.

Spaces for both Literary Adventures are limited, so please contact to secure your place.

Women Poets' Prize 2020
Open for Submissions

The biennial Women Poets’ Prize, administrated by the Rebecca Swift Foundationhas launched into its second prize year, and is now open for submissions. The prize, which honours TLC Founder Rebecca Swift’s two key passions – poetry and women’s empowerment – is awarded every two years to three women writers who each receive a holistic package that combines financial aid, creative development, well-being, and pastoral support. There is no entry fee. 

TLC is once again delighted to support the Prize, after its hugely successful inaugural year: In 2018, it received nearly 600 submissions by poets from across the UK. At least one third of applicants were women of colour, with an age range spanning 18-70s. This time, The Royal Birmingham Conservatoire – one of the UK’s most prestigious music and drama schools – comes on board as a new partner, joining Faber and Faber, Bath Spa University, City Lit, Verve Festival, The Poetry School, and of course TLC as partners.

The judges for 2020 are Liz Berry, Malika Booker and Pascale Petit. Submissions close Friday 14th August.

Read more about the Women Poets' Prize, and the Rebecca Swift Foundation here.

TLC Blog: My Mentor & Me

Pauline: What’s the most valuable piece of advice you’ve ever given to a mentee?

Tom: That’s probably a question a mentee might answer better! But the advice I give that comes up more than any other is to write forwards and finish the script first rather than go back and edit what you’ve written.

We're pleased to share something a little different this month for our July Blog, though something which will no doubt be insightful and interesting for those of you hoping for a peep behind the curtain of the mentor/mentee relationship! Here, TLC Mentee and Creative Future Writing Award winner Pauline Walker conducts an interview with her TLC Mentor, renowned Editor & Author, Tom Bromley. Tom also had some questions for Pauline, so we thought it might be fun to flip the script and let him ask some questions about the process too!

Read the full interview here.

To find out more about TLC's Chapter & Verse Mentoring Scheme (Premium & Classic options available), click here.

Do you have something on your mind, about books, literature and the value of literature, or publishing, that you'd like to blog about for us? We are actively seeking pitches to:

Untitled: A New Platform for Underreprented Writers

Untitled, a platform for underrepresented writers, are excited to unveil the first issue of Untitled: Voices, a new online global journal.

39 writers from around the world are featured in the first issue, which includes poetry, short stories, monologues, flash fiction and more.

The first issue, split into two volumes, is available to download and read for FREE from

Whilst the journal is free, Untitled are looking for optional donations for the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust, with an aim to reach £500. You can find out more here.

TLC Showcase: Vince Laws

Poet John Faust is suicidal. His benefits have been stopped without warning, the bailiffs are due to evict him, his dog is in the vets dying, his car needs a new clutch, and he can’t finish his poetic masterpiece while the voices inside his head torment him. In despair, he throws himself off Beeston Bump, Norfolk’s highest peak, clutching ‘The Tragic True Life & Deserved Death of a Benefit Scrounger by Himself’, but Lucifer won’t let John drown because she loves his work and wants a bigger part. Every time Faust throws himself into the sea, Lucifer throws him out on a different Norfolk beach…. The performance contains adult themes and language, suicidal thoughts, Lucifer, The Naked Abseilers and poetry, but no Nazis.

We're really happy to feature a good friend of TLC for our July Showcase, writer, disability rights campaigner and poet, Vince Laws. Vince first came to TLC via our ACE Free Reads partner Shape Arts in 2016 with a comic version of his story A Very Queer Nazi Faust, and has gone on to enjoy success with the work in the form of a live performance at Norwich Pride in July 2017, to popular and cirtical acclaim. We're thrilled to feature an extract from the playscript, along with some hand drawn designs for the renewed comic version, which Vince is currently working on.

You can read these, and more about Vince's writing, in the July Showcase.

Free Reads & Writing Inspiration

A final reminder to round off this month's newsletter, that our Arts Council England Free Reads Scheme is now open once again for the year. We are proud to work with 17 literature partners around the country to provide our manuscript assessment services at no cost to low-income writers. Click the map above to find out who your nearest partner is, and please be aware that each organisation is open for submissions at different times of the year, so be sure to check their respective websites or contact them for more information on this. Do consider submitting if you're eligible, and spread the word to low-income writers you know.

Other things from around the web to inspire you this month...

* Writing West Midlands are currently open for TLC Free Read submissions, with a deadline of 20th July.
* A fantastic 'Pocket Guide' to Self-Editing and working with an Editor from Shreeta Shah, and our friends at Spread the Word.
* TLC Director Aki Schilz with a piece in The Bookseller on productivity, and why we need to revisit how we appraoch it. (Subscription required)
* Books to transport you: the best travellers' tales for troubled times, in The Guardian.
* The Publishing Post: new free magazine produced by publishing hopefuls for book lovers and those looking to break into the world of publishing.

* As always, our handy TLC Press Craft and Creativity Mini Guides are on sale and cover such craft elements as 'Dialogue', 'Plot' and 'Voice'. Pick them up for just £1 each (or the full bundle for £8) here.
Thank you for reading this newsletter. For further information on TLC's core services including manuscript assessment, mentoring, and other editing services including copy-editing and proofreading, do visit our website. All general enquiries and manuscript submissions should be sent to Editorial Services Assistant Nelima Begum at

We also have Facebook and Twitter pages where we share information and insights, articles on writing, editing and the publishing industry, as well as tips and recommendations. 
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