TLC November Newsletter
View this email in your browser

Dear Friends of TLC,

It's firework season, and as usual, we've got a 'cracker' of a newsletter for you in this, our November edition (make sure to protect your children/animals from flying puns and clichés, as well as fireworks!). 

We're incredibly excited to announce a new scheme in association with the Publishing Training Centre (PTC) to offer a series of free editing training workshops and events for aspiring editors, which opens for applications today. Some of you may remember that we piloted a similar scheme in 2018, and thanks to generous support from TLC reader Jude Cook, we're able to expand the offer. Our refreshed TLC Masterclass series continues with a brand new event being held in February next year, 'Creative Writing & Wellbeing' with acclaimed writer Elise Valmorbida and leading positive psychologist and author Vanessa King. We also have news of a huge milestone from a long-time partner organisation of TLC, as our friends at contemporary writing magazine Wasafiri celebrate their 35th Anniversary with a fantastic-looking symposium at the British Library.

As always, we have a helpful and practical TLC Blog from TLC Talent and bestselling novelist Damyanti Biswas, who has written a brilliant, inspiring piece about how to write a novel using index cards. We're also thrilled to feature a graduate of the TLC Chapter & Verse Mentoring Programme as our November Showcase, Luke Tarassenko, with an extract from his YA sci-fi novel about a geeky highschooler who develops superpowers. 

Finally, it's nearly that time of the year when you need to get your Christmas presents sorted, and we're excited to return once again with the very best of gift ideas - our TLC Christmas vouchers! There's a special 10% discount offer on personalised vouchers for the writer in your life! More details below.

 And as always, happy writing, and reading,


TLC Launches Editing Skills Training Scheme with PTC

We're very excited to announce a new scheme in association with the Publishing Training Centre (PTC).

The Editing Skills Training Scheme will see up to 36 aspiring editors trained up over a series of free training workshops and events. Building on a pilot scheme run in 2018, the initiative has been expanded thanks to support from novelist and TLC Reader Jude Cook. The aim is to encourage aspiring editors from all backgrounds and of all ages to build key skills and confidence within publishing industry work settings, whether in-house or freelance, and to empower a new generation of editorial professionals in the UK workforce.

For more information, including the details of the offer, terms, and how to apply, please see this page on the TLC website. Applications are open until December 4th. 

TLC Masterclass: Creative Writing and Wellbeing

Creative Writing and Wellbeing with Elise Valmorbida and Vanessa King

We're thrilled to be welcoming acclaimed writer Elise Valmorbida and leading positive psychologist and author Vanessa King on 29th February 2020 for a brand new addition to our revitalised Masterclass series. Elise and Vanessa have teamed up to develop a unique series of workshops connecting the science of wellbeing with the practice of creative writing - a hit with literary festivals, corporate training and community-building organisations, and featured in a one-week format for Arvon Foundation in 2019. This is the first time they bring their learning into a one-day workshop format, especially for TLC.

The workshop is perfect for writers interested in developing techniques for enhancing creativity and wellbeing. As a workshop participant, you will explore how to engage your senses, free your mind, connect experience with words, access deeper levels of creativity and write with authenticity.

Saturday 29th February 2019 10am-4pm


TLC Christmas Vouchers

TLC Christmas gift vouchers are now available, redeemable against manuscript assessment and mentoring (fiction, non-fiction, short stories, poetry and scripts) and our new Submission Package ReportA unique and inspiring gift for the serious writer in your life, offering them professional feedback on their creative project by a highly experienced editor. You can also buy a voucher for £50, £100, £200, or any custom amount.

Some ideas:

For the Short Story Writer: Gift a critical assessment of a short story by a short fiction specialist (up to 2,000 words, £100 inc. VAT)
For the Budding Writer: Gift a critical
 assessment of the first 15,000 words of their novel-in-progress (£225 inc. VAT)
For the Intermediate Writer: Gift a full manuscript assessment (from £450 inc. VAT)
For the Writer who's about to Submit to Agents: Gift a
Submission Package Report (£280 inc. VAT)
For the Writer with a Project: Help them realise their dream by gifting, or putting money towards, a unique TLC
 mentorship to help get their book to completion working one-to-one with a professional editor, plus the chance to meet agents and publishers (£2,200 + VAT, 12-18 month programme)

You can also gift the writer in your life a ticket to any of our three upcoming TLC Masterclass in case face-to-face teaching is more their pace. Do get in touch with us for details. Please note spaces are limited.

Throughout the month of November, TLC Christmas Gift Vouchers are available at 10% discount. 
Order up until December 16th for Christmas delivery First Class, with a special personalised message. More here

Wasafiri Celebrates 35th Anniversary with 'Island Full of Voices'

Our friends at Wasafiri, the literary magazine at the forefront of contemporary international writing, celebrates its 35th birthday on 9 November with a day-long festival at the British Library and the launch of its 100th issue, An Island Full of Voices: Writing Britain Now. The festival will feature readings, talks and debates by authors first published in Wasafiri, including Booker winners Bernardine Evaristo and Ben Okri, with Caryl Phillips, Nikesh Shukla, Imtiaz Dharker, Romesh Gunesekera and others.

Wasafiri has led the way in supporting, promoting and publishing leaders in world literature including Chinua Achebe, Toni Morrison, Salman Rushdie, and Kazuo Ishiguro. Its 100th issue extends the conversation at the festival and unites writers from all backgrounds and parts of the globe to consider the challenges of writing now and comment on Wasafiri’s legacy.

'An Island Full of Voices' will be held at The British Library on 9th November, and it looks to be a fantastic day. You can pick up a ticket here.

TLC Blog: How I Wrote My Novel Using Index Cards

"As a writer, I began as a 'pantser'. If the term isn't familiar, its simply (and somewhat hilariously) refers to someone who writes by the seat of her pants. That's how I do life, that's how I started writing flash fiction and short stories, and I imagined that's how I would write a novel. The only hitch: after a draft I realised I was writing a crime novel, and I’m no Stephen King."

There is some really brilliant, practical advice in our November blog from writer and TLC Success Story Damyanti Biswas. In this month's TLC Blog, Damyanti shares her top tips on planning and organising your writing using index cards, and explains how breaking down your story into manageable chunks can help at both the planning and re-drafting stage. A brilliant and inspiring new approach to plot and structure.

Click here to read Damyanti's story in this month's
TLC Blog.

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:

TLC Showcase: Luke Tarassenko

"I heaved my bag up into the luggage compartment and clambered into my seat. I had to tuck my legs in and half-stand up a couple of times to let some other passengers past.

I looked around for something to occupy my mind. Sat on my left was a very large grey-bearded man already breathing louder than I could think. I could tell he was going to be great fun to sit next to on this flight. (Sorry, that’s my sarcasm talking. I try to keep it under control but it gets out sometimes. What a shame.)

I buckled my seatbelt around my skinny body and puffed out my cheeks. The palms of my hands were moist and I was breathing faster than normal.

God, I hate flying." 

This month we're thrilled to feature Luke Tarassenko, a graduate of the TLC Chapter & Verse Mentoring Scheme as our featured Showcase writer. Luke has thoroughly enjoyed being mentored by experienced writer Jane Adams, and is in the late drafting stage of his his YA sci-fi novel about a geeky highschooler who develops superpowers. 

You can read the full extract of Luke's novel, and more about his writing, in the November Showcase.
More on the TLC Chapter & Verse Mentoring Scheme here.

Writing Inspiration

We recently hosted a launch even for our new Being a Writer programme, with a website in development. A download of the event, which included an interactive digital forum with our audience and guests, can be found here - in this download you will find comments from our audience of writers, explaining what they need to thrive and be creative. We will be using this feedback to inform the programme direclty, so do watch this space. If you'd like to sign up to hear more about the programme ahead of the official digital launch, please email with the subject header ‘BEING A WRITER’ and we'll add you to a special mail list for dedicated updates.

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

* 'How to Write a Synopsis' - Top Tips from TLC Director Aki Schilz.
* There are still two of our Fiction Masterclasses with trusted tutor Shelley Weiner left, and there are spaces available. Find out more information about 'Finding Your Story' - 25th Jan 2020, and 'Finding Your Voice' - 25th April 2020.

* Now open for entries: Alternarratives is a new £15,000 prize from Nesta exploring how writers can innovate short-form stories and create exciting new content.
* 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. 
Share Share
Tweet Tweet
Forward Forward

TLC Masterclasses

Finding Your Story: Plot, Setting and Structure with Shelley Weiner
Perfect for:
Writers with fiction works in progress

Saturday 25th January 2020 10am-4pm


Creative Writing and Wellbeing with Elise Valmorbida and Vanessa King
Perfect for:
Writers interested in developing techniques for enhancing creativity and wellbeing
Saturday 29th February 2019 10am-4pm


Finding Your Voice: Putting Your Story On The Page, Sustaining Momentum with Shelley Weiner
Perfect for:
 Writers who are nearing completion of or have completed a first draft of a creative writing project.
Saturday 25th April 2019 10am-4pm


"The manuscript assessment through TLC was the best investment I could have made, and was worth every penny. My reader gave such an insightful report. Her comments made me look at my own work in a different, more objective way, and I've been able to use a lot of that advice to improve other work since. I genuinely believe the help from her and TLC played a crucial part in being picked up by an agent, and subsequently landing a two-book deal. I couldn't recommend them highly enough."

Robert Scragg, What Falls Between the Cracks (Allison & Busby)
Do I need a manuscript assessment?

Do I need a literary agent?

What should I send to agents?

Will I be considered for the TLC Talent Showcase?

How do I write a synopsis?

Where can I find a proofreader or copy-editor?

Ask TLC: See our FAQs

Writers' Corner: Click here
"My TLC reader read my novel and her feedback was excellent. She helped me see what didn't quite work with the pacing and storyline, and she helped me see that I was writing a thriller; I'd been unsure of the genre up to that point. She was also very encouraging, which is exactly what I needed. After working on my manuscript, TLC put me in touch with Sapere Books, who are publishing Running in Circles. I'm so grateful to everyone at TLC; I feel like they offer something very special, and they have kickstarted my career."

Claire Gray, Running in Circles.
"Since the day I mailed my manuscript to TLC, they would not stop until I was accepted by a top literary agent. The result: my novel, The Black Coat, being published by Penguin Books in India in 2013 and Periscope in the UK in 2015. Thank you to my TLC reader Kavita Bhanot, for her insightful report, and to Rebecca Swift for her personal encouragement. TLC has been with me at every step since 2011.

Neamat Imam, The Black Coat (Penguin India/ Periscope UK)
I feel the scheme has set me up for a writing life. In this sense, it really has been priceless.

Rachel Connor, Sisterwives (Crocus Books)

[Chapter and Verse's] combination of personal attention and truthful critical advice is ideal for anyone who is serious about their writing.

Joanna Briscoe, Sleep With Me (Bloomsbury)

In a nutshell, I now have a novel on its way to completion with the possibility of being read by someone. 

Jennifer Makumbi, Kintu (Oneworld)

It's been the best investment I have ever spent.

Liz Harris, author  

Find out more here
"Having my manuscript assessed by TLC was the best investment I've made in years." 

Kerry Young, Pao.

Published by Bloomsbury

Shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award and the Commonwealth Book Prize
"My TLC editor made me see my book in a new light. It took a bit of hard work, but I am so pleased I followed TLC's excellent advice. Thank you so much for helping me discover the book I didn't know was there!" 

Andy Rumbold, The Last Fiesta (Red Door Publishing)
"The team at TLC were very helpful. I got a detailed report back on the manuscript which encouraged me to look at it through the editor's eyes. I used it to edit and hone the story. The novel read so much better afterwards. My experience with TLC was wonderful and I'm so glad I chose them."

Faiqa Mansab, This House of Clay and Water
Forward to a friend

Copyright © 2019 The Literary Consultancy, All rights reserved.

unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences