TLC February Newsletter
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Dear Friends of TLC,

Welcome to TLC's February Newsletter.

We've been hard at work this month pulling together a programme
for a brand new incarnation of our annual summer writing event. We're very excited to announce that the inaugural Being a Writer Festival will be held online June-July, and we can't wait to share more details of this unique festival of writers and writing with you all! Please see below to save the date, and look out for our programme announcement coming very soon...

On a similarly exciting note, we're thrilled to launch our 2022 Autumn Literary Adventure at the beautiful Casa Ana in the Alpujarra region of Spain. We are overjoyed to announce that TLC's Guardian-recommended premium writing retreat, which will take place 3rd-9th September, will be hosted by
acclaimed novelist and writing tutor Yvonne Battle-Felton. 

A final reminder too about our upcoming Non-Fiction 'Pitch with Confidence' workshops, led by Silé Edwards, Literary Agent at Mushens Entertainment, which will be held on 17th February. We've also got news of an exciting new partnership with the Desperate Literature prize for short fiction, and a fantastic new events programme from our good friends at the Royal Society of Literature.

And, as always, we have an excellent piece in our monthly TLC Blog. This month it's Scottish writer and poet Elspeth Wilson, who shares some absolutely golden advice on 'How to Get the Most Out of Feedback' - a must-read if you're considering a manuscript assessment with TLC! We're also delighted to share a real talent in our February Showcase. Read a thrilling extract from Neel Patel's dystopian novel Tobin and Blake this month.

As always, happy writing, reading, and editing. 


SAVE THE DATE: Being a Writer Festival

We're very excited to announce that the Being a Writer Festival will be held June 20th - July 21st 2022. We have been hard at work programming some incredible speakers to host sessions focussed on how to be a writer, and thrive. Programme highlights include a keynote by a very special guest author, sessions on writing and sustainability, joyful creativity, a publishers' roundtable, craft workshops, and of course the opportunity to submit your work to the TLC Pen Factor Writing Competition to pitch your work to a live panel of industry judges. 2022 marks 10 years of TLC Pen Factor, and as a competition it has an impressive track record for finding talent, with many of our previous finalists going on to be published - including as a direct result of meeting their agent there!

A full programme will be announced soon, but in the meantime, do make sure to Save the Date(s) in your diary, and keep your eyes peeled for lineup announcements. As you will have noticed, it's called the Being A Writer Festival, but there's absolutely no need to be a member to attend. Tickets will be available to both members and non-members, though if you are a member you'll be able to take advantage of a hefty discount. To make things as accessible as possible, there will be the option either to buy a Festival Ticket covering all sessions, Individual Session Tickets, or a Video Ticket which gives you 30-day access to a library of recordings from the festival. All videos will be captioned. 

Autumn Literary Adventure 2022

We are thrilled to announce the tutor for our Guardian-recommended Literary Adventure writing retreat 2022 is the acclaimed novelist and writing tutor Yvonne Battle-Felton. Yvonne will be joining us September 3rd-9th 2022 at the beautiful Casa Ana in the Alpujarra region of Spain. 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. Early booking is advised.

Daily breakfasts, buffet style lunches, three 3-course chef cooked dinners at Casa Ana, transfers, accommodation and all workshops are included in the ticket price. A full programme including details on accommodation, location and booking can be found here.

Being a Writer: Pitch with Confidence

This is your last chance to book onto our upcoming workshop to learn the art of pitching non-fiction whilst managing anxiety, confidence, and resilience. On February 17th, join leading literary agent Silé Edwards (Mushens Entertainment) for Pitch with Confidence: Non-Fiction.

This workshop is free for Being a Writer members. An extremely limited number of non-member tickets are available for £25.

BOOK NOW for Pitch with Confidence: Non-Fiction. 17.02.22 5-6.30pm GMT

Not yet a member of Being A Writer? Sign up here for £12/month.

TLC Showcase: Neel Patel

"My experience with TLC was incredibly supportive. After Stephen Carver’s detailed and insightful review of the novel, it was flagged as a quality manuscript meriting further attention. I applied another round of edits and found the subsequent review provided by Anna South to also be very constructive and helpful. I really appreciated how Aki, Joe and Nelima kept me informed throughout the process, whilst my manuscript was under consideration.”

We're delighted to share a real talent in our February Showcase. Read a thrilling extract from Neel Patel's dystopian novel Tobin and Blake. Neel has been a delight to work with, and he's currently seeking representation for his brilliant book, so do get in touch with us if you'd like to learn more.

Read more about Neel's work in the February Showcase.

Desperate Literature Partnership

We are delighted to announce a new partnership with Desperate Literature, joining their Short Fiction Prize as its editorial partner for 2022.

The aim of the Desperate Literature Short Fiction Prize is both to celebrate the best of new short fiction and to give winners the most visibility possible for their writing. TLC is one of fifteen literary and artistic institutions working with the Prize to offer not only a cash stipend and stunning writing retreats, but to ensure that all shortlisted writers also have the opportunity to be published across multiple print and online journals, have their work put in front of literary agents, and to perform in multiple countries.

The deadline for entries is April 15th 2022. The entry fee is €20 for the first entry, €10 for every further entry. Bursaries for low-income writers are available. All fees go towards the administration of the prize. The 2022 judges are: Ottessa Moshfegh, Natasha Brown, Joanna Walsh, and Anton Hur.

For further information and to submit your writing,
please visit the prize’s website.

RSL Events Programme

Our friends the Royal Society of Literature recently announced their February events programme! In the company of a stellar list of speakers, they’ll be discussing adaptation from page to stage, dusting off a dystopian gem, sharing an intimate conversation between two celebrated poets and exploring careers in literature.
Tickets & info:

TLC Blog: How to Get the Most Out of Feedback

"It’s important to acknowledge that receiving feedback is a skill in and of itself. The good news though is, like anything with writing, it’s a muscle you can exercise and strengthen with practice – even if it doesn’t come naturally at first. I’ve had feedback which was very positive and feedback which – whilst still helpful – was unexpected or knocked my confidence. Along the way, I’ve thought a lot about how to get the most out of it to make my writing the best it can, whilst prioritising my own voice and my own mental health."

This month we're very happy to feature Scottish writer and poet Elspeth Wilson as our TLC Blog for February. Elspeth shares some absolutely golden advice on 'How to Get the Most Out of Feedback' - a must-read if you're considering a manuscript assessment with TLC!

Read Elspeth's full blog 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: We pay an honorarium of £50 per blog.

Writing Inspiration

Are you on Twitter? If so, make sure you're following our page @TLCUK for all the latest news, tips and inspiration, including our #TLCTips series of writing tips.

Remember to also follow us on Instagram.

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

* Manchester in Translation is a FREE virtual conference for budding translators in the North of England and beyond.
* Write & Shine have a new essay series, filled with writing prompts and inspiration.
Common Threads: Black and Asian British Women’s Writing International Conference is now accepting submissions until 28 Feb in the run-up to their conference.
* Applications for The London Library Emerging Writers Programme 2022/23 are now open.

* 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 Writing Services Officer 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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A brand new digital literary festival from TLC, taking place June 20th-July 21st 2022. With interviews, readings, panels, Masterclasses and the return of the hugely popular TLC Pen Factor Writing Competition in its 10th anniversary.

Come and join us and learn how to be a writer... and thrive.

Full programme details coming soon!
"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.
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
"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
TLC Literary Adventures 2022 - Casa Ana, Spain

Writing Retreat
September 3rd-9th 2022 Tutor: Yvonne Battle-Felton

Bringing Your Characters to Life
by Emma Pass

Award-winning YA novelist Emma Pass takes you through some fun exercises to deepen your understanding of your characters.

"My TLC Reader responded with professional warmth, enthusiasm and detailed, critical feedback. Her suggestions and responses (including writing exercises to get under the skin of less developed characters) were invaluable. It was a no-brainer to send TLC my second manuscript and once again I received detailed, critical and constructive feedback. The bottom line is that this service empowered the writer in me."

Mish Cromer, Alabama Chrome
Quick-Fire Chakras
by Julia Forster

Spark your inner energy centres and further connect with the artistic impulse which has led to you becoming a writer with these seven meditations for the seven chakras.

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