TLC July Newsletter
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Dear Subscriber,

Welcome to the July TLC newsletter, with a write-up from our special TLC Writers' Day last month, and a series of TLC Success Stories, taking our number of now-published clients well into the hundreds. You can have a look at some of our highlighted Success Stories here. This month, we showcase work by Anna Mazzola (The Unseeing, Tinder Press), Shelley Sclater (The Confession of Stella Moon, Saraband) and James E Taylor (When the Water Falls, Troubador). We also include an announcement about our 2016 Free Reads bursaries for writers, a reminder about our upcoming self-editing workshops for writers, and a few 'TLC Recommends' to round up. Plus, a final chaser for our Literary Adventure writing retreat. Thank you for continuing to write, and believe in the value of story-telling, and we wish you all the best this Summer.

TLC Writers' Day Blog and Gallery

For anyone who missed out on our 20th anniversary Writers' Day, we're pleased to share a write-up by journalist, writer, editor and self-publishing expert Andrew Lowe, so you can read about what happened on the day with a summary of our key 'How to Pitch', 'How to Publish' and 'How to Market' talks and some thoughts about the live pitches and general atmosphere. There's also a fabulous gallery of photos here. We'd like to thank everyone who came, and everyone who submitted to the TLC Pen Factor Competition. Special congratulations are due to Kerry Lawrence, who won the 2016 TLC Pen Factor Writing Competition with her tense international thriller The Cossack which was praised by the judging panel for its deft use of language and in particular the vivid, tense opening. Kerry wins £2,000 of prizes including editorial support and a range of development opportunities.

A special TLC Pen Factor showcase featuring Kerry's work will be live later in the year, and will also feature work by our four runners-up: Gill Haigh, Nikheel Gorolay, Catriona Shine and Charlie Weaver-Rolfe, all of whom are writers to watch for the future. 

Self-editing Workshops for Writers

Following on from a successful series of introduction-level workshops on copy-editing and proofreading skills with Richard Sheehan, we will be running four self-editing workshops for writers in November 2016.

Workshops will run over two hours and will be in four categories: Fiction with former Tindal Street Press publisher Alan Mahar, Non-fiction (Memoir) with author of Wellcome Trust Prize shortlisted The Outrun, Amy Liptrot, Poetry with Nine Arches Press commissioning editor Jane Commane and Short Story with Peepal Tree Press Associate Editor Jacob Ross. Maximum 15 participants per workshop (please note the Fiction workshop is already almost at capacity and Memoir is filling quickly at this time).

A limited number of bursary tickets (including travel from outside of London) will be available for low-income writers who wish to attend, made possible by funding from the Arts Council as part of our Quality Writing for All campaign. Information about how to apply can be found on our Events page

TLC Showcase: Anna Mazzola

2016 has been an excellent year for TLC clients with a number of high-profile acquisitions and publications. One of these is Anna Mazzola, whose TLC-assessed debut The Unseeing won a TLC Free Read in 2014, and was subsequently sold at auction to Tinder Press by her agent Juliet Mushens. The book is out now.

“Writing a work of fiction based on a real case proved simultaneously fascinating and almost impossible, and I went through many drafts (ten, in fact) before I found the right balance of fact and fiction. I received an early critique from TLC in March 2014 that was very helpful in pushing me to work out what I wanted the novel to be.” 

Excerpt from the novel:
Miss Sowerton stopped before a black door and produced a large key. A rumbling came from within the lock as the key turned, and Sarah had the sudden idea of the place not just as a prison, but a terrible creature: flesh and bone, iron and stone.

Read more in an exclusive excerpt, plus Anna's 'journey to publication' story, in the TLC July Showcase

(Photo credit: Lou Abercrombie)

TLC Literary Adventure at Casa Ana, Spain: September 10th-16th FINAL PLACES

There are now just two remaining rooms at Casa Ana for our Literary Adventure writing retreat in September, led by editor and novelist Jacob Ross (Peepal Tree Press). We look forward to a week in the sun to work on a range of book projects with our writers. Our September 10th-16th programme includes plenty of reading and writing time, plus workshops for creative inspiration, one-on-ones, and a publishing session. 

Please get in touch with Aki Schilz asap if you are interested in one of our remaining rooms:

TLC Free Reads 2016-17

We have now finalised budgets and thanks to continued funding from Arts Council England have launched our Free Read bursary scheme for 2016-17. The Free Read scheme allows low-income writers to apply for bursaries to receive free TLC manuscript assessment on their works-in-progress across fiction, non-fiction, poetry, short stories, scripts and screenplays and is administrated by 17 partner organisations in England. We particularly welcome applications from writers belonging to marginalised and under-represented groups.

Each partner organisation is assigned a budget and administrates the scheme slightly differently, so please enquire with your local regional partner about submissions in the first instance. You can find out who your regional partner is by hovering over your area on the map on this page. Please note this scheme is only open to writers resident in England, due to funding stipulation. Our commercial manuscript assessment and mentoring services are open to all writers writing in English anywhere in the world. 

Our Free Reads budget for 2016-17 also includes a limited travel bursary for our Events programme, to allow low-income writers travelling from outside of London access to our events. Please enquire for more information:

TLC Client Success Stories

We're particularly pleased to share publication news from two further clients this month. First up is Shelley Day Sclater, whose debut novel The Confession of Stella Moon initially came through the TLC Free Read Scheme in 2012 after winning a Northern Writers' Award in 2011. After many drafts and re-working, and signing with Jenny Brown, we're delighted that Shelley is now being published by Saraband.

"TLC helped me at a crucial turning point, with editorial input and help finding a literary agent. They steered my debut novel through the most difficult patch and past the most gargantuan gatekeepers. Thanks to that help, my debut novel is being published this week."

Read more about Shelley's journey to publication here. The Confession of Stella Moon is available to buy here.
Another TLC client with publication this month is James E. Taylor, whose genre-bending crime-driven literary psychological thriller is out with Troubador. 

"The first few drafts of When the Water Falls were written several years ago and, just when the spider image was losing its allure, I won back to back Arts Council awards in my local region. Manuscript assessments at TLC followed. Each assessment was a leap forward and I am immensely grateful to Sara Maitland, Sarah Bower and Elspeth Barker."

Read more about James's journey to publication here.

We wish both writers the very best of luck!

TLC Recommends

Wasafiri New Writing Prize, deadline 15th July 

The Wasafiri New Writing Prize 2016 is now open for entries. Submissions are welcome in three categories: Poetry, Fiction and Life Writing. Please ensure that you submit your entry/entries by the deadline: 5pm GMT on 15 July 2016. Winners will receive £300 and their entries will be published in Wasafiri.

Full prize and submission details here.

TLC Recommends

Mslexia Indie Presses 16/17

Mslexia has just launched a print directory of independent presses based in the UK, and we think it looks great. Now you can see all small presses, plus literary magazines both online and in print, in one place.

You can buy the guide here.

TLC Blog

A reminder that we have now launched a TLC Blog, which will host opinion-led pieces to allow our community of readers, writers and book industry followers to keep up to date with our thinking on the latest developments in the field, from marketing to self-publishing right through to reading habits, new publishing models and tech innovation. Our blog will be politically 'neutral' but in TLC style we hope to interrogate what's going on and to open up discussion. We welcome comments and are looking for new ideas and strong opinions to help us really figure out what is happening in the books world.

If you would like to pitch an opinion-led or information-led blog to us, please email Aki Schilz: 
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.

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. Please do join us there for more advice-based output for writers. 

"[My TLC assessment] was the first in depth creative writing advice I had ever received, but it was enough to make everything click into place for me. The road to publication was long, but eventually the manuscript was picked up by Transworld. Raven: Bloodeye made the bestseller lists in 2009. I am still so grateful to Daniel Jeffreys and TLC, and so glad I took the plunge and sent my script in" 

Giles Kristian, Raven: Blood Eye
"So our  book deal with Simon & Schuster has been announced and we couldn't be happier. We can't thank TLC enough for their genius matching of manuscript to reader. We not only got a great report, we also found our perfect agent - Hannah Sheppard at DHH Literary Agency.  Consider our expectations to have been well and truly exceeded!"

Perdita and Honor Cargill, Waiting for Callback
"Not only did I get candid, insightful and actionable editorial advice, but TLC also picked it out as a manuscript to pitch directly to agents - and my road to publication began. I cannot thank them enough."

Tina Seskis, One Step Too Far
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
"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)
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, Winner, Commonwealth Short Story Prize 2014 

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

Liz Harris 

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

Kerry Young, Pao.

hortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award and the Commonwealth Book Prize
Literary Adventure Writing Retreat September 10th-16th at Casa Ana, Spain

TLC 20th Anniversary Industry Day November 11th

Self-Editing workshops in Poetry, Short Story, Fiction and Memoir: November 2016 

Info and booking
"The TLC read was a brilliant opportunity to get detailed and useful feedback. Evie's report was comprehensive and thought-provoking. Ten Things has now sold in 15 territories, and was selected as Book of the Week on" 

Sarah Butler, Ten Things I've Learnt About Love
"Just about the best money I ever spent. The quality of advice I received from The Literary Consultancy was outstanding." 

Leaf Fielding, To Live Outside the Law (Serpent's Tail)
TLC Literary Adventure 2016: September 10th-16th with inpsiring creative writing tutor and novelist Jacob Ross, at Casa Ana, Spain

Book now
"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)
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