TLC June Newsletter
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Dear Friends of TLC,

Welcome to this June edition of the TLC newsletter. As ever, we hope this finds you safe and well, and we hope you enjoy reading about some of the great opportunities and offers we have for you this month.

As some of you may have already seen, we have continued to expand our online offerings, with the launch of our new Being a Writer programme, which is now live. There's a whole host of great content available, including three flagship online courses, creativity prompts and a new podcast series. Sign up before the end of June to take advantage of our free 30-day trial here.

We also have a special offer open right now for LGBTQ+ writers, with our annual celebration of Pride Month LGBTQ+ Free Readsopen for submissions until the end of June. We're very pleased to be working with TLC Reader, novelist Michael Langan, for the fourth consecutive year. 

We have a life writing theme this month with our Blog and Showcase. The June TLC Blog is an incredibly important and enlightening piece from TLC Free Read recipient Sophie Campbell, who shares the story of her journey to self-publication for her powerful memoir, Breakfast at Bronzefield, which depicts her experiences inside the UK’s largest women’s prison. We're also very pleased to feature visual artist and incredibly talented writer Steve Sabella as this month's TLC Showcase, as he shares an extract from his memoir The Parachute Paradox.

Finally, if you're in the process of finishing your work in progress, looking to embark on a new writing project, or if your manuscript needs some polishing, we continue to provide
manuscript assessment, online mentoring and copy-editing and proofreading.

As always, happy writing, and reading. 


Being a Writer: A New Creative Platform for Writers 

We're very excited to announce that we have now officially launched Being A Writer - an affordable, creative programme and platform that aims to support and inspire the writing community. Uniquely, Being A Writer focusses on cultivating writers' creativity and resilience, allowing writers to flourish away from the pressures of aiming only for publication. Each element of the programme will inform the next, allowing the writing community that engages with it, to be its co-curators. With a low cost subscription and a free 30-day trial, writers will have access to everything from online courses on dealing with self doubt and breaking writers' block to podcasts from a range of writers, creativity pill boosters, a digital scrapbook, discounts on TLC and partner services and much more.
To start your 30-day free trial, sign up before June 30th here and enter the code 30DAYSFREE at checkout. 

TLC Michael Langan LGBTQ+ Free Reads are OPEN for submissions

LGBTQ+ Pride live events and marches may have been cancelled this year due to coronavirus, but that doesn't mean there aren't still ways to support the community.

We are delighted to once again be partnering with novelist and writing tutor Michael Langan to offer five free opening chapters (up to 15,000 words) TLC manuscript assessments to unpublished LGBTQ+ writers working on novels. This is the fourth year the scheme is running. Three of these opening extract assessments will be funded through the TLC Free Reads scheme (supported by Arts Council England), with two donated by Michael himself. Michael has once again generously offered to assess the applications and is very much looking forward to supporting our winners.

Applications for TLC’s 2019 LGBTQ+ Free Reads open at 9am on Monday 1st June, and will close at 12pm (midday) on Monday 29th June.

Details of how to apply can be found here. Please do pass on this opportunity to anyone who might benefit.

TLC Blog: Breakfast at Bronzefield

"When I made the decision to write about my experiences inside the UK’s largest women’s prison – HMP Bronzefield – the road ahead seemed pretty clear. First, I would try and find a literary agent, and second, hope that a publishing house would be keen to publish my story. After a few rejections from a number of agents I received an invite from a well-known agency to discuss my project in detail. I couldn’t have been more excited, but when I arrived at their offices one afternoon, I was unable to set aside the feeling that something wasn’t right."

Our June Blog comes from TLC Free Read recipient and writer Sophie Campbell, who shares the story of her journey to self-publication for her powerful memoir, Breakfast at Bronzefield. It's a very important piece which depicts Sophie's experiences inside HMP Bronzefield, the UK’s largest women’s prison.The blog highlights some of the struggles that many authors face to retain their vision and voice when pitching their work to the industry - as well as highlighting the power of books to instigate meaningful reform in social arenas.

Breakfast at Bronzefield will be published on June 22nd and is available to pre-order from Foyle’s now.

Read the 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:

TLC Showcase: Steve Sabella

“Let me take you back to 1996, when I sat alone in the back corner of Abu Shanab restaurant, a bustling hangout in the Old City. I was only twenty. The First Intifada had ended three years earlier, but I was still tormented by my severe episodes of depression, like aftershocks following an earthquake. Suddenly my eyes caught sight of a face shining ethereally under a table lamp. Her bright face, blue eyes, and delicate lips, as though painted by a master, were shadowed by her long black hair. She was perfect—a sign from the universe. My mission was to be with her.”

Our June Showcase features a fantastic extract from former TLC client Steve Sabella's memoir The Parachute Paradox. The memoir blends fact and fiction, and delves into the impact of the Israeli occupation on the imagination, and explores his life’s search for liberation. Steve is a visual artist and is a talented writer, so we're thrilled to be featuring him this month. The Parachute Paradox is available for purchase on his website here.

You can read the full extract, and more about Steve's writing, in the June Showcase.

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...

* Read our Twitter thread on how you can support Black writers' voices, and show solidarity and allyship as part of the #BlackLivesMatter movement.
* The Wasafiri New Writing Prize is open until June 15th. The prize supports new writers, with no limits on age, gender, nationality or background. Winners of each category received a £1,000 & will be published by Wasafiri in print & online + mentorship with TLC!
* Our friends at Spread the Word have compiled a list of funding opportunities to explore during the coronavirus pandemic.
* A great blog from our very own Nelima Begum on how recruitment agency Creative Access helped her secure her role at TLC.
* Arvon are currently running a fantastic series of online events in their 'Arvon at Home' programme.

* 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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How Do We Write When We Write?
by Penny Pepper

Writer, poet, performer and activist Penny Pepper talks about her writing process, and what she likes to use when she sits down at the page, from fountain pens to dictaphones.

"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.
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.

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
Dancing in the Library
by Shelley Harris

When we trick our brains into making new connections, we often produce our best work – writing that surprises us, that wakes us up, that takes us to unexpected places.

"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
Writing in Lockdown
by Tom Bromley

Sometimes it is easier to write something small and new. Tom Bromley shares three short exercises to start you on a story.

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