TLC August Newsletter
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Dear Friends of TLC,

Welcome to TLC's August Newsletter. We hope you've been enjoying the warm weather, and some time outside in the sun, if possible.

We're very proud to have launched a new initiative this month, the first ever TLC Scholarship. The Scholarship will run once a year, and will invite applications from writers on low income and/or from communities currently under-represented in publishing. We're thrilled to have experienced editor, Ellah P. Wakatama OBE
on board this year as our mentor. In 2020, the TLC Scholarship will be open exclusively to Black British writers. We do hope you'll enter if eligible, and help us spread the word!

There's lots more good news in this month's newsletter, including a writer that found success at last year's TLC Pen Factor writing competition, Lizzie Damilola Blackburn, who has secured a six-figure deal with Viking Books.

We also have a wonderful piece on 'Home as an Act of Creativity' for this month's TLC Blog. In a moment where we are all spending more time than usual in our dwellings, it's a breath of fresh air, and worth a read! Our Showcase this month is Emma Cameron, a very talented writer. You can read an extract from Emma's gripping dual-narrative novel A Scattering in the Showcase. We also have a reminder about the Rebecca Swift Foundation Women Poets' Prize, which is only open for submissions for another couple of weeks.

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 Scholarship Open for Submissions

We're delighted to announce a brand new initiative, the TLC Scholarship. Once a year, we will invite applications over a three week period from writers on low income and/or from communities currently under-represented in publishing. One writer will be selected for a place on TLC’s year-long Chapter and Verse Premium mentorship programme with a publishing industry editor, working one-on-one to develop their writing. Applications from writers with works in progress in any genre of adult fiction are accepted. Writers with or without a publication history are welcome to apply.  

In its inaugural year, the TLC Scholarship mentor will be Ellah P. Wakatama, and we are inviting submissions exclusively from Black British writers.

The Scholarship is open for submissions, and will close at 12pm (midday) Friday August 21st 2020.

More details on how to apply, and terms and conditions, can be found here.

Lizzie Damilola Blackburn to be Published by Viking

“My life changed after I entered TLC’s Pen Factor Competition in June 2019. Not only did I win, but it was through the competition that I met my current agent, Nelle Andrew. (She was one of the judges on the panel.) She loved the extract of my novel, Yinka, Where Is Your Huzband? and invited me to her office to hear more about it. To cut a long story short, after sending Nelle a full outline of my manuscript and the first fifty pages, she offered me representation. I was over the moon. Everything happened so quickly. I then spent the next several months revising my novel and working towards my dreams of becoming a published author."

We’re very excited to share the news that the winner of last year’s TLC Pen Factor, Lizzie Damilola Blackburn has secured a six-figure publishing deal with Viking Books for her debut novel, Yinka, Where Is Your Huzband?. We’re always thrilled when TLC writers find success, either through traditional publication, or self-publication. In the case of our latest successful TLC alumna, it’s been a real thrill for us to see her quick rise to success, after hearing her read her writing for the first time at our TLC Pen Factor writing competition only last year!

Yinka, Where Is Your Huzband? will be published by Viking in Spring 2022.

You can read more about Lizzie’s success here.

TLC Blog: Home as an Act of Creativity

"Home is where I make things: stories, drawings, sculptural objects; home is where new connections and new collaborations feel possible, where ideas emerge and failure feels distant and irrelevant. Perhaps remembering home is itself an act of creativity."

Our TLC Blog this month is a beautiful meditation on the concept of 'home' from the writer Amanthi Harris. She deftly investigates, through the works of Bachelard and Berger, the idea of the home as a creative act. It's also a personal piece, as she describes how she explores home in her own novel Beautiful Place.

You can read this month's TLC 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: Emma Cameron

“Catrìona walked along the path beside the kirk carrying a bunch of spring flowers, passing the ancient yew tree, grooved and twisted, as old as time. Lifting the latch she pushed open the gate to the churchyard. It was the anniversary of Duncan’s death. Ten years. In some ways it seemed much longer, a whole lifetime, in other ways like yesterday. There was a time when she thought she couldn’t go on, the crushing feeling when she woke in the morning and realised he wasn’t just away in the field.”

This month we're very pleased to be featuring an alumna of our Chapter & Verse Mentoring programme as our Showcase writer, Emma Cameron, with her wonderful novel A Scattering. Emma's book is a part contemporary and part historical novel about two women, Catrìona and Rose, generations apart, who share a secret and a common enemy. We really think that Emma is one to watch, and as she's currently seeking representation for the novel, do reach out to us if you're an agent!

You can read an extract from A Scattering, and more about Emma's writing, in the August Showcase.

REMINDER Women Poets' Prize 2020
Open for Submissions

A reminder that the deadline for the biennial Women Poets’ Prize, administrated by the Rebecca Swift Foundation, is fast approaching, with submissions closing on Friday 14th August. 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.

The judges for 2020 are Liz Berry, Malika Booker and Pascale Petit.

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

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...

* Poetry School is now open for bookings for their Autumn Term.
* The Costa Short Story Award is open for entries.
* A selection of the best audiobooks, chosen by writers.
* BareLit Festival is currently online, with a fantastic selection of events.

* 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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 TLC Literary Adventures 2021 - Casa Ana, Spain
Spring Retreat
March 20th-26th 2021 Tutor: Paul McVeigh Only 4 Rooms Left!

Autumn Retreat

September 4th-10th 2021 Tutor: TBC

"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.
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.

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
Three Poems
by Alex Vellis

Alex Vellis reads poems by Anthony Anaxagorou, John McCullough, and Joelle Taylor.

"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
"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)
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