TLC December Newsletter
View this email in your browser

Dear Friends of TLC,

It's that time of year once again to wrap up warm, spend time with family and friends and cosy up in front of the fire with a good book. If you're still deep in Christmas shopping mode, and want to treat the writer in your life (or, let's be honest, yourself!), we've got a special festive newsletter for you. 

Why not book yourself some early summer sun, and reserve a place on the 2020 Literary Adventure writing retreat in Spain with award-winning writer Paul McVeigh? Or if you're feeling generous, give the gift of professional feedback with a
personalised TLC Christmas voucher?

As we prepare the next Fiction Masterclasses with Shelley Weiner on Finding Your Story and Finding Your Voice, we're also looking ahead to a brand new Masterclass, Creative Writing & Wellbeing, with acclaimed writer Elise Valmorbida and leading positive psychologist and author Vanessa King, with an exclusive
15% newsletter discount. We've also got a lovely winter warmer in the shape of our monthly TLC Showcase: fantastic poetry from Hafsah Bashir. We also have a collection of some great opportunities from around the web, as always. 

And finally, we round off our December newsletter with our monthly TLC Blog, which this month takes the shape of a heartfelt 'Thank You' from our beloved Director Aki Schilz. It's been a very busy year for us at TLC, we've worked with over 500 writers, launched new services and a new 'Being a Writer' programme, held mutliple events, welcomed new members of staff and even planted a few trees. We've loved every minute of it, and we wanted to thank you all for continuing to write, continuing to invest in yourselves as writers, and continuing to unlock your creative potential. 

 As always, happy writing, reading, and a happy festive period to you all. 


Booking Now Open! TLC Literary Adventure 2020 with Paul McVeigh

We are thrilled to announce that award-winning novelist Paul McVeigh will be our 2020 Literary Adventure tutor. TLC will be returning to the idyllic Casa Ana in Spain in September 2020 for its annual writing holiday. TLC Literary Adventures offers an environment where inspiration and improvisation meet. You will have access to world-class teaching, get a chance to work, read, listen, learn and relax in a stunning setting which will open the mind and senses. Groups are limited to a maximum of 12 (10 on a single room only basis) to ensure optimum learning time and progression through ongoing writing projects, so do get in touch as soon as possible to secure your place.

For detailed information, including a full itinerary, pricing and booking details, please click here.

To reserve a spot now, email Aki Schilz with your room preference.

TLC Masterclass: Creative Writing and Wellbeing

Creative Writing and Wellbeing with Elise Valmorbida and Vanessa King

We're thrilled to be able to offer a 15% discount for the next in our Masterclass series. Join acclaimed writer Elise Valmorbida and leading positive psychologist and author Vanessa King on 29th February 2020 for a unique and intensive workshop 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 in 2019, this is the first time they bring their learning into a one-day workshop format, especially for The Literary Consultancy.

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 2020 10am-4pm

BOOK NOW using code 
WELB20 for a 15% discount 

Final Call: TLC Christmas Vouchers

TLC Christmas gift vouchers are still 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)

Order up until December 16th for Christmas delivery First Class, with a special personalised message. More here

TLC Fiction Masterclasses

Finding Your Story: Plot, Setting and Structure
Saturday 25th January 2020 10am-4pm


Are you a writer looking to take your work in progress to the next level? Do you need constructive help demystifying the construction of your story...?

In the latest in our series of TLC Masterclasses, trusted manuscript assessor, novelist and writers’ mentor
 Shelley Weiner will help you examine the motivation of your characters, understand what makes them strive; and gain insight into the conflicts caused by obstacles in their path. The workshop will investigate some of the key plot compositions that inspire and echo the shaping of our stories. Lively exercises turn theory into practice as we put narrative structure into action and explore the enormous impact of setting and time. The Masterclass includes tea, coffee, and feedback on a 2,000 (maximum) word extract of your writing.

Also available in this TLC Fiction Masterclass series:

Finding Your Voice: Putting Your Story On The Page, Sustaining Momentum
Saturday 26th April 2019 10am-4pm


TLC Showcase: Hafsah Bashir

“I sent my poetry manuscript off with trepidation and received a detailed and thorough critique by writer Dzifa Benson whose insight was both eye-opening and affirmative for me. Her feedback helped me shape and re-work my poetry, making me think much more deeply about the craft.”

Our final featured Showcase writer of 2020 is one who has gone on to achieve great success after support with her writing from fantastic organisations such as Commonword and Manchester Muslim Writers, as well as an ACE-funded Free Read with TLC in 2015 from Dzifa Benson. Hafsah Bashir was awarded the Jerwood Compton Poetry Fellowship earlier this year, and we're excited to feature a sample of her poetry this month, taken from her debut poetry collection The Celox and the Clot, which you can purchase now.

You can read Hafsah's poetry, and more about her writing journey, in the December Showcase.

TLC Blog: Thank You!

The December Blog is a look back at the last couple of years at TLC from the perspective of someone who knows the company very well, our Director Aki Schilz. Aki has been at the helm since 2017, and here she takes a moment to thank some of the key players in our journey from recent years. I'll let Aki bring our final newsletter of 2019 to a close:

"We are proud of what we offer, and proud to be able to support a team of simply world-class editors and mentors who work with us and for our writers. And we are grateful to all of you for continuing to believe in TLC, but most importantly, for continuing to believe in the value of writing. Yours, and others’. The literature of now and tomorrow. It’s what we believe in, too."

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:

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...

* TLC 'Meet the Editor Events' being held in the New Year in Blackpool (Jan 18th) & Birmingham (Feb 8th).
* The New Welsh Writing Awards 2020: Rheidol Prize for Prose with a Welsh Theme or Setting is now open for entry. Deadline 17 Mar 2020.

Penny Thoughts - a fantastic new podcast from writer and TLC friend Penny Pepper.
* Give £10 to Book Trust to send a special book gift to a child this Christmas.
* 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 2020 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 2020 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