TLC October Newsletter
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Dear Friends of TLC,

It's already October, and the year is flying by, but we like to think that in these times of uncertainty and unrest, the TLC newsletter provides an element of stability and inspiration for the writers in our network. This month's edition is no exception, as we've got client successes, special offers, and a wealth of opportunities for you.

We lead this month with a reminder about our upcoming series of Masterclasses starting October 26th with trusted tutor Shelley Weiner. Read below for more details of a 15% series discount on this fantastic series. And a final reminder that tickets are still on sale for our very special event Being a Writer: An Interactive Forum, taking place October 26th, which will explore what it means to be a writer today, and features some top talent from around the country. It's a unique event format, and we'll be using it to launch a very special new programme focussed on creativity and resilience for writers.

We also have news of a fantastic opportunity for those of you who are interested in using your writing to tackle the climate emergency, as our friends at New Writing North and Newcastle University offer a once in a lifetime writing residency which explores how
we can respond to the challenge of the climate crisis. And in case you needed any further inspiration, we have news of former TLC mentee Damyanti Biswas, who has had great success with her debut crime novel, already an Amazon bestseller.

We'll delve into another fascinating topic in our monthly TLC Blog, as Catherine Pease explores the changing nature of 'voice' in writing. We're also delighted to cast a spotlight on the multi-talented Nell Bryden in our monthly Showcase. Nell's New York-based novel Little Wing makes for a gripping read, and we have an exclusive extract for you. Also, do make sure to scroll to the bottom of this month's newsletter, as we have news of some brilliant opportunities from around the web. 

Finally, this October 10th, it's World Mental Health Day, so before diving into the newsletter, we'd encourage you to close your eyes, take a deep breath, and pause for a moment to focus on feeling gratitude for the positive things in your life, and setting your intentions, however small, for the month ahead. 

Eyes open?

Then let's dive in to the TLC October newsletter! And as always, happy writing, and reading,


Being a Writer: An Interactive Forum

Tickets are still available for the extra special launch of our new programme of support for writers and their individual creativity, which we'll be rolling out and designing based directly on your feedback and participation over the next two years. Being a Writer: an Interactive Forum explores what it means to be a writer today, and what writers need to thrive. Drawing from key findings of the Royal Society of Literature’s 'A Room of My Own' survey, four inspiring writers present their experiences in a series of quick-fire creative presentations, from managing finances to finding and cultivating support networks, and making time and space to write. There will be surprises in store - this is not one to be missed. Guests are invited to interact and contribute using their mobile phones through a unique website login. Come away inspired, and be part of the conversation.


  • A room of one’s own (space and time to write)
    Yomi Ṣode, winner of the Jerwood Compton Fellowship 2019
  • A nest of one’s own (networks, community and emotional support)
    Carmen Marcus, novelist, founder of The Writers’ Plan
  • Show Me the Money (financial support)
    Hannah Berry FRSL, UK Comics Laureate 2019-21
  • Creative opportunity; professional development (mentoring, workshops and the creative writing industries)
    Nathalie Teitler Hon. FRSL, educator, activist, Director of The Complete Works. Honorary Fellow of the RSL

Tickets cost £12 + VAT (Concessions £10 + VAT for students, over 65s, and those on Universal Income)

BOOK YOUR TICKET NOW online or call the box office on 020 7324 2570

TLC Fiction Masterclasses (15% Series Discount Available)

Our series of TLC Masterclasses kicks off at the end of the month, so we're shining a light on the programme for the first one, 'Finding Your Muse', to whet your appetite. You can either attend any one of them individually, or bundle all three together for a further 15% off (this discount is applied automatically at check-out when you book all three). Alternatively, you can call the box office directly on 020 7324 2570 to book.

Finding Your Muse: Inspiration and Invention

How do we find – or recognise – the tiny seeds of ideas that have the potential to flourish into a fully-formed piece of fiction?... Come and test your ideas in a safe, creative, and playful environment at the first TLC Fiction Masterclass. This workshop is perfect for beginner writers, or intermediate/advanced writers with new projects. Please bring along a one-page synopsis, which we will workshop together, to help you articulate your creative idea and begin to commit to realising it.

“So helpful and inspiring. As a first-time prose writer, Shelley has given me the confidence to continue writing”

What we will cover in this one-day intenstive workshop…

Ideas and where they come from: exploring sources of inspiration, with hints and guidance for when inspiration fails

From ideas into stories: a practical look at the process of beginning to commit ideas to the page, with a creative writing exercise

Invention of character: How do we get character from abstract idea to living breathing characters, whose motivations and experiences are central to the reading process

Bringing your character to life: Talking about it is one thing; the challenge is to make your character exist on your page and in the imagination of the reader. Here’s how it is done.

Creating a believable setting: With a writing exercise to illuminate the process.

Ideas Incubator: The opportunity to workshop your ideas in a group setting, working together to find ways to nourish and cultivate them into viable pieces of fiction.


Also in this series...

Finding Your Story: Plot, Setting and Structure
Saturday 25th January 2020 10am-4pm
Perfect for beginner and intermediate writers with works in progress. Includes feedback on a short extract.


Finding Your Voice: Putting Your Story On The Page, Sustaining Momentum
Saturday 26th April 2019 10am-4pm
Perfect for intermediate and advanced writers nearing completion of, or with a finished draft of, a manuscript.


TLC Mentee Becomes Amazon Bestseller

"Working with Rose Gaete from TLC was an enlightening experience. Here was a compassionate mentor pointing out the flaws in my storytelling, and getting me excited to make changes."

We’re always excited to hear back from former TLC clients who go on to find success with their writing, so we were thrilled to see that former
 Chapter & Verse Mentee and novelist Damyanti Biswas had made the Amazon bestseller list with her gripping debut novel You Beneath Your Skin.

Damyanti, who was mentored by experienced editor Rose Gaete in 2015, before having a final manuscript assessment with writer and editor Sanjida Kay, has had great success with her debut crime novel, making the Amazon bestseller list and being listed as a 'hot new release' in multiple categories.
You Beneath Your Skin has been published in physical format in India by Simon & Schuster and is available on Amazon in Kindle format internationally.

You can read more about Damyanti's writing journey, and order the book, on our website here.

Climate Emergency Writer-in-Residence Opportunity

This month we're very excited to feature a really fantastic, and important opportunity from our friends at New Writing North and Newcastle University. The two organisations (amongst many others) have come together to declare a climate emergency, and as part of this declaration, have created a new residency post for an exceptional writer to help them develop this thinking and to work with them on further actions.

The Climate Emergency Writer-in-Residence will play a key role in defining how organisations can harness the power of arts and culture to respond to the challenge of the climate crisis. They will not only generate new creative work in response to the issue, but will interrogate the role of writers in relation to the crisis. The role is not exclusive to the North of England, you can be based anywhere, but you will need to spend some time in the North East working with New Writing North, Newcastle University and with organisations and communities based there. 

Deadline for applications is November 1st 2019, and you can read full details here.

TLC Blog: Whose Voice Is It Anyway?

"I started writing a novel about two and a half years ago. After finishing a first draft of it I printed it out and sat down to read through properly what I’d put on the page. I found vast chunks of it that were really, really, not me."

This month's blog explores the nature of the voice in writing, as Catherine Pease, who is a linguist by trade, explores her relationship with voice in her own writing, how it changed over time, and how changing specific elements of her writing helped her make her voice 'her own'.

Read 'Whose Voice Is It Anyway?' - this month's TLC Blog by Catherine Pease.  

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: Nell Bryden

"The second time I saw Lori I fell in love with her eyebrows. Lovely dark little dancers, arching like caterpillars above her brown doe eyes. They bent into the worry line, flattened their backs with disapproval, and stretched out when her cheeks lifted with amusement. Those eyebrows told me everything I needed to know: I’m happy to run into you again. I’ve thought about you too. There is nothing to be done about how unhappy we both are.”

We are delighted to showcase the work of Nell Bryden this month, with an extract from her manuscript Little Wing, a love story of an aspiring musician who falls for an emotionally fragile singer, and follows how they get together as the Twin Towers crumble behind them. We've enjoyed working with Nell across the development of the novel, and she was even kind enough to send us a copy of her album, which accompanies the book. You can find out more about her on her website.

You can read the full extract of Nell's novel, and more about her writing, in the October 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...

* Our friends at Unthank School have two new online writing courses coming up in 2020. 'How to Write a Novel' and 'Writing for Wellbeing' (look out for a TLC Masterclass on Wellbeing coming in Feb 2020...)
* The Society of Authors are running 'Tea & Talk' meetings across the country in honrour of Mental Health Awareness Day,10th Oct (Monmouth, Colchester, Liverpool, Brighton, Herts, Bristol)

* Applications for the Deborah Rogers Foundation Writers Award close at the end of October, so enter soon to be in with a chance of taking the £10,000 main prize.
* The RSL Literature Matters Awards 2020 are open for submissions.
The website for the brand new Poetry Pharmacy in Shropshire, run by TLC poet Deborah Alma, is now live and worth a visit for those of you looking for poetry on prescription.
* A fascinating piece on why we make maps of fictional worlds from LitHub.

* 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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"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)
TLC Fiction Masterclasses, October 26th 2019 - April 26th 2020 (£125+VAT each or £315+VAT for all three)

x3 New Masterclasses with writer and mentor Shelley Weiner

Finding Your Muse: Inspiration and Invention
Saturday 26th October 2019 10am-4pm

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

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

Book all three masterclasses for £315+VAT (£72 saving) standard rate

Book now
Do I need a manuscript assessment?

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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)
'Being a Writer - An Interactive Forum', £ 12 + VAT / £10 + VAT, 23rd October 2019

An interactive forum drawing exploring what it means to be a writer today, and what writers need to thrive. Four inspiring writers will present their experiences, from managing finances to finding and cultivating support networks, and making time and space to write.

Free Word,
60 Farringdon Road,

Book Now

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
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