TLC May Newsletter
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Dear Friends of TLC,

Welcome to TLC's May Newsletter.

Our big news this month is that for the tenth year running, we're delighted to announce that our TLC Pen Factor Prize is open for submissons, and the Prize Pot has been finalised. Paying ticket-holders for our big summer event, Being a Writer Festival, can enter the competition this year to win a superb prize package tailored t
o four key things that writers we’ve worked with have told us they need to be a writer. These are: Time and Space / Feedback / Knowledge / Community. We have a fabulous prize for each one, with the full pot worth £2,000. Make a note in your diaries of the deadline which will be 9am (BST), Monday 13th June 2022, so buy your ticket and get your submission ready soon, so as not to miss out!

Also in our May newsletter:
As always, we're thrilled to feature a TLC client in our monthly Showcase - this time it's the wonderfully talented Jools Abrams, and her book The Girl in the Mirror, which won the Wasafiri International Life Writing Prize in 2017.

- For those of you who are considering applying for Arts Council funding for your writing project, you'll want to read this month's TLC Blog. We're very grateful to TLC client and Arts Council funding-recipient Sunita Thind for sharing with us her story of how she applied for a Developing Your Creative Practice fund.

- And as ever we finish with a round-up of resources and opportunities from around the web, including a superb Online Writing Week opportunity from Arvon, for which we have x2 concession places available, via TLC.

As always, happy writing, reading, and editing. 


TLC Pen Factor Prize Pot Announced

We’re delighted to announce that the Prize Bundle has been confirmed for this year’s TLC Pen Factor Writing Competition. The competition (now in its tenth year) is open to paying ticket-holders of our first ever Being a Writer Festival, which will be held throughout June and July this year. To keep with the theme of Being a Writer, we’ve structured this year’s Prize Bundle around the four things that writers have told us are important to them. These are:

- Time and Space
Arvon will provide the winner with x1 Arvon At Home Writing Week (worth £400) and attendance at 2 Masterclasses of their choice (worth £70).

- Feedback
TLC will provide the winner with one full year of editorial support, including a full manuscript assessment (worth circa £650), a one-to-one online writer’s surgery (worth £160), access to an Industry Day at TLC with a literary agent and editor (value circa £200), and a one-month digital showcase platform for the work.

- Knowledge
Writing Magazine will provide the winner with a one year digital subscription. (worth £38.99)

- Community
Spread the Word will provide the winner access to their London Writers Network newsletter (quarterly newsletter packed with opportunities to help your writing and career flourish) and a Bespoke Professional Development Advice and Info session (1 hour via zoom).

The Royal Society of Literature will provide the winner with a one year Membership to Royal Society of Literature. Benefits include free attendance to all RSL events, subscription to members magazine and an invitation to RSL’s Summer Party. (worth £50)

The prize bundle this year is worth £2,000 and we’re very grateful to our wonderful prize partners for their generous support. To be in with a chance of winning, you need a ticket to our Being a Writer Festival, which you can pick up here.

The Submission Window for the competition is OPEN and the deadline for the 2022 TLC Pen Factor Writing Competition will be 9am (GMT), Monday 13th June 2022, so buy your ticket and get your submission ready soon, so as not to miss out!

More information on the 2022 prize, judging panel, and prize partners can be found here. Join us for this unique summer event and learn how to write well, and feel well.

CLICK HERE for Full Programme and further details.

BUY NOW Being a Writer Festival Pass (access all areas): £99

BUY NOW Being a Writer Member Festival Pass (access all areas): £60

Individual sessions and Masterclasses priced separately.
Digital Ticket: £30 for Members and non-Members.

TLC Showcase: Jools Abrams

“The winter wind had bitten through her thin coat. She hung it in the wardrobe and fingered the worn astrakhan collar. It was time for a new one. A small surge of positivity and productivity drove her to a dusty shoe box below her Singer sewing machine. One of her Butterick patterns was double-breasted, she was sure of it. Maybe with a bolt of flannel from the market she could make something in the Cossack style. She carried the box downstairs and turned the radio on to listen to the Light Programme. Charlie Melville was playing some new jazz from America, a gravelled voice singing ‘Mack the Knife’. She liked it. Liked listening to the story the lyrics told. The danger and menace about a shark and his sharp teeth.”

It's our pleasure this month to feature the brilliantly talented Jools Abrams as our Showcase writer. After winning the 2017 Wasafiri International Life Writing Prize, Jools undertook ACE-funded mentoring via TLC with Kerry Hudson, and developed the short story she'd submitted for the Wasafiri Prize into a novel, a life story loosely based on the framework of the life of her nan in Manchester, either side of the Second World War. Now you can read an extract of the novel in our Showcase!

Read more about Jools' work in the May Showcase.

TLC Blog: Develop Your Creative Practice: How I Applied

"You need to be creative, original and most of all positive and patient as the process is long but so worthwhile. Give the Arts Council as few reasons as possible to reject your application and show you are worthy. Be as specific as possible in your application."

For those of you who are considering applying for Arts Council funding for your writing project, you'll want to read this month's TLC Blog. We're very grateful to TLC client and Arts Council funding-recipient Sunita Thind for sharing with us her story of how she applied for a Developing Your Creative Practice fund.

Read Sunita's 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: We pay an honorarium of £50 per blog.

Arvon Online Writing Week: Prepare for Publication

Is your fiction project ready to share with the world? Our friends at Arvon will give you tools for editing your work, and guide you through every stage of the publication process, from traditional publishing – how it works and how you can work it – to the pros and cons of self-publishing. How do you grab an agent’s attention? How do advances and royalties work? What does a PR campaign do for your book, and how should authors engage with social media? Agent and publisher James Spackman along with editor and translator Ana Fletcher will help you learn how to tackle your inner critic, how to gain distance on your own work, and polish your pitch to perfection.

For more information, please visit the website.

TLC is delighted to offer x2 places at the Concession Price of £200 (50% off). Please email with the subject header 'Arvon Concession' to register interest.

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...

* The New Writing North Young Writers’ Talent Fund is open for submissions until 30th June.
* The Bridport Prize, including its First Novel Award, is open till May 31st for entries

The Margate Bookie festival is back and will take place over the Jubilee weekend of 2-5 June.
* The University of Cumbria’s Literature team are inviting applications for a unique poetry commission, in partnership with Rydal Mount.
The 25 best podcasts for writers from Mashable

* 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 Writing Services Officer 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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A brand new digital literary festival from TLC, taking place June 20th-July 21st 2022. With interviews, readings, panels, Masterclasses and the return of the hugely popular TLC Pen Factor Writing Competition in its 10th anniversary.

Come and join us and learn how to be a writer... and thrive.

"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.
"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
"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
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.

"My TLC Reader responded with professional warmth, enthusiasm and detailed, critical feedback. Her suggestions and responses (including writing exercises to get under the skin of less developed characters) were invaluable. It was a no-brainer to send TLC my second manuscript and once again I received detailed, critical and constructive feedback. The bottom line is that this service empowered the writer in me."

Mish Cromer, Alabama Chrome
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.

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