TLC January Newsletter
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Dear Friends of TLC,

Welcome to TLC's January Newsletter, and a very Happy New Year.

We're looking forward to welcoming those of you who have signed up for our new Being a Writer: Write Club Plus programme. We hope to see new projects flourish and grow in 2022!

Thank you also to those of you who have already filled out our audience survey, which aims to help us develop our future plans and services. If you haven't got round to filling it out yet, you still have time.
The survey should take no more than 10 minutes to complete, and there's a chance to win a £100 book voucher. More information below, or you can click here to take part now.

Another reminder about some more fantastic workshops we're running as part of
our Being a Writer Platform. In February, we'll be running two 'Pitch with Confidence' workshops for Fiction and Non-Fiction writers with Jamie Cowen, Managing Director and Literary Agent at The Ampersand Agency, and Silé Edwards, Literary Agent at Mushens Entertainment. To gain access to year-round member free-to-members events, as well as digital courses, podcasts, and resources, do have a look at our membership.

We start the new year featuring a writer on our Showcase who is a good friend of TLC, and an award-winning writer to boot! Kate Lockwood Jefford won the 2020 V.S. Pritchett Prize for her short story 'Picasso's Face', and we're delighted to feature her on our Showcase this month, as she works with us on her collection of the same name, via our Chapter & Verse Mentoring scheme.

Our Blog this month also focuses on a shorter form of writing - poetry. Specifically the poetry of Elizabeth Bishop and William Wordsworth. Tom Cook's piece on these two pioneering poets is our first TLC Blog of 2022.

As always, happy writing, reading, and editing. 


Complete Our Audience Survey

As we enter a New Year, we’re carrying out some audience research to better understand who our writers are, where you are in your writing journey, and what you'd like to see from TLC.

Complete our audience survey via the link below and you can enter a prize draw to win a £100 book voucher. The survey should take no more than 10 minutes to complete and the information will be used to help us develop our future plans and services.


Thank you to those of you who have already expressed interest in taking part in individual 30-40 minute research interviews. These Zoom sessions will gather additional information on how writers develop their craft and approach publishing.

There are now only a couple of slots left for these research interviews. If you would like to take part, please email Amy Lord at Participants will receive a £25 thank you payment for their time. Spaces are limited.

Being a Writer: Pitch with Confidence

If you've completed your manuscript, and are looking to send it out into the world, we've got two fantastic new workshops via our Being a Writer platform coming up in February, and they are booking up fast. Learn the art of pitching fiction whilst managing anxiety, confidence, and resilience, with our 'Pitch with Confidence' workshops. On February 15th, it's Pitch With Confidence: Fiction and on February 17th, Pitch with Confidence: Non-Fiction. The sessions are run by leading literary agents with Jamie Cowen (Ampersand Agency) and Silé Edwards (Mushens Entertainment).

These workshops are free for Being a Writer members. An extremely limited number of non-member tickets are available for £25.

BOOK NOW for Pitch with Confidence: Fiction 15.02.22 5-6.30pm GMT
BOOK NOW for Pitch with Confidence: Non-Fiction. 17.02.22 5-6.30pm GMT

Not yet a member of Being A Writer? Sign up here for £12/month.

TLC Blog: The Poet's Work

"For the last few months, I’ve been thinking a lot about the hard work poetry demands. For years I was shackled to the idea that all a poet needs is inspiration; that temperament and devotion were beside the point. But while inspiration certainly helps (I love the moment something unexpected wanders in), I’ve come to think that that staying power, persistence, is far more important still: that this is where the real work of poetry is done."

Our first TLC Blog of the year features an excellent piece by writer and poet Tom Cook. Tom explores the rigour needed to be a great poet, and specifically the work of two pioneers, Elizabeth Bishop and William Wordsworth. We hope you enjoy it, and it inspires you to pick up a pen and try some poetry. In fact, if you are so inspired, a reminder that our Director Aki Schilz recently designed some poetry courses for our friends at National Centre for Writing, which can be found here.

Read Tom'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.

TLC Showcase: Kate Lockwood Jefford

“It didn’t cry or make much of any sort of fuss all day, which was amazing really, considering. After picking the baby up, I’d dawdled at the fag-end of a flea market behind the brand-new football stadium which loomed, vast and shiny as a spaceship, above the tangled heaps of clothes, sad shoes, scuffed plates and naked Barbies on their backs, arms and legs stuck out like marching zombies. There was nothing there for a baby.”

We start the new year featuring a writer on our Showcase who is a good friend of TLC, and an award-winning writer to boot! Kate Lockwood Jefford won the 2020 V.S. Pritchett Prize for her short story 'Picasso's Face', and we're delighted to feature her on our Showcase this month, as she works with us on her collection of the same name, via our Chapter & Verse Mentoring scheme.

Read more about Kate's work in the January 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...

* The Writing West Midlands Room 204 Writer Development Scheme is open for applications until 31st Jan.
* 2022 in Books - a round-up for the year ahead from the Guardian.
* The Northern Writers' Awards are currently open for submissions with £1000s of pounds in prizes.
Good news for New Beacon Books in Finsbury Park, after crowd-funding campaign saves it from closure.
* Go on, here's another preview of the year ahead in books, from Stylist.

* 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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WATCH TLC's 25th Anniversary Party livestream

Watch a speech from TLC Director Aki Schilz, the screening of a specially commissioned short film with novelist Ashley Hickson-Lovence, a dance-poetry performance from Dancing With Words, and a special ‘What Editors Want’ podcast with Philip Connor speaking to Marianne Tatepo.
Why not sign up for Being A Writer, our programme of online courses, podcasts and other resources designed with creativity and resilience in mind? You can sign up now by clicking the Being A Writer button.
"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
"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
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