Free TLC Extract Assessment Donated by Rowan Hisayo Buchanan

May 17, 2017 | Other News

We were so pleased this week to receive an email from Rowan Hisayo Buchanan, author of Harmless Like You. Set across New York, Berlin and Connecticut, this deft and beautifully written debut novel from a rising star in the literary scene follows the stories of Yuki Oyama, a Japanese girl fighting to make it as an artist, and Yuki’s son Jay who, as an adult in the present day, is forced to confront his mother who abandoned him when he was only two years old. So far the book has garnered much critical acclaim, and was shortlisted for the 2017 Desmond Elliott Prize, the Author’s Club First Novel Award, and longlisted for the inaugural Jhalak Prize and the 2016 BAMB Readers’ Award for Breakthrough Author. Rowan had a very particular reason for getting in touch with us. She explains:

“Next week the paperback of my novel, Harmless Like You, comes out in the UK. I’m overjoyed. This book has flown me to Canada, introduced me to amazing writers, and opened up many opportunities. When I see it in a book shop my diaphragm still clenches in happiness and disbelief.

A few years ago, I moved back in with my parents. I was teaching secondary school English and trying to find an agent. I was still editing, working and reworking it. But secretly, I was scared. My father, being a wonderful but impatient man, wanted to know why I wasn’t getting on with my novel. For my birthday he paid for a TLC consultation. They gave me some excellent notes and then did something I never expected. They said it was a strong manuscript and offered to send it to agents for free. I was delighted. Meanwhile, I kept sending it out on my own. That week I heard back from two agents. One I’d discovered by myself and one was via TLC. They were both brilliant women. But I really clicked with Lucy Luck – the TLC connection – and we signed a contract. She’s funny, kind, and brilliant at her job. She’ll tell me when I’m being too anxious, when to worry, and when to dance. I always feel safe with her. When she told me to turn down a pre-empt and to take the book to auction, I was terrified. But I trusted her. We had a six way auction.

To say thank you to the universe, I wanted to do a small thing. I’m donating an introductory manuscript consultation to someone who might otherwise not have the opportunity. There are no fixed criteria for who can apply because there are so many reasons why somebody might need a hand. I just ask that if you apply you really feel you need the help.

How to Apply

If you would like to apply for this free 15,000 word TLC manuscript assessment on your novel-in-progress, please get in touch by no later than Monday 29th May with the following, to :

  •  A one-page synopsis of your novel
  • A sample of writing (up to 2,000 words)
  • A short covering letter telling us a little about yourself, and why you feel you would benefit from an assessment at this stage of your writing

We particularly welcome applications from writers who consider themselves marginalised or under-represented in some way as Rowan is, as we are, a staunch supporter of positive representation in literature and the wider publishing industry. We are grateful for Rowan’s generous donation and look forward to supporting a budding writer in this way.