TLC Launches New Online Community

The UK’s leading editorial consultancy, The Literary Consultancy (TLC), today launches ‘Being a Writer’, a ground-breaking, affordable platform providing much needed support for writers to sustain and protect their creativity.

Conceived by TLC in 2019 in response to the Royal Society of Literature’s Room of One’s Own writer’s survey which found that the greatest challenges faced by writers at the beginning of their careers are a lack of money (68%) and time (67%) to write, as well as a lack of confidence in their abilities (54%) and a lack of information about the support available to them (53%), the new digital platform ‘Being A Writer’ is intended to help all writers and aspiring writers develop their craft in a range of settings.

Spanning interdisciplinary learning, research, podcasts, and digital content, it follows a first of-its-kind new and experimental responsive programming format, allowing the writing community that engages with it to be its co-curators. Unlike other established courses and in a world where competitive industry standards mean that the focus is often on what is written, ‘Being a Writer ’ is intended to understand why writers write and how best to help them keep going. It is available on a low-cost subscription basis (£12/ month or £99 annual fee) and launches with a 30-day free trial, as well as offering discounts on services from TLC and select partners.

While ‘Being a Writer ’ has been some years in the making and draws heavily on TLC ’s founding principles and the Arts Council England strategy prioritising ‘everyday creativity’, today’s announcement couldn’t be more prescient for the writing community. The current lockdown has presented some writers with more time to pursue their craft but others have complained of an inability to write anything at all. ‘Being a Writer ’s’ emphasis on literary creativity and emotional resilience makes it an essential resource for all writers as they come together at this unprecedented time.

TLC Director Aki Schilz said: “We are so proud to bring ‘Being A Writer ’ into the world. The programme itself has been a year in development, but really this new offer is a result of years of work at The Literary Consultancy, which was founded with the spirit of writers’ creativity and resilience in mind. We have always been interested in process before product, and we truly believe that if we can help writers at all stages to grow be creative, and to build resilience, we can support the kind of writers, and writing, that the world needs most.”

Author and Being a Writer co-curator, Julia Forster, said: “It was our hope when we conceived the Being A Writer programme that it would go on to enable all authors – emerging, mid-career or veteran – to cherish their creative process and to be supported holistically in developing their craft. To remain strong in our writerly convictions in times of crisis or uncertainty is essential. ‘Being A Writer ’ is both a clarion call to all those who write to honour their artistic impulses while it is also a safe space where writers can share their process, experiment and find community.”

The launch of ‘Being a Writer ’ comes in the run up to TLC ’s 25th anniversary in 2021. The programme, conceived by TLC and co-curated by novelist Julia Forster and TLC Director Aki Schilz, began its co-creation process with an Interactive Forum in October 2019, hosted by TLC in association with the Royal Society of Literature.

What will be on offer?

Three flagship online courses
• Making Time and Space to Write with Julia Forster
• Breaking Through Writers’ Block with Sascha Akhtar
• Dealing with Self Doubt with Sarah Salway

Creativity Pills
• A series of inspirational prompts, ready for writers to access to help kickstart their creativity. In partnership with the Poetry Pharmacy Podcasts
• A series of podcasts in which well-known writers and publishing professionals take us behind the scenes, revealing the truth about hidden aspects of the writing life.

Podcast features include…
Catherine Cho on How to Deal with Rejection
Nikesh Shukla on How to Balance Work, Family and Writing
Rowan Hisayo Buchanan on How to Write and Finish Your First Book
Dawn Estefan on Writing, Wellbeing and the Narrative of Self

The Downloads

• Free downloadable resources including customisable writing goal sheets, and ‘How to’ documents covering aspects of craft and more industry-related queries, from agent submissions to synopsis-writing

The Scrapbook
• An online space where members can upload images that inspire: of work spaces, inspirational words, and observations and perspectives from everyday life

The Bookshelf
• A list of books – that members are encouraged to add to – that help inspire creativity and resilience, from writing guides to books on health, wellbeing, innovation, critical thinking, and literary theory

The Mini Guides
• Free access to TLC’s suite of Mini Guides on aspects of writing craft written by its team of professional editors, including Voice, Dialogue, Plot and Character,

For further information and to sign up for the free 30-day trial visit https://literaryconsultancy.co.uk/being-a-writer/community/

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