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The Clare Mackintosh Scholarship for Black Writers

Clare Mackintosh is sponsoring a place on our six-month Writing Your Novel course for a talented Black writer.

We’re hugely excited to announce that number one bestselling author Clare Mackintosh is generously providing funding for one talented Black writer to join our online six-month Writing Your Novel course. This popular course features direct input from our literary agent team and top publishers. The course will run from 5 February to 26 July 2021, and is designed to enable people to take part from anywhere in the world – in any time zone, and at hours of the day or night that work best for the individual participant. Clare will also provide a bespoke mentoring package for the winning student.

This scholarship is part of The Breakthrough Writers’ Programme, which offers opportunities for under-represented writers. We are keen to promote diversity in our student groups and to enable talented writers to join our courses who we might not otherwise have heard from. The Curtis Brown Creative team are grateful to Clare Mackintosh for providing the full fee for a Black writer to join our online course.

If you are Black, with the desire to write a novel, a great idea and a compelling writing voice, this scholarship opportunity is for you. We are excited at the prospect of supporting the writing process of a talented student.

‘I thought for a long time about what I could do to support the urgent need for more diverse voices in books. This scholarship is designed not only to open a door by removing financial barriers, but to keep that door open with a bespoke mentoring programme. I have long been impressed with the courses run by Curtis Brown Creative, and it’s an honour to be working with them on such an exciting programme.’ – Clare Mackintosh

Course details

Clare’s Bespoke Mentoring

Clare will also provide one-to-one mentoring sessions on Zoom to accompany the scholarship student’s time on the course and support them for a full year after completing the course – with the aim of helping them to finish their novel, and giving them a great grounding to prepare them to pitch to agents and publishers.

Please note – the following mentoring plan is provisional/indicative only. The final plan will be finalised by Clare after the scholarship student has been selected from applicants:

  • An introductory 45-minute chat with Clare at the start of the course to establish long-term writing goals.
  • A 45-minute catch-up with Clare mid course to discuss progress and evaluate the goals set at the start of the course.
  • Twelve monthly 45-minute mentoring sessions tailored to the student’s needs – to include discussions with Clare and with six other published authors (who will be chosen by Clare based on the genre, writing style and goals of the student.) 


This scholarship is open to all Black writers over the age of 18.

Applicants to The Clare Mackintosh Scholarship for Black Writers must have one of the following categories of ethnicity: Black African; Black Caribbean; Black Other; Mixed – White and Black Caribbean; Mixed – White and Black African; or Other mixed background (to include Black African, Black Caribbean or Black Other).


Curtis Brown Creative offers places on our courses on the basis of proven writing ability. We ask applicants to send us the first 3,000 words of a novel in progress, with a one-page synopsis, and to fill out the application form below. 

The Clare Mackintosh Scholarship for Black Writers will be awarded to the applicant whose submission material shows the greatest potential and promise in our view. The decision will be made by the Curtis Brown Creative team.

Head to the blog for tips and advice on preparing your application material. 


Applicants to The Clare Mackintosh Scholarship for Black Writers must fulfil our eligibility criteria. Our form asks you to make a statement about your ethnicity and the reason you deserve the scholarship.

Please note that by applying for The Clare Mackintosh Scholarship for Black Writers you are not applying to a fee-paying place on the six-month online Writing Your Novel course. If you would like to be considered for the scholarship place and a fee-paying place please fill out the application form below as well as the fee-paying form found here.

Curtis Brown Creative will be responsible for the teaching and running of the Writing Your Novel – Six Months course. The bespoke mentoring will be the responsibility of Clare Mackintosh – both content and delivery, and is not provided by Curtis Brown Creative.

Ready to apply?

Our application process is simple, and we encourage all writers meeting the eligibility criteria to apply.

Don’t worry if you have little or nothing to say in response to questions about e.g. writing experience or employment. Just fill out the form, upload your work and we’ll be in touch soon.

Please apply with the first 3,000 words of the novel you’d like to work on during the course, and a synopsis of no more than a page (both need to be in the same document, as you can only upload ONE file in the application below).

The deadline for applications is midnight, end of day Sunday 31 January, and we will respond to applicants by Thursday 4 February.  If you encounter any problems during the application process or have any more questions about the course, please email for assistance.