A new author whose debut novel is outselling JK Rowling’s latest work has credited her success to a short course in creative writing.
Jessie Burton says she was initially “dubious” about the three-month course run by a literary agency, but her book The Miniaturist has since been published in 30 countries.
Speaking to the Times, the 31-year-old said two hours a week devoted to writing, books and the “inexact science” of how publishers operate was clearly more useful than she first thought.
“I queried how they could teach you to write when it’s something so personal,” Ms Burton told the newspaper. “[But] I remember coming back on the first night after a two-hour session and feeling happier than I had in five years.”
Competition from Robert Galbraith, the pen name used by JK Rowling, was probably never even dreamt of by the creative writing student, but the Waterstones charts currently ranks her above Harry Potter’s creator.
The course in question, reportedly run by Curtis Brown, involved Ms Burton and 14 other students reviewing each other’s work, with a focus on voice, point of view, atmosphere and tenses.