Cover design: James Bates
Cover design: James Bates

“They tie our lives together. The only way to learn them is by getting them wrong. But just because they’re not written down doesn’t mean you won’t be judged by them.

Welcome to the anthology of stories where hidden forces are at play. Welcome to The Book of Unwritten Rules… would you have known them?”

The authors of The Book of Unwritten Rules met in the autumn of 2011 on the three-month Curtis Brown Creative novel writing course.

Four of the group have now had their novels published. Barbarians by Tim Glencross (John Murray) The Girl in the Red Coat by Kate Hamer (Faber and Faber), The A to Z of You and Me by James Hannah (Doubleday) and The People We Were Before by Annabelle Thorpe (Quercus).

Creating The Book of Unwritten Rules gave us a collective focus and an imaginative challenge. Once the theme was chosen, we discussed the concept before going off to develop our individual ideas. Over a period of months, we each came back to the group with our stories to be read and work-shopped. Some stories were then edited or re-drafted once the feedback of the group had been considered.

Taking a writing class in the commercial environment of a literary agency exposed us to the economic realities of the publishing world. Through the advice and honesty of tutors and guest speakers, some of them successful novelists, others, key figures within the publishing houses, we learned that as a writer, you can’t afford to sit and wait for someone to discover you. Success is never guaranteed, and is often reliant on the collaboration of others. And so this collection of stories is it; this is us, doing it for ourselves, creating a place where our writing can be seen, supporting each other and working together to show off the best of our talents. We hope you enjoy it.

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