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  • Hello. Can you perhaps help me?>
    by kjsmith26 at 16:35 on 06 August 2014
    Hello there

    I am looking around at the moment for a change of pace and a new career.  I have always enjoyed writing and would quite like to give it a go.  I think I need some training and to that end I have looked at the Writers Bureau distance learning course.  I would be very grateful of you would advise me of your opinions on this course and perhaps any others that may be available.  I do not expect any detailed replies but an indication would be lovely.

    Many thanks

  • Re: Hello. Can you perhaps help me?>
    by Bunbry at 20:01 on 06 August 2014
    Hi Keith

    I don't think you should regard writing as a career - there is little money in it for the average Joe.  I think most novels earn the writer about 3k.  And those are the lucky ones who get published.  Publishers are innundated with novels every day that they reject.

    There are the lucky few who make a mint, but that is a bit like winning the lottery - some folk make a fortune by buying scratch cards (but it doesn't mean it's a good idea to do so).

    Write for pleasure - if you make any money that's a bonus.

  • Re: Hello. Can you perhaps help me?>
    by EmmaD at 22:11 on 06 August 2014
    Hi Keith

    Good advice from Bunbry - it's very hard to make money writing, particularly if you're determined to write what you love writing, and not to stick to a known commercial path. The average member of the Society of Authors - which is the nearest we have to a trade union - earns less than £10,000 a year from their writing. But it is a wonderful thing to do...

    On courses, I've heard mixed things of Writers' Bureau, to be honest.

    WriteWords does some one-to-one courses - click the tab above.

    You could also ask at your local FE or HE college - most of them have some Creative Writing or Professional Writing classes.

    These are free, from the Open University, which would be a good way of dipping your toe in the water:


    and the OU also have more substantial courses which are paid-for. Then there's the Open College of the Arts: http://www.oca-uk.com/courses/writing-courses.html which has several levels of course as well. Exeter and Oxford Universities also have online courses.

    These might be worth a look - I can't say I know much about them, but Writing Magazine is very long-established, and I do recognise some of the tutors: https://www.writers-online.co.uk/Home-Study/

    One option, if you hesitate to commit to a course, would be to get hold of the absolutely brilliant book Creative Writing, a workbook with readings, by Linda Anderson. It's the textbook for the OU course that I teach, A215, and it's the best structured and most comprehensive one I know, and anyone who worked through it - even without being on the course itself - would learn a vast amount.
  • Re: Hello. Can you perhaps help me?>
    by Catkin at 10:35 on 08 August 2014

    I don't think you should regard writing as a career

    I couldn't agree more. It's very very very hard to make decent money out of it.

    My advice would be to write if you enjoy it, and stop writing the moment you stop enjoying it.

    And courses ... my personal opinion is don't bother: you can learn just as much from great books about writing. But that is obviously just how I see it, and what works for me.

    What I do think is absolutely vital when learning to write is to get feedback about your work, and sites like Write Words are great for that.
  • Re: Hello. Can you perhaps help me?>
    by NMott at 20:41 on 13 August 2014
    From what I've heard, the Writers Bureau  course is aimed more at writing short stories and serials for magazines. This is a skill in its own right, and different from writing novels. If that's what you like to write then that's fine. If you want to write novels or children's fiction then consider other courses.