February 27th, 2015
As usual, thanks to Sue for last Friday’s guest blog. And, she’s absolutely right – researching markets, structuring and polishing your work and presenting it professionally are just as important, in this digital age, as they have ever been if you hope to succeed. Read the rest of this entry »
February 23rd, 2015
Okay, here’s a question only a writer could consider fondly: do you remember your first dictionary? Mine was a big, red, faux-leather bound Webster’s Encyclopedic, which my Mum bought in the early 70s. It was the thickest, heaviest book we owned and, along with Blue Peter and eggs and bacon, was one of the few things that never let us down. It was always there – always right.
There’s been lots of others since: pocket editions, abridged versions, one huge Collins Roberts French/English from the early nineties and, more recently, a Junior Oxford. But none of them will ever match that old Webster’s. To my mind it remains the font of all knowledge. Read the rest of this entry »
February 20th, 2015
I began my writing career like many other would-be writers, I suspect – by reading magazines and thinking ‘I could do that!’ It wasn’t until I began writing in earnest that I discovered it isn’t really as easy as it looks!
The Writers Bureau course was ideal for me because I could work at home at my own pace, especially as my writing had to be fitted around the needs of my children. My tutor Anne Jones (now sadly no longer with us) gave me the confidence to submit my work to editors.
One of the great strengths of the course is that students get to try their hand at nonfiction as well as fiction and I was surprised to find that I enjoyed writing about history. I was overjoyed when I sold my first article – to the Lady – and even now, seven published books later, I still get a buzz from seeing my name in print. Read the rest of this entry »
February 16th, 2015
Imagine you’re working on story which opens with the view of a white farmhouse beside the sea. In the foreground there’s a beach, and mountains in the distance. How would you present that scene? Before getting in to any kind of narrative, how do you go about painting the picture? Clearly, there’s lots of decisions to make, and lots you need to know. What season are we in? What time of day is it? What’s the weather like? etc. Read the rest of this entry »
February 13th, 2015
As usual, thanks to Nicki for last Friday’s blog post. It got me looking through our tutor records and it’s amazing how many of them are ex-students. Students that have been successful and have then approached us to see if they could work with the next ‘generation’ of would-be writers. And the reason that we have so many is that it works!
Because they have studied with us they are familiar with the course and how we are organised. But more importantly, they know what it feels like to be a student – the trepidation of sending off your first assignment and wondering what the feedback will be like; the apprehension of making your first submission to a magazine… So, they can tailor their feedback accordingly. Read the rest of this entry »