This week I’m breathing a sigh of relief as we’ve just come to the end of updating our Writing for Children Course. It’s had a really good overhaul by the original writer Karen King, but even when she’s done all her hard work there’s still plenty more for us to do here at Head Office. And you can’t beat that feeling of satisfaction when everything is finished!
The course is packed full of useful information on writing in different genres and for different age groups – plus how to market your writing. And a the biggest plus is the fact that there are 15 assignments, all marked by an experienced children’s writer who will offer personal feedback on your work. Of the assignments, 10 are structured but then the rest are ‘open’ so that you can have your tutor’s help and advice on your own particular project. Read the rest of this entry »
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As I write this, I’m watching the snow come down, settle and then melt away. It’s a very half-hearted attempt! But it’s certainly miserable for anyone out in it and it’s times like this that tempt even the most industrious writer to have a ‘duvet day’.
My advice is: don’t fight it. The odd day’s loss of production can soon be made up and it’s the ideal time to curl up and have a good read. Most successful authors agree that if you don’t read, you’ll never by a competent writer. Stephen King is quoted as saying: If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Read the rest of this entry »
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First, happy New Year to everyone. For those of you who are already writing, I hope you’ll have a productive year – and one that brings you recognition and rewards for your work. For those of you who are still dithering, get on with it! There’s no time like the present to take the plunge and if you don’t try you’ll never find out if you’ve got what it takes to be a writer.
Every year we hold our Student of the Year Competition (which closes on 31st December) and it won’t be long before we’ll be announcing the results for 2017. The winner and runners up come from various backgrounds and countries but each year they have one thing in common – if they hadn’t decided to follow their dreams and start writing they’d never have found out how successful they could be.
This year’s winner was Rachel Louise Dove, from the UK, who won £500 in a magazine competition and the opportunity to work on her book with Mills and Boon – and it’s now been published!
A couple of the runners –up were also from the UK, Beatrice Charles and Katherine Kavanagh, who had this to say:
“This year has really been about expanding my understanding of what ‘Being a Writer’ can mean in real terms and branching out into unforeseen pathways.
“2016 will be the year I begin my first book. I’d always imagined that one day I’d write a novel and it’s quite a surprise to find that my first publication will actually be non-fiction.
“My writing is now tied to my unique specialisation and I’d love to extend my reach into radio and then, perhaps, even television documentary.”
But we also had a runner-up from Ghana (Gabriel Adukpo) and one from India (Nidhi Paneri) which just goes to show that it doesn’t matter where you live. You can still be a successful writer, with all that entails. If you want to read their stories – and I can assure you that they’re inspirational – then just click on this link.
Incidentally, one of our tutors – Alex Gazzola – has a new book out. This new book, 50 More Mistakes Beginner Writers Make, is the follow-up to 50 Mistakes Beginner Writers Make, and takes the aspiring writer of articles and other non-fiction to the next level.
It looks at generating article ideas in greater depth, as well as the business of writing (contracts, copyright, money …), dealing professionally with editors, improving all-important editing techniques, and equipping the reader with all the key skills required to make a living from the written word.
Other subjects covered include interviewing, researching, letter writing and dealing with both rejection – and acceptance!
It’s now available exclusively on Kindle at £1.99, and those of you who have ever come into contact with Alex, or had him as your tutor, will know how much invaluable advice he has to pass on.
And that brings us to the end for this week. I think I’ve done pretty well to avoid the usual stuff about New Year resolutions. But do think about what I said at the beginning. If you don’t give it a try, you’ll never know if you could be the next great publishing success. You may not achieve great fame and fortune but I can promise you a lot of enjoyment and satisfaction on the way to finding out.
Author: Diana Nadin
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Well, here we are at last – Christmas Eve! I’m sure you’ve all still got plenty to do, so I’ll keep this brief.
Christmas can be stressful; so three final tips that I hope will help:
One: ensure you make time for yourself. If you’re itching to write, find yourself a quiet, private place to get on with it. Don’t give in to the demands of others – be selfish (for at least some of the time).
Two: make time to read. I’ve just got back from the library with a stock of books and arms that are stretched to a good six inches longer than when I set off. And later, I’ll be treating myself to some books for my Kindle so that I can slip it in my handbag when I’m going out. Remember, most famous authors say you can’t expect to be a great writer if you don’t read.
Three: enjoy yourself. Whatever makes you happy – do it!
So, from myself and everyone at Writers Bureau have a peaceful and happy Christmas. I’ll be back in the New Year with, dare I say it, the usual thoughts on those pesky resolutions.
Author: Diana Nadin
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This year really seems to have gone quickly and I’m sure that many of you are already starting to mull over how you intend to push your writing career forward in 2017. For some this will involve trying to find more ‘me time’, or networking and attending writing events. For others it might involve enrolling on a writing course – either face-to-face or by distance learning.
I’m no expert on the face-to-face variety, but I do have years of experience with distance learning so I’d just like to offer some tips that you might want to consider before taking the plunge, as some courses on offer are incredibly expensive and you don’t want to make a mistake. Read the rest of this entry »
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