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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This week is something of a miscellany because there are a few things I want to mention. First, I can’t say I was really surprised when I heard that the two-month old newspaper, New Day, from the Trinity Mirror group was closing down.
I’m a hybrid when it comes to getting my news fix. I pick up what I want online, still enjoy sitting down and watching bulletins on TV and then I buy a big, bulky, satisfying newspaper on Sunday and thoroughly enjoy it. I love the supplements, the in-depth features and the fact that the coverage it gives is still truly international. There’s a postal strike in Venezuela that’s been going on for the last month? Wow, how could I live without that snippet! Read the rest of this entry »
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So you’re a writer, thanks to The Writers Bureau, what next? Writing, investing and earning from your writing is what’s next: what I call writepreneurship.
Writing can be a lonely and difficult process and the post-project depression may be disheartening, but in the end writing is one of life’s most satisfying achievements. For me it’s therapeutic. I have over ten published articles by two national newspapers, never paid, but I still write.
Investing in writing is the first step. Time is never there for writing, so create time from your busy life schedule to write. Don’t wait for motivation, it never comes. Throw yourself into your writing, it is a venture like any other. And then be passionate about it. Read the rest of this entry »
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Carole Taylor’s a stubborn lass. Even back at school she told everyone that, one day, she was going to write a book. Now, granted, she did get a bit side-tracked raising a family (and with her daughter the deputy head of a London primary school, son a departmental leader in an international bank, I think we can assume she put a reasonable amount of effort into that.) More recently, there’s been a major health scare with her heart. And now, as well as working part time for a TV production company, her first grandchild’s appeared on the scene … Nonetheless, she never did give up on that book thing and, in the end, didn’t just write one, but five. They’re not only written either, she’s had them all published as ebooks by an American online publisher. So, if any of you out there were thinking it was too late to get started on a writing career – read on. Read the rest of this entry »
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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 »
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