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What Skills Are Needed to Become a Published Writer?

There may not be any pre-requisite formal qualifications for being a writer, but there are a number of skills that it would be useful to have. All of these can be easily learnt so if you lack knowledge in any of them now, don’t worry!

One of the most important skills you’ll need is a good understanding of English. This is vital as publishers will expect your work to be as error free as possible – the less work they have to do to make your work ready for publication the more likely you are to get work accepted on a regular basis. If you intend to self-publish, you need the work to be correct to instil a sense of confidence in your readers – reading work with errors is not only irritating, it can change the meaning of the writing and damage your credibility.

You need to have good:

  • grammar
  • spelling
  • punctuation
  • syntax

 

Knowing the practicalities and basics of the publishing trade will also be an essential part of your writer’s kit. Publishers can be very particular about how they want manuscripts sent to them. So, knowing how to set the work out and send it to them in the correct way can help to hide your status as novice. You’ll be submitting work on a level playing field with other, more experienced, writers.

Research skills will also be an advantage when you are carrying out market research for potential publications for your work. They’ll also come in handy if you want to check fact and figures for your writing. Again, this is something that can be easily learnt.

It would also be useful to know how to use the internet. It allows you to:

  • carry out your research much easier and quicker
  • contact and send your work to publishers by email
  • find publications you may wish to write for in other countries
  • connect with other writers to exchange ideas
  • find other professionals you may need, such as illustrators or photographers
  • self-publish work
  • keep up to date with the current topics and trends in publishing on social media websites, such as Twitter
  • write a blog so you can keep people up-to-date with what you are currently working on or offer your insight into writing
  • use websites that help you improve your craft
  • promote your books or advertise your writing services on your own website

 

All of these skills can be easily learnt so if you are missing any of them it’s not the end of the world. And, the beauty of writing is that you can earn while you learn. In fact, for most, writing is an ongoing learning process as new techniques, trends and topics come to into play.

If you want to be a published writer request a free Creative Writing course prospectus with no obligation to enrol.

 

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Louise Kennedy"The Writers Bureau has given me the confidence to follow my dreams. My tutor was lovely, encouraging and offered me great constructive critcism.

"I started a daily blog to chronicle our adventures living aboard a boat from a fresh and creative viewpoint... our cat's! Things really took off with the blog and I was offered a book deal with Bloomsbury."

Louise Kennedy

Read Louise's full story.

 
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British Institute for Learning and Development

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