July 31st, 2009
A few years ago, adverts for the Writers Bureau would appear regularly on various TV channels. Then it suddenly stopped being cost effective and we dropped the ads. Now we’ve decided to give it another go, and from September onwards you’ll be able to see the award winning novelist Christina Jones talking about her experience studying with the Writers Bureau.
But in the meantime, why not have a look at her BLOG. She gives a blow-by-blow account of the filming and I’m sure you’ll find it amusing. It makes you realise why she’s had so much success writing romantic fiction and has built up such a loyal fan base.
And looking forward to September, I’m just putting the finishing touches to a brilliant new course that we’re going to be launching then – the Complete Copywriter Course. It will cover everything you need to know to set yourself up as a freelance in this lucrative market.
It’s been written for us by Nick Dawes one of the most professional freelance writers I know. His blog and monthly newsletter are full of useful information and if you’re a Twitter fan it’s worth following him as well as the Writers Bureau for regular updates.
I’ll let you know as soon as we start taking enrolments for the Complete Copywriter Course but in the meantime, back to the day job!
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July 24th, 2009
Writers Bureau tutor, Janie Jackson, also pens a regular column in a well-known magazine for writers. In her latest piece she concludes that keeping a diary makes you happier! According to Matthew Liebermann, a psychologist at the University of California, “Writing seems to help the brain to regulate emotion. Whether it’s writing in a diary, writing poetry or making up song lyrics, it seems to help people emotionally.”
So, if you want something to naturally increase serotonin levels and help you feel more positive, look no further! The Writers Bureau has a specialist poetry course written by award-winning poet and competition adjudicator, Alison Chisholm. While the course will show you how to improve your poetry writing skills, the best thing about it – in my opinion – is the fact that your assignments are completely ‘open’. This gives you the opportunity to work on a one-to-one basis with you tutor, polishing and improving your own work. You’ve got to admit – it beats trawling the internet for mood enhancers any day!
And a final note: if you’re a fan of the crime fiction genre, don’t miss the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival in Harrogate (23-36 July). There will be debates, seminars and on-stage interviews, talks and discussions. Lee Child, Val McDermid, Reginald Hill and Stuart MacBride will be amongst the famous names attending. And for me, Harrogate itself and the surrounding countryside are well worth a visit at any time of the year!
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July 17th, 2009
This week I’ve got an ODLQC Council meeting in London. For those of you not familiar with the initials, it stands for Open and Distance Learning Quality Council. The job of The Council and its Chief Executive, Dr. David Morley, is to ensure that new distance learning colleges who wish to be accredited meet the quality standards that they set and that existing members are re-accredited at regular intervals to ensure they continue dealing with students in an ethical way. Obviously, the Writers Bureau is a long-standing member and I am on the Council.
We meet four or five times a year to discuss what’s going on in the home study world; to look at best practice; to agree on whether colleges should be accredited or re-accredited after they have been inspected and to look at any complaints that have been received from students.
So, the ODLQC really does a valuable job in protecting students’ interests and the discussions are often quite stimulating! But the other thing I enjoy about being the Writers Bureau’s representative on the Council is the fact that it gives me an excuse to visit London! This time I’ve decided to go to the Chelsea Physic Garden after the meeting and then take a day’s holiday the following day and visit Kew Gardens. You can probably tell from this that I’m something of a gardening fanatic – so keep your fingers crossed that the weather is kind to me!
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July 10th, 2009
I’ve always been a bit negative about bloggers and blogging; so a bit of arm twisting went on before I committed to writing this. But I hope that over the coming weeks I’ll be able to give you more of an insight as to what really goes on behind the scenes at The Writers Bureau.
Now is a particularly interesting time of the year as our annual Poetry and Short Story Writing Competition has just come to a close. We’ve had hundreds of entries and I get the chance to glance through most of them before they go off to the adjudicators.
Some of them make me hopping mad. They’ve been dashed off in a hurry with no real thought and planning, or they blatantly break the rules. They’re just a waste of the entrants’ money. But at the other end of the spectrum the quality is stunning. I’d give anything to be able to write like that! Good or bad, they’ll all be parcelled up and sent off to the adjudicators. So watch this space and I’ll let you know when the winners are announced so that you can read them on The Writers Bureau website.
Incidentally, the competition adjudicators, Alison Chisholm (poetry) and Iain Pattison (short stories) have written one of our latest courses – Writing Competitions – How to Win so that they can share their tips with you. But they won’t be marking the assignments – that really would be offering an unfair advantage!
So, until next week…
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