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What’s My Motivation?

May 11th, 2018

I would imagine everyone who’s tried to produce something more than a coherent piece of writing remembers the event or reason which inspired them to make a conscious effort to give words to the ideas in their head. Until recently I thought I knew what prompted me to pursue my dream of being an author but it turns out things were far more complex than I realised.

I’d always wanted to write and over the years had made a few stabs at it, but nothing really serious; mostly attempts to entertain my family and amuse my friends.

It was the sudden and untimely death of my sister that finally gave me the jolt I needed to stop procrastinating and write.  She’d been a teacher for thirty-seven years and had given her life to the profession. I was following in her footsteps and had been teaching for seventeen years when she died. But education was changing.  What had started as an enjoyable and satisfying vocation focusing on pupils’ wellbeing had become all about targets and league tables.  This had been exacerbated for me because I was the Director of Humanities in a particularly challenging school. Read the rest of this entry »




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Will Hybrid Books Take The Writing World By Storm?

May 10th, 2017

Some of you may have noticed the case of the missing blog. I’m afraid that we had to remove last week’s post because there was one link that we didn’t want to include and when the author found out that this was the case he asked us to remove it. Such is life…

This week’s blog really is something of a miscellany – but I hope you find it an interesting one. I was recently reading about the bestselling author Laura Barnett who is currently working on a ‘hybrid book’ which involves collaboration with folk singer-songwriter Kathryn Williams. Read the rest of this entry »




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In A Class Of Her Own

October 28th, 2016

different-class-blogOn Friday I went to listen to Joanne Harris (author of Chocolat, amongst other well-known novels) talking about, and reading from, her latest book Different Class.

But it was the question and answer session at the end that I found most interesting. Someone asked her how long it took her to write her books. The answer was anything from three months to five years! The reason she gave for this was that sometimes she ran out of inspiration; she had to have a break while she did some research; or she had to wait for the pieces of a plot to fall into place in her subconscious. What she stressed, though, was that she didn’t feel that any of this time was wasted as she always had more than one project on the go and when a particular piece of work wasn’t going well she turned to something else. A sensible approach for any writer. Read the rest of this entry »




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Show Don’t Tell

October 7th, 2016

the-japanese-lover-blogYesterday was National Poetry Day – if you took part in any way I hope you enjoyed yourself. To mark the event we’ve been offering £25 off our Art of Writing Poetry course and this offer will be available until 16th October.  So if you fancy brushing up your poetry skills, now’s the time to do it.

I live in Rochdale, near Manchester. It doesn’t often get good press. Some parts come very high on the list of most deprived areas in the UK, there was the grooming scandal involving young girls and who could miss the allegations against Cyril Smith the former Liberal MP.

But it’s a town that’s set amidst beautiful  Pennine countryside,  it has some truly outstanding Victorian buildings and it’s really trying to put all that behind it and move on.  One of the many ways it’s doing this is by holding an annual literary festival later in the month. Read the rest of this entry »




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Don’t Limit Your Potential

June 24th, 2016

Lorraine-Mace,-2-blogI’m delighted to have this opportunity to re-introduce myself as a tutor after a few years away following a bereavement.

For those of you who read Writing Magazine, you probably know me best as the columnist of ‘Notes from the Margin’ – the humorous final page. The reason I mention this is because I owe my long-running column (seven years and counting) directly to the Writers Bureau course.

I started my writing career many, many years ago as a student and only signed up because I wanted to learn how to write fiction for the women’s magazine market! Instead of starting with the fiction modules, as I could have done, I wanted to learn all I could about writing and elected to take the comprehensive course. As a result, every assignment led to work being published in a vast variety of magazines in several countries – and one of the assignments also brought about my first humour column in Living France Magazine. Read the rest of this entry »




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