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How Your Day Job is Helping Your Writing Career

August 23rd, 2019

When people ask you what you do for a living, how do you respond? I think of myself predominantly as a writer, although I also have a day job to pay the bills. As such, I will often state my day job as my main occupation in order to avoid sounding pompous (even the notion!) I would imagine that many of you reading this are in a similar position, fitting your Writers Bureau courses around other commitments such as work.

As writers, it is incredibly easy to fall into a pit of frustration, longing for the day when you can quit your nine-to-five in order to pursue your passion as a full-time career. But aside from greater financial security, there are several reasons why having a day job can be a helpful tool to improve your writing. Read the rest of this entry »




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Mental Health in YA books

July 26th, 2019

As authors, we owe it to our readers to present a realistic, inclusive world. Whether we have an own voices story to tell, or our experience comes from research, it is important that readers can see themselves in a book. Recently, this has meant ensuring diversity is included as well as LGBTQ+, disability, chronic illness and mental health, to name a few.

The diagnosis and treatment of mental health conditions is still in its infancy and we have a long way to go before the stigma is erased. One of the key changes should be, in my opinion, the very title “mental health,” which can promote negative responses. In turn, people hide away their concerns and doubts and don’t get the help they need.

Our teenage years can be some of the most emotional and impressionable, as not only our bodies go through significant changes, but so does the development of our brains. Therefore, it is especially important that we shine a light on the problems teenagers face and show them how to fight their way through. Read the rest of this entry »




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Posted In The Past

June 14th, 2019

First, thanks to Jacqueline for last week’s post. I think that people sometimes decide to enrol on a course without giving it enough consideration. That’s OK if it’s a short course that doesn’t cost too much – it’s always good to dabble with something different. But if you’re planning to use the course to further your career or help you bring in a second income, then you should give the decision serious thought. That’s why we’re always happy to chat to prospective students or reply to their emails if they have any queries – or reservations – before joining us.

Another thing that needs to be taken seriously, if you intend to have a writing career, is your marketing plan, and these days that also means your use of social media. Below, Writers Bureau student, Helen Baggott, explains how she reached out to potential readers about her recently published book, ‘Posted in the Past’ (available from Amazon and a number of independent outlets). Read the rest of this entry »




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Keeping Your Research In Context

May 24th, 2019

Ann Williams was the winner of our student-only Book Review Competition. Below are her tips on how writers can make the most of their research without ‘swamping’ the text with what they’ve uncovered.

 

“Writers, whether in fiction or non-fiction, need to research. The internet has made this so much easier, cutting out trips to the reference library, museums or record offices. Facts can be checked from the comfort of your own home, whenever convenient. However, this easy access to material offers pitfalls of its own.

A simple check for a date, the direction of travel from A to B or the colour of a flower can lead to a mass of information, all of which may be new and fascinating to the writer. It is natural to want to share new-found knowledge but if it is unnecessary for the theme of the article or the flow of the story it needs to be drastically distilled to what is relevant. Read the rest of this entry »




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Congratulations To Our Short Story Winners!

May 17th, 2019

First, thanks to Lorraine for last week’s post, which I loved. It was just so positive! It’s advice that I think applies not just to your writing, but to every aspect of life. I know it’s a cliché, but if one door closes… always look for another one that you can get your foot in and push.

It’s so important to try to remain positive whatever life (or your writing) throws at you. Writing can be a lonely profession and it’s important to stay mindful of your mental health. As you can’t fail to have noticed, it has been Mental Health Awareness Week over the past few days. I think we all need our own personal strategy for coping whether it’s meditation, exercise, therapy, or simply being kind to ourselves. Mine is gardening – and it lifts my spirits every time I look at what’s going on in my plot over the changing seasons (see pic of how it’s looking this week). Read the rest of this entry »




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About The Author: Diana Nadin

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