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Helping the Next Generation of Writers

February 20th, 2015

Jane_Austin_Englan_blogI began my writing career like many other would-be writers, I suspect – by reading magazines and thinking ‘I could do that!’ It wasn’t until I began writing in earnest that I discovered it isn’t really as easy as it looks!

The Writers Bureau course was ideal for me because I could work at home at my own pace, especially as my writing had to be fitted around the needs of my children. My tutor Anne Jones (now sadly no longer with us) gave me the confidence to submit my work to editors.

One of the great strengths of the course is that students get to try their hand at nonfiction as well as fiction and I was surprised to find that I enjoyed writing about history. I was overjoyed when I sold my first article – to the Lady – and even now, seven published books later, I still get a buzz from seeing my name in print.

My work as a Writers Bureau tutor has given me the opportunity to see a novice writer’s life from the other side of the fence, as it were. I remember how fragile my confidence was in the early days of my career and tailor my advice to students accordingly. Some students try to fly the nest before they are ready, and others need a push to encourage them to try their wings and fly away.  I’m always thrilled when one of my students successfully sells their work.

The world of writing has changed immensely since I began my writing career. There’s now a wealth of online writing opportunities, not to mention e-publishing. Novice writers could be forgiven for assuming that publishing their work is as easy as the click of a mouse.  But to become a successful writer, you must first learn the ropes.

The Writers Bureau course can help you acquire much-needed skills such as researching markets, structuring and polishing your work, and presenting it professionally. And these skills are just as relevant as when I began my writing journey back in the dim and distant past.


Sue is the author of A Visitor’s Guide To Jane Austen’s England (Pen & Sword, 2014), Tracing Your Ancestors’ Childhood (Pen & Sword, 2013), Tracing Your Lancashire Ancestors (Pen & Sword, 2012), The Children History Forgot (Robert Hale, 2011), Tracing Your Canal Ancestors (Pen & Sword Ltd, 2011) Regency Cheshire (Robert Hale, 2009), and Narrow Windows, Narrow Lives (History Press, 2008).

You can find out more about Sue’s work at her blogs:





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