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Help with Polishing your Prose

July 22nd, 2011

First, thanks to Esther for last week’s blog. She raised a good point – and one with which many of our tutors will agree. You’d be amazed at the number of students who join us wanting to write a novel or short stories and by the time they have finished the non-fiction part of the course they realise that’s where their main talent (and ability to earn money) lies. But that’s the good thing about the Comprehensive writing course – you can try both. Read the rest of this entry »




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Keep an open mind

July 14th, 2011

“I’m only going to write fiction. I’m not really interested in non-fiction.”

Did I really say that? Yes, about 15 years ago I did. I was going to be a bestselling novelist, a sizzling short story teller and all round literary star. Well, I’ve not done too badly over the years in the fiction department, but I can see why The Writers Bureau recommends that you begin with non-fiction. Read the rest of this entry »




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Writers Bureau 2011 Poetry Competition Open for Entries

July 8th, 2011

Thanks to Simon for last week’s post. I’m definitely an IBV! It doesn’t matter whether it’s coast or country – or just the flowers in my garden. That’s probably why I enjoy weekend breaks so much. No hassle of having to work out how to pack economically for a fortnight or worry about ash clouds – just sling enough clothes to cope with the vagaries of the British weather into a bag, and you’re off. Read the rest of this entry »




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Earn a steady income from writing articles!

April 9th, 2010

I certainly got enough gardening done last weekend – by Monday I ached all over and felt as though I needed another couple of days’ holiday just to recover.  Still, everything’s looking much neater and even if it’s still not easy to see the green shoots of recovery in the economy, there are plenty pushing through in my garden.

And talking of the economy, there seems to be a rash of articles in various writers’ magazines bemoaning the low income that most writers have to exist on.  But it still doesn’t seem to put people off wanting to write.  And I don’t blame them.  Many of our students want to earn a part-time or second income and, as our student success stories show, this is quite feasible.

Spring Flowers

Especially if you set your sights on writing non-fiction.  It can be hard to imagine sitting down and penning a 100,000-word novel as a beginner, but if you adopt the right attitude, getting a regular stream of articles accepted and published is not an impossibility.  There are thousands of online and print publication looking for material to fill their pages and with careful research – into both the topic you are covering and your target publications – there’s no reason why you shouldn’t succeed.

If you’ve always dreamed of writing but keep finding excuses (I’m too busy…  I’ll do it when the children are a bit older… I’ll start when I retire…) you should visit the website of time management guru David Allen. Take on board his suggestions about ‘Getting Things Done’ and you’ll free up enough time to realise those ambitions.

And finally, if you don’t already blog, but would like to have a go, visit Daily Blog Tips.  There are tips about getting started, design, linking, money making and much more.  Once you’re up and running (or if you’re already blogging) let me know if you’d like to be one of my monthly guest bloggers.  Talking of which, next week Writers Bureau tutor, Alex Gazzola, will be my guest, telling you why making mistakes can be so important!




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