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This month learn how to give different points of view, get that novel off the ground with our useful planning top tips, read about what other students are up to, see if you can find a use for the useful websites and be inspired.


“I decided that this was the year to take myself seriously as a writer. I have been getting bits and pieces published, but felt I’d reached an invisible wall. I wanted to start to earn from my writing and widen my readership, but didn’t know how to approach bigger publications professionally.

“Enter the Writers Bureau. I’d seen them advertised for years in the Sunday supplements. When I looked into the course this January I thought – “money-back guarantee – there’s nothing to lose.” £270 was the same as I’d earned from five years worth of getting my work published on my own!

“Fast forward three months.

“My tutor’s feedback to my third assignment: “If I were Take a Break's editor, I would find this piece of yours irresistible." Well they did! I just got a call from them. So that’ll be £150. For 300 words. Chi-ching!

“I specialise in writing about pregnancy and birth. I’ve always been nervous about interviewing. After reading the interview booklet for the course, I came across the e-mail address of Dr Michel Odent, the doctor who introduced water birth in the 1970s. So I bit the bullet and e-mailed him asking for an interview. He responded positively within 24 hours. I interviewed him by phone and sold that article to the Irish Examiner for £180. Chi –ching!

“So that's my course fee earned back and it's been less than three months.

I currently have another five pieces out with different markets being considered, worth nearly £700. Things are really on a roll. I’m making money, getting my writing published and am able to fit it around being full-time mum.

“The advice from The Writers Bureau has boosted my professional knowledge immensely: familiarising me with the jargon of journalism; knowing what editors are looking for; knowing how to analyse markets; broadening where I consider getting published and what I can write.

“The practical advice on how to organise my writing life and where to source information has been invaluable.”

Lucy Pearce, Ireland

Here’s Lucy’s Bio:

Lucy Pearce is a free-spirited, freelance writer based in County Cork, Ireland. She specialises in writing about pregnancy, birth and parenting. She is a full-time mum to her children aged three and one.

Since January she has been on the editorial team for Juno, a natural family magazine.

She also has a column in Juno called Dreaming Aloud. She is a regular contributor to Modern Mum magazine and the Feel Good supplement in The Irish Examiner.

She has just designed her own website as a link to her work for editors and readers. She’d love you to go there and take part in her research on experiences of the supernatural and spiritual for an upcoming article.


“I started the Writers Bureau Comprehensive Writing Course in 2005 after giving up my job and relocating from Surrey to the Scottish west coast. I needed a new challenge and encouraged by my husband I took the plunge. I found the tutor's comments and support very encouraging and the first few assignments went well.

“My first paid item was a tip published in 2006. Since then, I have had a series of five articles on 'Jade: The Imperial Gem' published in Deposits Magazine. Six karate articles to accompany photos in Lochaber News. Three paid articles on herbs, spices and garlic in Home and Country, the Scottish Women's Rural Institutes magazine. Other paid work has included four reader's letters in women's magazines and five more tips, also published in women's magazines.

“I'm just starting on assignment 15 and I am enjoying the fiction section of the course. It wasn't easy to get the rusty imagination going again, but I am getting the hang of it. I have several children's picture book proposals out with suitable publishers and I am optimistic that one of them will take me seriously one day! I have lots of ideas buzzing about in my head and these will keep me busy for a while to come. I am continuing to enjoy the rest of the course and intend to finish the remaining assignments as time allows.

“My one tip for any student on a writing course would be to always have a pen, notepad and if possible a camera, with you when you are out and about. I've found that inspiration can strike at any time and it's important to be able to note it down or the idea will vanish. A photo or two to accompany it also makes your idea more marketable.”

Sonja McLachlan, UK

Here are the Deposits Magazine website

and the Scottish Women's Rural Institute website

Thanks, as always, to Lucy and Sonja for sharing their inspirational stories with us. If you would like a prospectus for the Comprehensive Creative Writing course please email us here with your full name and postal address.

Or, to share your success stories with others, just send an email to with 'Success Story' in the subject line.