Frequently Asked Questions
1. How do I decide which course to take?
We advise those students who haven't done any writing before to take The Comprehensive Creative Writing course so that they get a thorough grounding in all kinds of writing. By the time students have completed this course they usually have a good idea as to where their strengths and weaknesses lie and also what kind of writing they like. In this course we recommend that you work your way through non-fiction writing first as it is generally accepted that non-fiction writing is the easiest way into publishing. Once you've built yourself a good portfolio of published work you can show to potential markets you are much more likely to get other work published.
The shorter courses are for those people who are sure of what kind of writing they want to do. For instance if you are sure you do not want to do any fiction writing at all it is probably best for you to study the non-fiction writing course and vice versa. If you are sure all you want to do is children's writing then take the Writing for Children course and so on.
There are a couple of courses that are not suitable for students who have no basics in writing. These are Writing for the Internet and Writing Competitions. We would advise that you only take these courses after you have completed one of our other courses, or you already have some experience as a writer.
2. I have requested course information and it has not yet arrived - how long should it take?
We are very happy to hear that you are interested in joining us. You should receive your course materials within 7-14 working days if you are in Europe it will take 7-14 days and outside of Europe you should wait at least 3-4 weeks for the information to arrive with you. If it hasn't arrived after this amount of time has passed please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org or on 00 44 161 819 9922.
3. How do I access the prospectus online?
If you can't wait, you can access the prospectus and synopsis on this website by filling in your details for the free course information on the page of the course you are interested in joining. Once you do this you will be able to download the full course synopsis and the course prospectus.
4. Where can I find the cost of the course I'd like to take?
You can see the fees for all the courses we offer and the payment plans available on our website by following the ‘enrol online' link. This does not oblige you to go any further - it simply allows you to see details of the fees and various payment options we are offering for your chosen course.
There are a number of ways you can send your payments to us. They are all detailed below:
You can send a bankers' draft payable to: The Writers Bureau Ltd, Manchester.
You can fax the office with credit card details on 00 44 161 819 2842 or enrol via this website.
If you prefer to pay the money directly into our bank account please contact us for the details on email@example.com or call us on 00 44 161 819 9922.
2. I'd like to pay by instalments - can I do this?
Yes, you can. Click on the ‘enrol online' link on the website to see the payment plans we have available.
3. I've chosen a payment plan but now I want to pay off the outstanding amount - can I do this?
Yes, you can. We do not penalise you for paying off your outstanding amount early.
4. Can I make my monthly payments via the website?
If you have enrolled online your payments will be deducted automatically from the card details you provided. If you did not enrol online we cannot accept payments via the website.
5. My sponsor wants to pay for me - can you contact him?
We do not contact sponsors on your behalf. However, please feel free to pass on our contact details to your sponsor who can then get in touch to discuss any queries they may have.
6. Can I have a receipt for my course fees?
Yes, just let us know when you enrol and we will send one to you.
7. My employer wants to pay the course fees for me, can I have an invoice?
Yes, just contact us with the name of the contact you want on the invoice, the name and address of your employer, your name and address and the title of the course you'd like to enrol on. Once we have these details we will be able to produce an invoice for you.
8. Can someone else pay the fees for me?
Yes, we have many students who have relatives paying the fees for them. This is fine. You simply need to make this clear when you are enrolling. If you are filling in the postal enrolment form please put your address as the alternative mailing address. To be sure there is no mix-up you could also pop a note in with your application form stating that your fees are being paid for by another person.
9. Will you let me know when you have received my posted application form?
We do not inform students when their application forms arrive in our office. However, if you have not heard from us and would like confirmation of receipt please contact us, 3-4 weeks after applying. Let us have your full name, address and the title of the course you have applied for and we will confirm your enrolment.
10. How long should I wait to hear from you after applying for a course by post?
The application process takes about 7 working days to complete, your course materials are then sent to you. They will take about 3-4 weeks to arrive.
11. Are there any other fees related to this course or other books I might need?
The course fees are the total you will pay for the course materials and marking your assignments. However, there may be an additional administration charge if you go over the four year time limit for completion of the course.
There are also some marketing and research books that you may want to buy, but a great deal of information can be accessed for free on the Internet. We will tell you how once you enrol with us.
1. How will the course materials be delivered to me?
The course is sent by air mail from our country to yours. It then passes back into your normal mail system. This means it cannot be tracked and there will be no parcel reference number. However, if you wish to have the course delivered to an alternative address we can arrange this for you. We can also arrange for your course materials to be delivered by courier, at an additional cost. Please contact us for a quote for courier charges. Remember, if you want to start your course rightaway you should enrol online using your credit or debit card to gain immediate access to the first three modules and the first assignment.
2. What happens if I do not receive the course materials?
If you do not receive the course materials within the stated time please contact us immediately so we can resend them to you. Before we do this we will ask you to confirm your postal address so we can be sure they are being sent to the correct place.
1. Are all the tutors published writers?
Yes, all our tutors are published writers. Further details of the tutors are available when you enrol with us. You can access tutor websites and information about each tutor in the student community area once you have your log in details.
2. Will I be able to talk to my tutor?
We do not offer the opportunity to talk to tutors at the present time. However, you can contact your tutor via email if you send your work by email or by letter via head office. However, we would ask, though, that you contact Student Services in the first instance as we can usually answer most queries regarding the course. But if your query is regarding specific feedback on an assignment please contact your tutor directly.
3. How do you assign a tutor and do I keep the same tutor throughout the course?
When you enrol we ask you to fill in a Personal Profile Questionnaire. It is important that you fill this in as accurately as you can as we will use it to select the most appropriate tutor for you. Some tutors mark both fiction and non-fiction work. If you are assigned one that does, you will remain with the same tutor for the duration of the course. If you are allocated a tutor who only marks non-fiction work you will switch tutors at the end of the non-fiction part of the course. There may be times when another tutor has to mark work - for example when your tutor is away on holiday or if your tutor decided to leave us. However, most of our tutors have been with us for a long time - they tend to stay with us!
4. Can I send in my work by e-mail?
Yes you can - we will advise you on how to do this when you enrol.
5. Do I have to pay for postage on the assignments to The Writers Bureau for marking?
Yes, you have to pay the postage when you send the assignments to us and we will pay all postage for items we send to you. However, don't forget you can send your work by email if you prefer. You will be given details of how to do this when you enrol.
6. Does my work have to be typed for sending to you?
The simple answer is yes because the aim of the course is for you to become a published writer and to do so you need to be sending work off to publishers. Publishers will not accept hand written work, so you need to get into the habit of producing your work in a format that is acceptable to them. It also allows the tutors to assess the presentation of your work as this is a vitally important part of submission. You can use a standard typewriter, electronic typewriter or computer package to do this. Don't worry if you feel you are not that good at typing - it's one of those things that improves quickly once you get going. It's just a question of practice.
7. I am working on something that I'd like the tutors to have a look at - can I send it in to you?
Most of the courses we offer have an opportunity for you to send in work of your own for assessment. We also have a Review and Appraisal Service that you can pay for separately, detail of this service are on our website in the ‘Resources' section.
1. Do I need access to a computer to complete the course?
No, you do not need to have access to a computer to take the course. However, your life will be made so much simpler if you have one. You will be able to type your work directly onto it and word processing packages enable you to edit and make changes to your work quickly and easily.
2. Do I have to have access to the Internet to join the course?
No, you don't need access to the internet to join the course. However, if you do, your research will be made so much quicker and easier, taking away the need for time consuming research the old fashioned way. It will also mean you can submit your assignments for marking by e-mail and to your chosen publishers for publication this way too. You can also chat online to other students on your course through our forums. The Internet is a fantastically useful tool so if you can get access you really should try to. You can usually log on at your local library for free in the UK.
1. Do I get a certificate at the end of the course?Yes, you are entitled to a Certificate of Competence if you earn your course fees from published writing during the time you are on the Comprehensive Creative Writing course, Freelance Journalism and Writing for Children courses. If you achieve this, you will also receive a Gold Seal Diploma on completion of the Comprehensive Creative Writing course and the Freelance Journalism courses. If you do not manage to earn back your course fees you will be awarded a Red Seal Diploma.
All other courses have a Certificate of Completion upon request.
However, please bear in mind that the certificates are secondary to the main aim of the course which is to provide you with a portfolio of published work you can show to potential publishers. They are much more interested in seeing the quality of your work and what work you have had published previously.
2. Is the certificate recognised, for entry to university for example?
It is unlikely that universities will accept our certificate as an entry qualification. However, it is always worth asking. The reason for this is because the courses we offer are not academic - they are practical courses that aim to give you a real skill you can put into practice. There are no exams we can give you to prove that you are a good writer - the proof is when you have your work published.
3. Are you accredited by anyone?
Yes, we are members of the Association of British Correspondence Colleges and the British Institute for Learning Development. You can find links to both of these organisations on the right..
4. How long has The Writers Bureau been running courses for writers?
The Writers Bureau has been helping students achieve publishing success since 1989 - and intend to continue doing so for many years to come.
1. What are your contact details if I need to get in touch with you?
You can call us on 00 44 161 819 9922 or fax us on 00 44 161 819 2842
You can email us on firstname.lastname@example.org
You can write to us at The Writers Bureau, 8-10 Dutton Street, Manchester, M3 1LE
2. I've sent you an email and I've had no response - what should I do?
If you have sent an email to us and it has arrived in our inbox we will send you an automated delivery confirmation from our system. This tells you that your message has been received and that it will be answered within five working days. This may be in your junk/spam mail box if you have not added us to your safe list. If you have not received this automated delivery confirmation it may be that your message did not arrive with us. In this case please try sending the email again or contacting us by telephone if you are still not sure.
3. I've sent you a letter and I've had no response - what should I do?
Please allow about three weeks for it to arrive with us. Your response will take about three weeks to arrive back with you. If you've not had a response within this time please contact us on 00 44 161 819 9922 or email us using email@example.com
1. Does the course information apply to overseas markets?
Yes, it does. The publishing world works in much the same way all over the world. So, lessons you learn in the course books will apply to countries all over the world. Have a look at the student stories on the website and in copies of E-zee Writer to see what students from other countries are doing.
2. How old do I have to be to take part in this course?
You need to be at least 16 years of age to participate in our courses. If you are under 18 and still in full-time education you also need to get permission from your parent or guardian - specifically a letter stating that they are willing to accept the responsibility for making the fee payments on your behalf and that they agree to you taking the course with us. The course requires a great deal of time and dedication to complete successfully and we feel that those still in school should concentrate on school work.
3. Do you sell my work for me once I've done it?
No, we do not sell your work for you - we teach you how to find markets for yourself and sell your work to them.
4. What is the time limit on the courses?
The courses have a time limit of two years but this should give you plenty of time to complete it and there are no deadlines within this time frame. You can submit your work as and when you like - you can even ask for an extension if you feel you might need it.
If you cannot find the answer to your query here please do not hesitate to contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org, or on 00 44 161 819 9922. You can also fax us on 00 44 819 2842.
“I’m currently working on my fourth book, have been paid for my writing by at least 15 different magazines, and now earn half my income from writing – all thanks to The Writers Bureau’s course."
Sarah Plater - Writers Bureau Writer of the Year 2017