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Heather Burnside

January 2019

Studied the Comprehensive Creative Writing Course

Heather BurnsideHeather Burnside took a home study Creative Writing Course with The Writers Bureau in 1999. 20 years on Heather is still writing and has recently signed another three-book deal with Aria Fiction at Head of Zeus.

“The skills I gained on The Writers Bureau’s course have been invaluable. During my studies I learnt writing techniques that have stood me in good stead as an author and copywriter. It gave me the knowledge and confidence to pursue writing as a career.”

 “I became inundated with work at various points in the course,” explains Heather. “This is because, if you have an article accepted by a magazine then it makes sense to follow it up with another while your name is fresh in the editor’s mind.”

During the course Heather wrote the first three chapters of her book, Nightclubbing, drawing on her experiences of growing up on one of the toughest estates in Manchester. At the time she approached several publishers but no offers were forthcoming. Undaunted, she continued writing articles as well as setting up a writing services business offering proofreading and copywriting.

Even though she was enjoying her work, Heather’s heart lay with writing a novel. So, after a while, she dusted off her original manuscript, reworked it, changed the title and her first gritty crime novel, Slur, was created. She independently published it on Amazon in 2014, shortly followed by two more books making up the The Riverhill Trilogy.

In 2016 Heather was signed to Aria Fiction at the Head of Zeus. They published her second set of books, The Manchester Trilogy as well as republishing The Riverhill Trilogy. She’s just recently signed another three-book deal with them.

“I’m sure that without The Writers Bureau I would never have had the confidence to self-publish my first novel. They taught me valuable skills, which I put to good use every time I write. I am now lucky to be earning a living doing something I love, and it all started when I studied the Creative Writing Course.”

Heather Burnside's Books

Annemarie Munro Writers Bureau's Student of the Year 2022

"I have seen my writing journey as an adventure: What can I write? What am I best at? What new aspects of writing can I discover and contribute towards? I have welcomed the wide range of modules covering different types of writing, challenging me to try new aspects in style and content, pushing me gently outside my comfort zone with encouragement.

"I signed up for the course in December 2020 as a Christmas present to myself and I started the first module in January 2021. I have had eight pieces published: three paid earning £1080 and a star letter where I won a £250 hotel voucher."

Annemarie Munro - Writers Bureau Student of the Year 2022

Read Annemarie's full story

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