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The Writers Bureau Writer Of The Year 2015

It's been another great year for our Writer of the Year Award - many thanks to those of you who took the time to enter. We had some fantastic entries making it, yet again, extremely difficult to choose the final five let alone an overall winner. But we got there in the end and we're delighted to announce that the winner of the 10th Writer of the Year Award is...

Jacqueline Jeynes from Wales. Congratulations!

Jacqueline has had a very exciting year with all expenses paid trips abroad and having a contract offered on her book.

Our students come from all around the world, from all walks of life and have a vast range of writing interests and successes. Our runners up have had a photography book published, a blog about a cat on a boat turned into a book, learnt how to find markets and explore genres they'd never have tried  and set up writing groups. Phew! They've all been very busy.

Hopefully you'll enjoy reading our winners' stories and be inspired to give your writing dreams a chance to become reality. If you do, it could be you picking up the £250 first prize next year.


Read Jacqueline's Story

Jacqueline Jeynes

...and the runners-up are:

 

Louise Kennedy

Louise Kennedy, Cornwall

Louise came up with a unique way to record life on a boat for her blog – from the viewpoint of a cat. Baily Boat Cat was quickly picked up by a major publisher and turned into a book which is now selling world wide.

[Read Louise's Story]

Ramya Srinivasan

Ramya Srinivasan, India

Ramya enrolled on the Creative Writing course to find out if she had what it takes to be a writer. As it turned out she has, and she’s gone from strength to strength having close to 50 pieces published.

[Read Ramya's Story]

Tommy Cloherty

Tommy Cloherty, London

Tommy took our Proofreading and Copy Editing course and is using his skills to help other writers by bringing them together in groups and publishing their writing. We felt that his work really deserved some recognition.

[Read Tommy's Story]

Sarah Plater

 Sarah Plater, Bucks

Sarah persuaded her parents to buy her the Creative Writing course but only completed assignment one. She always felt guilty about not it taking further. When she was moving house she found her course books again so decided to give the course a real go. Though her passion was for fiction writing she followed our advice to complete the non-fiction part of her course first... she's never looked back.

[Read Sarah's Story]

Writers Bureau's Writer of the Year 2015 Jacqueline Jeynes

Winner - Jacqueline Jeynes

Jacqueline already had some writing success with business books but wanted to take her writing in a new direction so enrolled on  the Comprehensive Creative Writing Course...

"The Writers Bureau course has done everything I hoped it would and more. There is a clear progression through chapters so that your writing skills and confidence grow steadily with feedback from the tutor. The market research activities were invaluable for opening up potential new avenues for publication. Crucially, signing up to Freelance Market News has had a real impact on the direction my writing has taken.

"On recommendation from my tutor to submit part of an assignment, I had the article "My Father as a Far East Prisoner of War (FEPOW)" published in Discover Your History journal including photographs. There was no payment but this encouraged me to go back to earlier research on families of FEPOWs and start preparing a new book "Forgotten prisoners of war - FEPOWs and their Families". This will be published by July 2015 ready for VJ Day. I have a current contract offer from John Hunt publishing and another publisher currently looking at the proposal.

"The most exciting result this year has to be regular publication of my reviews on  www.silvertraveladvisor.com website. Every time we go anywhere, I write a review, and these are posted on the site and have been featured in their monthly newsletter.

"As a result of my reviews I am now one of their Travel Writers and have been offered a number of interesting visits.

"In June this year I went to Hungary for a week alongside representatives from Thomas Cook, Kuoni, BA Holidays and the Flight Shop. We had a fantastic time in four and five star accommodation, lots of superb restaurant meals plus visits to attractions all around the eastern side of Hungary.

"In September, I was asked to go to Thessaloniki as the Silver Traveller representative. This time, it was just arranged for me and my husband to visit rather than a group so it was very exciting.

"As a result of these visits, I have been to the World Travel Market trade show in London recently as a Travel Journalist and I am due to travel to the Algarve before Christmas 2014 as a guest of a hotel chain there. Following the trade show, I hope to be included in future trips, including the Nordic countries and Japan and walking in Sardinia. It's a hard life!

"I have recently helped Silver Travel establish a walking section with three blogs on planning a long-distance walk in the UK plus a report on my 15-day 153 mile trek along the River Wye Valley - Two Old Ladies Walking in Wales.

"My Writers Bureau course has led to this year being the catalyst for me to make the most of my experiences instead of just musing."

[more student stories]

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Louise KennedyLouise Kennedy

Louise came up with a unique way to record life on a boat for her blog - from the viewpoint of a cat. Baily Boat Cat was quickly picked up by a major publisher and turned into a book which is now selling world wide. Here is Louise's story...

"When I first started the course I was very excited to be starting out on my writing career. I'd just finished my degree with the Open University and suddenly had the time to do what I truly love which is to write.

"The Writers Bureau has given me the confidence to follow my dreams. I started the course fresh from university and quickly devoured the course materials when they arrived. I started a daily blog to chronicle our adventures living aboard a boat from a fresh and creative viewpoint... our cat's! Things really took off with the blog and I was offered a book deal with Bloomsbury. My tutor was lovely, encouraging and offered me great constructive criticism. Now that the book has been published and most of the initial promotion has calmed down I'm looking forward to getting stuck back into the course and completing the rest of the assignments. 

"When I was contacted by a senior editor from Adlard Coles, a subsidiary of Bloomsbury (and the largest nautical publisher in the world), saying she loved my blog and wondered if I would be interested in publishing a book along the same lines, I was literally jumping for joy. It sounds very clichéd but it really was a dream come true. Once I was officially offered a contract I contacted my tutor at WB asking for advice. She advised me to join the Society of Authors as they offer a service where they look through your contract. This was an amazing help for someone who had never had anything published before. They helped me tweak the contract in my favour and soon I was sitting down to write the manuscript of my very first book, Bailey Boat Cat - Adventures of a Feline Afloat! I'm afraid my contract does not allow me to discuss the details but I've made a modest income from the book and hope that it will continue to do well in the New Year.

Baily Boat Cat Book Cover"The book follows Bailey's adventures on the boat. It was published in the UK in April 2014 and shortly afterwards in Australia. It was then published in America and Canada in September 2014. I was actually in Australia on holiday and was invited into the Bloomsbury office to chat to the team that would be publicising my book down under. It was the most surreal experience and actually one of my favourite moments of my first trip to Australia! The team in America have been amazing and I was so lucky that Bloomsbury hired a freelance publicist for Bailey Boat Cat. So Bailey and the book have been featured in lots of magazines and online articles. You can read more about where Bailey's been featured at www.baileyboatcat.com in the ‘my book' and ‘in the news' sections.

"I'm very close to finishing my first novel and it would be a dream come true if I manage to get it published. I'm starting to seriously look for an agent now and I'd also really like to write articles about our cruising lifestyle, travelling and life living aboard a boat. I'm also very keen to now steadily work through the rest of the course and hopefully get more constructive criticism on how to improve my writing." 


[more student stories] 

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Ramya SrinivasanRamya Srinivasan

Ramya enrolled on the Creative Writing course to find out if she had what it takes to be a writer. As it turned out she has, and she's gone from strength to strength having close to 50 pieces published.

"I was curious to see if I could take my writing to a professional level and make something out of my interest.

"The best thing about the course is the mentoring I have received. Here was someone with actual experience guiding me through the nuances, telling me where I could improve and applauding when I did well.

"The course has also taught me how to scout for markets and made me realize that I could actually write on topics that I had never imagined before. It also gave me a structure to work with; the assignments made me explore different genres and styles that I would have normally felt reluctant to attempt.

"Other than the coffee table book which is expected to be published in the next couple of months, all the other works are published already. My total earnings in the past year are approximately £1,100.

"The highlight in my journey last year is when I interviewed Dr.CNR Rao, a Bharat Ratna awardee and wrote a cover story on him. Bharat Ratna is India's highest civilian award.

"I sincerely believe I have come a long way over the past year. I thought that if I managed to just see my name in print at least once, I'd have made it. But to my surprise, I got a lot of repeat business and now I have the confidence that this is going to be my profession, my career, my dream.

"I would sincerely like to thank the Writers Bureau and especially my tutor because I don't think I would have had the courage to quit my job and pursue my dream had it not been for the course."


[more student stories]

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Tommy ClohertyTommy Cloherty

Tommy took our Proofreading and Copy Editing course and is using his skills to help other writers by bringing them together in groups and publishing their writing. We felt that his work really deserved some recognition.

"I wanted to learn proofreading and copy editing as I'm changing my career at the end of the year. I'm going into writing and publishing (both my own and other people's work) as well as teaching creative writing at F.E Institutions.

"The course reminded me how much I'd forgotten! It made me revise my punctuation and grammar and it also helped me to build a client base.

"I have published a collection of poetry - It's a Word Thing - produced by a creative writing group I've been running in Tottenham. We had a launch in September and have sold around 200 copies to date, the proceeds from which go back into sustaining the group in the future. It's been published via Christian Bookcase.

"I've not been using my publishing for an income as the writing groups are run on a not-for-profit basis to benefit budding writers. However I was awarded £5,000 as a grant to facilitate groups, buy ISBN numbers, hold book launches etc.

"I have twelve books to publish for other people when I leave my job at the end of 2014."

 [more student stories]

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Sarah PlaterSarah Plater

Sarah persuaded her parents to buy her the Creative Writing course but only completed assignment one. She always felt guilty about not it taking further. But, it was only when she was moving house and found her course books again thatshe decided to give the course a real go. Though her passion was for fiction writing she followed our advice to complete the non-fiction part of her course first... she's never looked back.

"Sooner than I ever imagined, I had some small pieces published - reader's letters, captioned photos, that kind of thing. I was hooked - people really were willing to pay for my content, and there were opportunities everywhere.

"Within months, I upped my efforts and was rewarded with a small feature in That's Life, a regular column in a niche publication called FE First and my first article in Digital Photography Enthusiast, combining my love of writing with my passion for photography.

"Then the tide turned. I started getting briefs for commissioned articles. I had work published regularly in photography magazines, culminating in a front cover feature in November 2012. My confidence bloomed.

"With encouragement from my tutor, I pitched a proposal to some publishers for a photography book, to be co-authored with a full-time professional photographer.

"It took time and persistence, but in January 2014 I had offers from two different publishers and chose to sign with Ammonite Press, who had a reputation for producing high quality art and photography books.

Sarah Plater Book Cover"The dream ambition was fast becoming a fact. I worked harder than ever before, writing 40,000 words between January and April 2014, whilst also maintaining a full-time job.

"When my dad stood up for his speech at my wedding in May 2014, and proudly told the room that his daughter would soon be a published author - with a real book - I knew that my parents didn't regret buying me the Writers Bureau course. In fact it's been worth every penny.

"Foundation Portrait Photography was launched in November 2014, and is looking set to be published internationally, too. Before the first copy arrived back from the printer, Ammonite Press commissioned me to do a follow-up book, Mastering Portrait Photography, which will come out late next year.

"Ironically, I still haven't even started the fiction assignments. I have ideas for two more photography books I'd like to pursue, and am still burning to write my novel. I'm more determined than ever to keep going.

"But it's thanks to the Writers Bureau that I can now say, ‘I am an author'."


[more student stories]

Previous
Years:

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009


To celebrate the success and achievements of our students we are pleased to run our annual Writer of the Year Award. First prize is £250 and there are four equal runners-up prizes of £50 each.

We hope you enjoy reading about all of this year's winners. They each have a unique experience of developing their writing through the course, proving that The Writers Bureau home-study methods really are tailor-made to meet each individual's own ambitions.

If you are a student of The Writers Bureau and would like to enter this competition for 2016 please click here.

You could walk away with the first prize of
£250!

 
 
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