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Student of The Year 2021

Teresa Gooda Writers Bureau's Student of the Year 2021


Considering the past 12 months have been a struggle for a lot of people, we have had a bumper crop of excellent entries to our annual award. We heard from students who only started their course recently and from those who completed a while ago. It’s great to see students using the skills they learnt with us, years after finishing their training.

Our winner this year is both a past student and current student. She enrolled on her second course with us just recently. One of the most wonderful things about writing - there are so many avenues to explore.

So, without keeping you in suspense any longer we have chosen Theresa Gooda to be our Student of the Year 2021. Since enrolling on the Comprehensive Creative Writing Course in 2007 Theresa has blended her writing with her teaching career. Over the years she’s had articles and short stories published, then in 2016 became a ghost writer. Only six months into her Poetry course she’s already had her first poems published.

All the stories of our winners are inspirational. Hopefully you'll enjoy reading them and be inspired to give your ambitions a chance to become reality. If you do, it could be you picking up the £250 first prize next year!

Susie Busby Signature


Read Theresa’s Story


And the runners up, in no particular order, are:

Simon Miller

Simon Miller

Because of his Creative Writing course, Simon was able to change career and is now much happier. Read more…

Claire Ezard

Claire Ezard

After brushing up on her proofreading and copy editing skills, Claire is now commanding £30 per hour for her services. Read more…

Prashi Sharma

Prachi Sharma

Prachi added copywriting to her portfolio of skills and is well on her way to becoming a financially independent business woman. Read more…

Gavin Grimshaw

Gavin Grimshaw

Gavin has gained confidence in his writing whilst working his way through the Creative Writing course. Read more…


Teresa Gooda Writers Bureau's Student of the Year 2021Winner – Theresa Gooda

Comprehensive Creative Writing Course



“I began my first Writers Bureau course (Comprehensive Creative Writing) in 2007. Having more than covered the course fees from published pieces I have never looked back. Initially my ambitions were to get going. I knew I wanted to be a writer, I just didn’t know how to go about it, or, if I’m honest, quite what I wanted to write. Since, I have gradually blended a teaching career with writing, first with articles and short stories, then increasing the writing commitment dramatically when I secured an agent in 2016 to ghostwrite a series of memoirs. This year I have undertaken The Art of Writing Poetry course to really hone my skills in what I now realise is a genre I love - and have already had my first poems published.

“What has helped most is the one-to-one tuition from an expert. The fact that my tutor is a well-established poet has given me assurance in the power of her feedback in this most subjective of arenas. I’ve always been shy about writing poetry – almost as if it was a guilty secret. This year I wrote more than ever as a way of surviving lockdown. The course has given me the confidence to bring it out into the open, to join a local writer’s group, and to read my work aloud – happy in the knowledge that it has been thoroughly critiqued. It was with The Writers Bureau that I launched my writing career and it continues to steer my writing directions. I plan to put together a poetry pamphlet in 2021. I have a collection now of around 20 poems ready for submission.

“Today I am the ghostwriter of a series of foster carer books (by foster carer Louise Allen) published by Trinity Mirror. The first, Stella’s Story, reached the top 250 in the TCM. Abby’s Story was published in August 2020, Eden’s Story is scheduled for January 2021, and one further title for later next year.

“My poem ‘On my Watch’ was highly commended in the Binstead Poetry Competition in 2020, and my pieces ‘Milk Woman’ and ‘2020 Vision’ were third and second respectively in the West Sussex Writers 2020 Non-fiction competition (both adapted from poetry).

“My earnings this year from writing have exceeded £9000. 2020 is my best writing year to date.”



Simon Miller

Runner-up – Simon Miller

Creative Writing Course



“After seeing an advert for The Writers Bureau, I was reminded of how I wanted to be a writer when I was much younger. When I started the course, all I hoped for was to get something I’d written made/published and was so surprised when, only a few months into the course, I was paid £100 for a short story that was included in an audio book (Big Finish’s Doctor Who: Short Trips Volume 3).

“The course gave me confidence in my writing, and I rediscovered my love of writing humour. I’ve also changed my career and am now so much happier as a technical writer, writing documentation and Help Guides for CELCAT’s many software products.

“In October this year, I found a writing partner and working together we’ve already had a lot of success writing sketches. BBC Radio 4 Extra recorded a sketch of ours which, unfortunately, was cut from the broadcast episode of Newsjack, but we’ve had three sketches used by The NewsRevue Podcast and seven sketches broadcast on Latest TV’s topical comedy show, The Treason TV Show. We’re looking to build on that success in 2021 having been invited to write for a pilot for new TV show also to be broadcast on Latest TV.”



Claire EzardRunner-up – Claire Ezard

Proofreading and Copy Editing Course


“When I decided to register on the Proofreading and Copy Editing course, my ambitions were to refresh and enhance my proofreading skills, and learn the skills necessary to become a successful copy editor. My ultimate goal was – and is – to work as a freelance copy editor and proofreader in the publishing world, and especially in the education press, alongside my teaching.

“The course has greatly improved and refreshed my grammatical knowledge, which has hugely benefitted my teaching, especially in terms of planning lessons, writing, copy editing and proofreading. It has also sharpened my attention to detail.

“As well as teaching English part-time, (I am a qualified teacher), I am currently contracted on a freelance basis to copy edit and proofread GCSE English Literature revision guides for a company called Learnlock Ltd. This has resulted in me now rewriting these revision guides. I am able to rewrite much of the content because I have taught many of the texts at KS3 and GCSE. There is still though some copy editing and proofreading involved.

“For the contract, I was able to set my own professional fee; and on the basis of my QTS – i.e. bringing my teaching expertise and subject knowledge to the project, as well as my copy editing and proofreading skills - I am earning £30.00 per hour.”



Prachi SharmaRunner-up – Prachi Sharma (author name: PS Tavishi)

Complete Copywriting Course


“I have worked as a freelance writer before, though copywriting is a completely different subject. A mixture of writing, market research, and marketing strategy, copywriting exists many levels above what I used to do as a writer.

“In 2013, I began working as a freelance writer, but my progress wasn’t satisfactory so I decided to quit until I found The Writers Bureau. The writing assignments, alone, were thoughtfully designed. Each and every assignment urged me to think outside the box and research about the topic.

“The course helped me to look at words from a completely different perspective. It also affected my mind as a designer and web developer. I carry out projects with a different vision now. My goal has always been to become a successful self-employed professional and eventually a businesswoman.

“The Writers Bureau has given me an edge to make this a reality. I can design and develop websites as well as write web content all by myself now. This is challenging yet highly rewarding. Within just 4 months of starting the course, I received my first gig and have been receiving new offers since then.

“I have worked with the following companies: Gurukul Shastriya Sansthan, Beauty Front Magazine, Meerut Magazine, Panchsheel Fashion Center and E-Bee Pvt Ltd.

“Including the revenue from my blogs ($6625 = £ 4948), I have earned a total of £7,469.”

Prachi writers under her pen name PS Tavishi. You can find her website here:



Gavin GrimshawRunner-up – Gavin Grimshaw

Short Creative Writing Course



“For once in my life, I wanted to achieve something to be proud of and completing this course is helping me do that. For one of my assignments, I wrote part of my autobiography which I entered into a writing competition. It was picked as the favourite by the judges, authors David Nolan and Joseph Knox. David also sent me a signed copy of one of his novels.

“I’ve had a couple of poems published by Inside Time Newspaper with the latest coming top out of everyone throughout the UK prison system. I was really proud of that. I received £25 and a designer card.

“I think this course has given me a lot more confidence when I’m writing and it shows in my work. I am now working on two novels. Being in prison is restricting my progress as I don’t have access to computers or other resources so I’m writing everything by hand. When I get released, I’ll have two novels to type.”














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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 2022 please click here.

You could walk away with the first prize of

We’re operating as normal in these unusual times.

So don’t worry about your studies. All our tutors work from home and we’re set up for HQ staff to work remotely.  You’ll still be able to contact us if you need to. All you have to do is stay healthy and keep your brain active by studying your course.

Institute of Training and Occupational Learning

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