Caroline Foster has had incredible success since joining the course, with earnings for 2005/2006 of £12,000 from 25 hours per week.
Click below to read her full story and to see why we picked Caroline as our Writers Bureau Student Writer of the Year 2006.
Dawn Copeman, England.
Dawn's life has changed completely since enrolling on The Writers Bureau course and she has now set up a website that helps other new writers.[read more]
Peter Loftus, Ireland.
Peter has taken the lessons in the course and run with them, achieving success in a broad range of genres – and he still has his sights on new markets![read more]
Ameeta Sharma, India.[read more]
Cindy-Lou Dale, Belgium.
Cindy-Lou has made writing her life, and now hopes to realise a childhood ambition to be published in The National Geographic.[read more]
In spite of raising and looking after a family, and having to take a break for other commitments, she’s made great use of her time and contacts. And, even though she is a successful published writer, she still felt she wanted to improve. So Caroline made the time to study for her English GCSE exam at night school and surpassed all her expectations. Congratulations to Caroline on all her achievements and we wish her every success for the coming year.
"Since embarking on The Writers Bureau course I have had the most interesting writing career. I am on target for earnings of around £12,000 for the year, for roughly 25 hours per week. Being the mother and housewife to three energetic and rowdy boys, four if you count hubby, it is quite tough going.
Writing had taken a back seat in my life, but in December 2004 I decided to throw myself back into it again. I hoped the contacts I’d made in the past would stand me in good stead for the coming year – and that they did!
I was able to secure monthly commissions for Essex Life and Countryside Magazine, Herefordshire Life and Cambridgeshire Life. I am now a monthly contributor to Suffolk and Norfolk Life magazine and I have been contracted to write 80-90% of the editorial content for two seasonal titles.
I really wanted to write for Suffolk Magazine and Suffolk Journal. The former I have now contributed to almost every issue during the past six months and from the latter I have just received my first commission. Yippee!
And while on this merry roll, Countryman Magazine is due to publish a feature of mine in the New Year.
However, my greatest achievement this year was gaining an A* in my GCSE English exam. I only managed a CSE grade two while at school and was absolutely shocked when I realised I’d got the highest mark.
Other than getting my first novel published I don’t think there is much more that could top this year for me."
"I am a work-at-home writer, a columnist, author of twenty-six published articles and recently appointed managing editor of www.writing-world.com. I now have every intention of earning most of my income from writing and it is all thanks to The Writers Bureau.
At first I found the non-fiction assignments very, very hard but I persevered and with the help of my tutor and The Writers Bureau course books, I sold my first article in January 2005. Three months later I'd earned back my course fees from writing and got myself a regular column at this same magazine. In May I was made contributing editor and started having work assigned to me!
I was beginning to feel like a real writer and had to stop working on my Writers Bureau assignments as I had too much paying work to do. My proudest moment was in October when the editors of www.picturesofengland.com contacted me. They'd seen my work at www.timetravel-britain.com and wanted me to write some articles on Gloucestershire for them! This made a very pleasant change from composing query letters to editors.
I recently set up a website www.newbie-writers.com to help and support other new and beginning writers. It contains listings of sites useful to new writers, content to help them improve their craft, a list of useful resources and a forum where they can talk to other new writers. And in November, I was asked by Moira Allen to be the new managing editor of www.writing-world.com. So, I have gone from complete beginner to editing an online writing magazine in one year.
Over the next year I intend to increase the number of my published articles to one hundred. I also intend to start writing short stories and to enter these into writing competitions. I'm also training as a copywriter as another way of making money from writing.
I know that I would not be in this position today were it not for The Writers Bureau. I now tell everyone I meet that The Writers Bureau changed my life. I also tell them that if they've ever dreamt of being a writer it could change theirs too."
"It was 2002 when I enrolled for The Writers Bureau course. A rapport was quickly established with the tutor who was gentle yet firm, appreciative yet critical.
With trepidation, I found the courage to send an article and a short story, on spec, in the manner suggested by the Bureau’s relevant module. When the first acceptance arrived, I was convinced it was a fluke. But the regularity with which they were accepted was extremely encouraging. Before long one of the magazines asked me to do a column, then another and yet another. I now had the courage to dream big. I started thinking of newer markets, even planning and plotting a book.
Considering I sent out my very first short story to a magazine in January 2003, I am quite proud of the fact that I have managed to, since then, earn over Rs. 300,000 (£3,824) with almost 50% of that in the year 2005.
The future goal is definitely to see my book published within 2006. I am almost at the end of the first draft, which would need brutal pruning before I can even attempt to send it out to a publisher. It needs a lot of hard work but I have no reason to give myself any more excuses.
More importantly, I have found a point of personal satisfaction that cannot be measured in monetary terms. Due to my writing I have been able to meet international writers, including the enigmatic Umberto Eco, which was a highlight of 2005. Also, I was invited by Veronafierre to cover their four-day Wine and Olive Oil Trade exhibition in Verona, Italy and by the Diamond Trading Company to cover their three-day extravaganza in Venice.
That brings me more or less to the end of the list of my achievements so far. Of course that leaves the future dreams and the work that needs to be put in there. There are new magazines being launched at regular intervals and I am going from strength to strength."
"When I first started the course I had been writing for a few years. I had one publishing credit and a stack of rejection slips. I was pretty disillusioned with writing but I decided to sign up for the course, saying that if it got me published just once, it would be worth the money.
The modules that came with the course were fantastic. They rekindled my desire to write and be published. The assignments really tested me but within a few weeks I had written and submitted to magazines that I never would have dreamt of approaching before. The first article that I had written for an assignment came back from the tutor. I made the necessary corrections and sent it off. It was accepted.
I think what meant most to me was being taken seriously by editors. Knowing how to research a market and pitch an idea was the first of the many skills that I learned on the course.
Since I first started the course I have been published by the Big Issue, the British Science Fiction Association and an academic teaching magazine. I am now a regular reviewer for Interzone, and I'm really proud of my association with such an eminent publication. I have had a couple of stories printed on the Internet and a Cambridge publishers are considering my proposal for an original English Reader. A Dublin production company has started work on turning two of my stories into comic form and I was long-listed for The Aeon Short Story Award 2005.
At the moment, I am re-working the novel that I wrote two years ago. Now that I have the skills, I feel that I can do the story justice. My tutor has promised to put me in contact with an agent if she thinks I make the grade. You can imagine what an encouragement that is.
After that, I have plans for a TV sitcom, and at least seven novels. Plus I'm producing a self-published magazine based in a fantasy world.
"I joined The Writers Bureau to learn how to write and within the first few lessons I discovered that I enjoyed all writing – short stories, fiction, non-fiction, humour. I’ve written hard-hitting political articles, several erotica pieces and have interviewed a range of truly remarkable people. But my passion is travel writing. I’ve written innumerable travel articles and have several press trips planned for 2006.
There is not time to stop and catch my breath which, in a way, is a good thing as if I did I may be overwhelmed with what I’ve managed to achieve.
I found The Writers Bureau course truly inspirational. I pushed myself to work harder and faster and in only a few months I completed my training. Right from the start I could see success on the horizon, how quickly I reached it was up to me. I started my Writers Bureau course in May 2004, now 18 months down the line I am proud to say I have been published in more than 80 magazines, newspapers and e-zines around the world.
At first the money was lousy, then it shot up to a couple of hundred dollars per article, and soon I was earning a dollar a word. Last month I did a feature article for a motoring magazine, and two other features for a travel glossy (ranging from 1,500 to 2,000 words each). You do the math.
Where to next? Since childhood I’ve had a secret dream of writing an article about grizzly bears for National Geographic. Okay, okay, I know that is really huge but let’s be honest here, look what I’ve accomplished already. The Writers Bureau laid the foundation, my tutor nurtured and guided me and I now have several impressive writing clips to my name and perhaps the confidence to pull it off. So, guess where one of my press trips is taking me next year – a grizzly bear sanctuary in British Columbia."
And here are Cindy's tips for other would-be writers:
“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