Noel Gama has had a fantastic year with his writing which has culminated in a UK book deal.
Keith Gregson, England.
Keith was the Head of the History department at a large comprehensive school for 30 years. However, his ambition was to earn 50% of his living as a freelance writer and historian and 50% as a musician. This year, he is well on the way to achieving his goal.
Lorraine Mace, France.
Lorraine thought the course would help to develop her short story writing – but has found herself busy with writing success in all sorts of other markets too![read more]
Beate Allerton, Scotland.
Beate has made excellent progress through the course, using her love of photography to secure new commissions.[read more]
James Hendrie, Scotland.
James has been steady and systematic in his approach to the course allowing him to develop his writing as a very profitable hobby.[read more]
"Though a full-time HR professional, I needed an outlet for my creativity and looked around for one. I found The Writers Bureau and enrolled for the Comprehensive Writing Course.
The excellent feedback from my tutor gave me the confidence to query. I got article after article accepted in a fortnightly news magazine published in all the union territories of India, as well as one in Portugal, with not a single rejection to this day! Very soon, the Indian editor asked me to write a regular column.
By May 2006, I had come up with an ambitious Blog-to-Book project 'Saudades! Folk Memories of Damão'. This was launched by the Consul General of Portugal in June 2006. This not only got me press and television coverage but also turned me into an instant celebrity even before completing the book!
I was so excited about the immense potential of the Internet that I enrolled for yet another Writers Bureau course, 'Write for Profit Using the Internet' in July 2006. The course and the positive feedback from my tutor prompted me to start work on two 'How-To' e-Books – drawing on my two decades of experience in the HRM field – which will be released in March 2007.
In November, my employers appointed me as the chief of Corporate Communications in addition to my role as Chief of HR. My first assignment is to publish the inaugural issue of the company's newsletter in January 2007.
And, as if these events during the year were not enough, Survivor Books Limited in the UK offered me a deal for writing two non-fiction books totaling 200,000 words for their best-selling series. I just signed the agreement for the first, a 50,000-word book titled 'Culture Wise India' at £75 per 1000 words. The second book, scheduled for 2008, is called 'Living and Working in India'.
I am now in the process of starting my own publishing company, Noah's Mark Publishing, and will self-publish 'How-To' e-Books as well as experiment with POD for the Saudades series of historical romance novels set in the Indo-Portuguese era.
I thank The Writers Bureau for their excellence which has made all of this possible."
"For 2006 I've probably earned around £10,000 from my writing and I make about the same from my music related activities.
My tutor advised me to use my history expertise to write for niche markets. This advice was useful in giving me the confidence to go for them. Another valuable lesson was how to sell my writing – I was very naïve before the course and learned a lot about the necessary preparation for selling material.
Over the past year I've been published in over 16 different magazines including regular contributions to: 'My Weekly', 'BBC History', 'Your Family Tree', 'Ancestors', The Trinity Mirror Regional Press Group and Powdene Publishing.
I've also written three books: 'Tracing Ancestry in Nelson's Navy' published by the Federation of Family History Societies; 'Olympic Cricket' (about to be published) and 'North Country Ancestors' (a 60,000 word book on ancestry in the North Country) commissioned by Pen and Sword. I am also in the process of having one on Olympic History commissioned for 2008 and am discussing another on 'The British Sniper', emanating from an article I wrote.
I know that at least one friend has joined The Writers Bureau because of my enthusiasm. Thanks to you all."
"I enrolled on the course in February 2006 and the last ten months have been absolutely amazing! My writing ambition had always been focussed on fiction but I decided to stay open-minded and embarked on the non-fiction module.
Five months into the course and my first article was published, soon followed by others. My commissioned features to date are worth £3040, completely exceeding my expectations. My long-term goal now is to make a living as a full-time writer by the time the children leave home, if not before.
I have also re-discovered my love of photography and being able to offer images in support of feature outlines is a definite advantage. I'm sure that my shots of cakes and biscuits contributed greatly to being accepted when I was trying to break into the food market with an idea for 'Country Kitchen'. The editor of 'Camping' has also encouraged me to supply front cover shots in addition to features.
Having completed a third of the course I find myself busy with commissioned work, a head buzzing with new ideas, teaching myself to build a website and little time to get down to actual assignments. But I certainly would not want to stop. The most valuable lesson I have learned from the course is to always consider things I have not considered before.
Nothing beats that sense of achievement when seeing your own writing in print and even though I have not produced a bestseller or hundreds of articles (yet), with the help of the course I have begun to realise my lifetime ambition which seemed completely unimaginable this time last year."
"I started the comprehensive course purely to improve my chances of having fiction accepted by women's magazines. But, I found myself with a new career in a totally different direction as a monthly humour columnist, initially with 'Living France' and currently with 'Spanish Magazine'.
It would never have occurred to me to write humour had it not been one of the choices for an assignment. 'Living France' accepted the piece in question, which formed the basis for a good relationship with the editor, and culminated in her offering me the column.
At least one piece of work, in several cases two or three, has been published or placed in competitions from every assignment, resulting in earnings of thousands of pounds. These successes (in the USA, UK, France and Ireland) cover fiction, humour articles and photo features. I have written many articles for writing magazines and have judged two writing competitions. 'Top Tips To' commissioned two e-books, one on writing for children and the other on coping with menopause.
This year I have completed three children's novels, one of which was voted into the best sellers chart on a site sponsored by the Arts Council of England. A psychological thriller (begun as an assignment) has also just entered the best sellers chart on the same site.
I have been commissioned to write a book on tips for moving abroad (Public Eye Publications, in print early 2008).
Considering I only took the course to improve my short story writing the other achievements, in so many fields, have been a bonus and a source of income. I fully intend to complete the outstanding assignments – as soon as I can find the time in my busy writing life."
"Twenty one months of writing and I am still going strong. So far, I have been published in 25 different magazines and 14 national newspapers.
I work full time and would love to be in a position to write all the time. However, I now have a hobby which I thoroughly enjoy. The Writers Bureau have allowed me to develop a skill that I always felt that I had and enrolling with them was the best thing I have done in a long while.
I have reached the stage this year where I'm finding it really difficult to keep doing my assignments, as I'm having real publishing success. In the last four months I've had articles published in 'Destination France', 'Scottish Memories', 'Real Travel', 'Your Family Tree', and 'Practical Family History'.
Writing letters to newspapers has given me experience in writing and disciplined me to work to a weekly plan to ensure a regular income stream. I currently earn £70 – £100 a month from such letters and, since I started, I have earned a staggering £1500 from this work.
When writing my entry for last year's competition my desire for the future was to be able to write articles for magazines and to be published more in this area. I've worked hard on this during the year and was rewarded with my first article appearing in 'Destination France'. I'm approaching the £500 earnings mark for my articles.
My tutor has helped me to become more positive and philosophical in my writing. One of the beauties of my course is the support, encouragement and feedback of the tutors. This to me is priceless as I try to develop my writing skills.
The biggest help that I have received has been the challenge of completing the assignments. They have made me think, investigate and research many different areas of writing and have given me the confidence to write in many different genres. However, the best thing about this course is that there is no deadline to complete and no pressure – just guidance and encouragement. The advantage of that cannot be underestimated."
“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