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Experience of distance learning writing courses? The Writers Bureau

(4 Posts)
internationalbeeboo Tue 26-Aug-08 06:56:34

I'm currently on parental leave til next year(I live in France). I'm considering a career-change and have been looking into distance learning courses in writing for children.
Does anyone have any experience of this sort of thing? I don't know what to look out for and how to compare different courses. I have received a brochure from Systematic Training & Trading referring to the Writers Bureau...has anyone heard of this? Is it a good reference?
Any tips & advice would be appreciated!

pinkdelight Wed 27-Aug-08 10:04:37

Don't know about that course in particular, but I would just say be careful as there are a lot of courses making a lot of money from people who want to be writers, and it's not really something a course can help you achieve, especially not as a career that pays the bills (am only just making okay £ after 10 years of building a career). Of course it can be helpful to be part of a group of writers and get feedback on your work, but this wouldn't happen in a distance learning course. I think you'd get just as much from getting a good book on the subject and just getting some writing done. That's the only way to know if you're any good at it and it doesn't cost a penny. If you really want to do a course, there are a few decent MA's out there that may be distant learning, but again it's pretty costly. Maybe you could think about doing a residential course (like the Arvon Foundation ones) to inspire you when you get time. But there's no substitute for just getting on with the writing. Good luck!

pinkdelight Wed 27-Aug-08 10:08:43

This is one of the distance learning MA's I've heard good things about and it seems to have a writing for children strand:

http://www.hlss.mmu.ac.uk/english/postgrad/course.php?id=10

Unlike the private courses, they don't talk about writing as a career choice or money-making venture, which is more realistic. But if it's something you're passionate about, you should get a lot out of it. Anyway, I'd better shut up and get some writing done...

scatterbrain Wed 27-Aug-08 10:13:08

Writer's Bureau is rubbish ime. My sil did it a few years back and whilst she enjoyed the course it didn't lead to anything at all - not sure how it could really ? I think they oversell themselves.

Better off just starting to write and get drafts off to publishers - but be ready for a lot of rejections - it is not a career for the easily put off !

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