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Anyone done a writing course by mail?

(9 Posts)
spots Sun 19-Jun-05 22:22:21

My DH has got hold of a prospectus from one of these writing courses that you see advertised in the paper. It looks a bit cheap and offers 'hard cash' if you don't cover the fees in income within a month of 'graduating'. I am naturally suspicious/bit scornful but has anyone anything good to say about similar courses? If so, which ones?

spots Mon 20-Jun-05 10:26:40

monday bump!

yoyo Mon 20-Jun-05 10:40:45

Is this the Manchester one? Many years ago a neighbour did this and asked me to check her work. The standard of the course was very low. She would have been better off doing creative writing at evening classes. She didn't finish the course and never did get anything published.

spots Mon 20-Jun-05 10:58:21

Thanks yoyo; yes it is Manchester based. I am not that surprised to hear that the standard of the course is low; they throw their doors so wide open and shout so loud I imagine people like your neighbour make them very happy!

DH has already done a bit of evening class type stuff but being at home would suit him better. I wondered if there was an online forum for people wanting to develop writing skills?

yoyo Mon 20-Jun-05 11:36:49

I don't know of a forum but I'm sure someone will respond if one exists. There are quite a few writers on MN who may be able to offer some advice. Perhaps you could start another thread like "Published writers - help needed please".
Does your DH want to make a living from this? Novels, journalism - what is his area of interest?

spots Mon 20-Jun-05 12:36:23

Yes maybe another thread is a good way forward. DH is good at the sort of plain english, publications type writing required in his job and I think would just like to explore the field a bit with an eye to extra income if possible. He has mentioned copywriting in the past, and in his heart of hearts would love to venture into journalism, but it's just for interest's sake initially! Thanks for responding, yoyo.

GeorginaA Mon 20-Jun-05 16:24:56

I did one - creative writing course - can't think of the name of it now, but if you mentioned the course I'd probably go "yeah, that's them!"

TBH, I quite liked it (my tutor was really helpful) but I outgrew it fairly quick and didn't finish it. (In fact, didn't get much beyond the first few units). The information the folders contains, although it looks amazing, is not much better than you'd get if you bought the writer's yearbook every year and bought a couple of really good books on writing, then joined a good online writer's group.

The REALLY important thing about writing is to keep at it. You actually physically have to SIT DOWN AND WRITE - I know that's fairly obvious, but I know so many people (myself included) who will (or want, in my case - can't afford most!) go on course after course, but can't see that the thing that's holding them back is the daily grind of sitting down and actually writing SOMETHING even if it's pure rubbish.

spots Mon 20-Jun-05 20:39:26

Thanks Georgina... have shown this to DH... very pertinent points!

GeorginaA Mon 20-Jun-05 21:11:03

spots - if you want some good recommendations on books on writing, it's worth starting a thread on the Creative Writing board on this site - I'm sure loads of people all have their favourites!

I'm a big fan of Anne Lamott's Bird by Bird - a very bums on seats approach to writing, written humorously and I quite often dip back in to re-ignite some passion for writing! The bit I like best is her "shitty first draft" theory, and it's really held true for me!

Then again, I haven't got anything published yet either, so maybe I'm not the best person for advice, lol ;)

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