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Course recommendations
  • I'm looking to embark on a distance learning writing course and am currently looking at the Writers Bureau, mainly because I saw an ad on the back of the mag. The course synopsis seems to be just what I'm looking for. They use a lot of student testimonials, which all look good and check out, but I was hoping to hear from a few former students independently. Have you done either their Comprehensive Writing Course, or Writing Non-Fiction course? Would you recommend? I have just returned to part-time work and have a one year old baby. I like to think of myself as a very determined and self-disciplined person (I gained my MSc while working full-time, minus the baby!) and am committed to the idea of becoming a freelance writer, but will the time commitment be too much?

    Will really appreciate anyone getting in touch who can give me their feedback. Alternatively if you've done another similar course that you'd recommend...

    Many thanks
  • Hi Scampbell,

    I am a current CWC student. I can say I am liking it. I am finding it very challenging, but enjoying it at the same time. I have a 2 and a half year old girl and a 10 year old (who is being assessed for autism) and so life is hectic here too. The only commitment you need to make if you go for it (and want the money back guarantee) is that you finish in 4 years. However, if there are personal circumstances that warrant an extension, they do. You don't *have* to complete in 4 years, but you lose the money back guarantee if you take longer. I have found them to be very helpful, and there is a secret group on FB for enrolled students, and we all kick each other up the bum!

    I haven't done any other courses, so can't comment, but I cannot fault Writer's Bureau.
  • Thanks SneakyOregano, that's really encouraging to hear. Especially please about the four year thing, as I understood it was just two years. Hope it continues to go well for you. Perhaps I'll see you on that Facebook group if I decide to sign on the dotted line.

    Many thanks for taking the time to reply.
  • Always check the existing terms, Scampbell, as they may have changed for new applicants, while those who signed up under earlier terms may still have different time periods to complete in.
  • Thanks Carol. I'm going to give them a ring tomorrow so I'll check.
  • I made the course fees back within the first 5 assignments, so would recommend it. It's a great course if you want to get to grips with article writing and learn how to analyse markets and pitch etc.
  • That's really encouraging Karen. Thank you!
  • I signed up for this before they had the 4 year limit. That was in 2004 as a present to myself for passing one of my postgraduate exams! My main interest was in writing fiction, but they encourage you to start with non-fiction. I got to exercise 4 or 5. I've had a few things published from this, but then I started contributing regularly to a magazine column and writing anecdotes about myself seemed a lot easier than researching general interest articles. I think the course material is good. The quality of the tuition is so-so. I think it depends on who you get as a tutor. I must admit the feedback I have had all seems pretty generic. I do plan to return to this at some point, but my day job / academic work is taking priority at the moment.
  • Thanks Pebble, that's really helpful and encouraging that you're doing so well.
    Incidentally, I did contact them and they confirmed the course limit is now 2 years - introduced in Jan this year.
    Good luck!
  • To be honest, I'm not surprised, with people like me dragging it on until the end of time. At this rate, it's going to take me the next 30 years to get through it. I do want to reach the fiction part of the course though. Hopefully I will start a new job soon and finish my research project, which will leave me more time.
  • Good luck Pebble!