Your nine-point check list to choosing the ‘write’ course for you

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Help picking a writing course that suits you, from the Writers Bureau

To help you pick a writing course that suits you, here are some of the things you need to think about before you enrol.

By Diana Nadin

  1. Are you self-motivated?
    To be a writer you need to have discipline and self-motivation if you are to succeed. The same goes for any course you sign-up to.

  2. Next, check review sites.
    You’re going to be sending a reasonable chunk of your hard-earned cash to the college, so you need to be sure that it’s reputable and not operating a scam.

  3. Make sure that you get a trial period.
    A reputable college will have a ‘cooling off’ period and will refund your fees if you do not want to proceed and return the material within the stated period.

  4. Ensure there is enough tutor feedback.
    This is a vital element of any course for writers - but especially with those studying at home. With the best courses you’ll be working with the same tutor for most of your assignments so a trusting tutor/student relationship can be built.

  1. Check that the tutors are qualified and are writing NOW.
    You don’t want people who used to write but have been retired for years. You need tutors who are familiar with current markets and current practice in the publishing industry.

  2. You need to be able to study and submit your assignments in the way that suits you best.
    So, if you like working online – check that’s what you’ll be doing. If you prefer printed booklets or submitting assignments by post then go for a college that offers that.

  3. Make sure the course allows enough time for you to enjoy it without feeling rushed or under pressure.
    And, check that it is flexible so you can build a timetable that suits you.

  4. Studying by yourself at home can be a bit lonely.
    So, it helps if the college has a thriving student community where you can chat to others and share experiences. Also essential is a Student Services team who can be contacted quickly if you need help with admin or have a problem you want to discuss.

  5. Finally, if you’re to get the best value from a course, you must be prepared to listen to advice.
    I don’t say you’ve got to take it – because at the end of the day, writing is a very subjective thing. But you’ve got to be receptive, willing to weigh the pros and cons, and then you can make an informed decision.

The Writers Bureau offers 15 different writing related home-study courses, offering everything mentioned above and more.

About Diana Nadin

Diana Nadin has been Director of Studies at The Writers Bureau (www.writersbureau.com) since it was launched over thirty years ago. She ensures that the courses are kept up-to-date; tutors provide helpful feedback to students and any questions you might ask are answered promptly and fully. You can read her weekly blog at: www.writersbureau.com/blog