Sally Quilford has posted a blog today: Anti-Conning Writers Day. I'm doing my bit to spread the word.
I've been lucky not to be conned - yet. I did sign up with the Writer's Bureau in 2009, and before I did so, I did ask the opinion of others. To be honest, the fees for the Comprehensive Writing Course were affordable, and I could pay by monthly direct debit. They even give the guarantee that if you don't make any money in writing by the time you finish the course, they'll refund the course fees. They also reassured me that if I didn't have a writing bone in my body they would tell me, and I'd be able to cancel the course, and be refunded. Admittedly they haven't told me that, in fact I had a very reassuring email from my tutor before Christmas, which occasionally I read, to remind myself I need more confidence in me!
To be honest, I've got quite a lot from this course already, even though I haven't sold anything yet, that I doubt I'd go through the hassle of trying to my fees back! I haven't finished the course yet... so there is still time for me to sell something! But it's opened my eyes on how to approach publishers, magazine editors etc. which is what I needed. It also covered Vanity Press in the early modules.
Unfortunately in life, there is always someone trying to make money out of innocent people. If it's too good to be true, it probably is. Nothing in life is free. And unless entering a competition, I want the editor to pay me for my writing, not the other way around. So I know I've got to work harder at it...