Friday, 25 March 2011

Anti-Conning Writers Day

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...


  1. Good piece. It's always good to know what you're getting into before you do.

  2. Thanks for the link, Teresa. And it's good to hear about the genuinely helpful writing services out there.

    I do wonder (as a side note) what criteria you'd have to prove to get your money back. I imagine they'd expect you to have proof you subbed a lot of work to various markets and received a lot of rejections. Because unless people send stuff out then they don't have a cat in hell's chance of getting published. Not that I'm saying that about you, Teresa!

  3. Yes, Sally, we are to retain our rejections in order to prove we've been submitting etc.

    And I do realise I need to send stuff out to have any hope in being published, and it's not happening! But yes, that's not down to WB and to be honest, like I said, they've been great in just giving me confidence. They've been worth their fees, getting me into stuff I would never have thought about. I have had TWO letters published and a couple of things in Practical Parenting, and an article in The Weston Mercury. All unpaid, but published ;-)


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