A home writing course led to a new chapter . . .
AMBITIOUS Heather Burnside launched a successful career as an author after embarking on a creative writing course.
The 57- year- old from Manchester, studied with The Writers Bureau between 1999 and 2002 and has since had six books published.
Two decades later, Heather is still writing prolifically, with two more novels due to be published this year and a ninth next summer.
Heather, who has two grown-up children, says: ‘The skills I gained with The Writers Bureau have been invaluable. During my studies I learnt writing techniques that have stood me in good stead not only as an author, but also in my previous career as a copywriter.
‘In terms of fiction writing, I learnt many writing rules and techniques including viewpoint, creating atmosphere, building suspense, creating realistic characters, show don’t tell, writing good dialogue, outlines, pace, conflict, etc.’
The creative writing course also covered article writing, biographies, writing for trade magazines and journalism.
The diploma is completed on a homestudy basis so students can work at their own pace. Each student is allocated a personal tutor who gives feedback on their work. Heather, who wrote magazine articles during her course, says: ‘ The tutors encourage you to submit your work to publications so you can earn income while you are studying. I became inundated with work on the course.’
Heather eventually set up her own business, working as a copywriter and proofreader, while pursuing her true passion: writing novels.
She self-published her first gritty crime novel, Slur, along with a further two books.
She was spotted by a publisher, Aria fiction, and the books were republished as The Riverhill Trilogy. This was followed by The Manchester Trilogy. A further three books will be published from June onwards.
She says: ‘ Without the Writers Bureau I’d never have had the confidence to selfpublish. They taught me many valuable skills, which I put to good use each time I write. I’m lucky to be earning a living doing something I love, and it all started when I studied for my writing diploma with The Writers Bureau.’
For details on The Writers Bureau courses, log on to writersbureau.com. For more information about Heather, go to heatherburnside.com