"I joined the Creative Writing for Beginners course with trepidation. The prospect of exposing myself to the possible humiliation of someone else reading my work - and commenting on it - almost stopped me. However, thank goodness I was brave enough to go for it.
"I had no such doubts about joining the Constructing a Novel course. Completing it marked a turning point in my writing; within three months of joining the course I had completed the first draft of a major piece of fiction - a 130,000 word novel. By the end of the course I had a writing routine that is now so well established that it sees me through even the dark days.
"There is no question in my mind that the quality and sensitivity of the feedback on exercises from the course Tutor was invaluable. It contributed not only to learning, but built confidence - as did the support of fellow students on the forums. These interactions were held together by a well thought thorough backdrop of training materials and resources. Some of podcasts were real gems; for example, in one podcast established authors described their individual process and shared the wisdom that comes from doing, and in another in-house Editors provided information and tips on the publishing side of things. I found the discussions on finding an agent and the different ways to publication very interesting and helpful.
"The different elements of writing such as character, plot, and point of view were covered from different perspectives and in depth. In particular, I developed a much stronger understanding about the purity of writing in a character's point of view. From the models and tools offered I was able to select those that worked best for me - I created a robust plan for my novel and this totally freed me to write.
"The whole experience has provided strong foundations to build on, the confidence to keep going, and a network of fellow writers with whom to share the highs and lows."