How We Train Writers
How do our courses work?
Once you have decided on a course, and have enrolled and registered for the course on our website, you can start your course straight away. We will send you the course notes via email and link you up with your tutor.
Our courses are practical, writing-intensive and industry-based. Our aim is that you walk away with a finished product that is up to industry standards and can be sold or published.
The admin team is available to help or offer advice at any point, from your first encounter with our writing school to your graduation from your course. Your tutor is also available at any time during the week to answer your queries or mark your assignments.
How do you work with your tutor?
We work online via email correspondence. Once your application has been accepted and you have paid for your course, your first module will be emailed to you.
A module consists of course notes, examples and assignments you need to complete. You will also receive an email from your tutor welcoming you to the course.
If you have any questions pertaining to your course, please ask your tutor. This could range from clarifying a particular point in the course notes to understanding a task in the assignments. Tutors encourage students to engage with them and are happy to share their advice and opinions with you.
Once you have completed the first assignment, you should send it directly to your tutor. You will then receive the next module from your tutor and, shortly afterwards, marks and feedback on the work you have done. The course progresses in this manner until you have completed all the modules. You will soon find that you develop a comfortable working relationship with your tutor.
How are we different from other online writing schools or community writing classes?
You may have noticed that our website doesn’t have a lot of bells and whistles or flashy ads. We don’t sell gimmicks like ‘write your novel in 14 days’ or ‘write a bestseller and grow rich’. This is because being a writer is almost never a get-rich-quick scheme. On the contrary, it can be hard work!
We don’t offer classes with general feedback or, even less effective, feedback from your classmates. What we provide is an old-fashioned writing apprenticeship: working under a master in the field as you craft your writing line by line.
Many of our tutors run MA programmes in creative writing or journalism at various universities around the world. At our college, you can train under superb tutors for a fraction of the cost of a university degree.
How are assignments sent and received?
Work is sent to you either as a Microsoft Word file or as an Adobe PDF file. These can be viewed on any computer system, including Mac OS X, Windows 7, XP or Vista. You will, of course, need Adobe’s Acrobat Reader for PDFs and Microsoft Word for documents. Some courses require you to log in to the Student Centre on our website and download audio clips. These are in mp3 format, which is supported by most software.
When sending assignments to your tutor, we recommend the .doc or .docx format. This is probably the most commonly used format in the world and the format that all our tutors are able to open. It also allows your tutor to add comments or corrections where appropriate. If you don’t have MS Word, then any plain text editor will be fine, for example, Notepad.
Just a word to Mac users: if you use a native product on Mac, please make sure you save it in a format that can be read by your tutor. Purchasing Word for Mac is a great idea for compatibility in the industry, but anything will do as long as your tutor can read it. If you need any technical assistance, please contact admin.
What if you need an extension?
All our courses are designed to be completed within a time frame that suits individuals who are employed full-time. However, there are some instances (i.e. a crisis) where you may need to stop your studies for a period of time or where you need an extension. We understand that life happens, and we want to see you successfully complete your course. There are several options available.
A formal break from the course:
Should you need to stop studying for a period of time, you need to let your tutor as well as admin know. We will then freeze your course for up to six months and await your instruction before we restart it. The duration of the break needs to be reasonable for the purposes of course continuity. For example, a few weeks to a few months would be fine. For longer periods, your tuition may become too fragmented, and the successful completion of the course will be compromised. All extensions are subject to tutor approval and availability.
If you need an extension:
All requests for extensions must be made to the college principal, and you will need to state a reason. A note will be placed on your student record, and we will ask you to commit to a new deadline. Please note that we only grant extensions in certain circumstances and that receiving an extension on a deadline-driven journalism course, for instance, is rare. Depending on the reason given, you may or may not be awarded a certificate as you will have gone over the time allocation. We will allow you to continue your course until completed, provided your tutor is still available. We will also liaise with your tutor before we grant the extension.
What if you feel you have chosen the wrong course?
During the application process, we get a good idea of your suitability for the course you have chosen. If we feel there is an alternative course that will serve you better, we will always recommend that you consider that course before we approve your choice. We provide plenty of detail on each of our courses online so that you can make an educated choice as to which course will suit you best. If you want advice before you apply, just ask us. We have a lot of experience in determining your needs as a writer and finding the most suitable course for you.
If you do embark on a course and find that it is the wrong choice, then we will happily transfer you to another course, as long as it is early on in the course (i.e. within the first module). If you change your mind later on in the course, we will charge you pro rata for the modules you have completed as well as an administrative fee.