Writing Course Review - Getting Published from Writer's HQ

The lovely ladies at Writer's HQ offered me a place on their Getting Published course, and I had to say yes. Having attended a number of their writing retreats in Brighton, I knew this course would be well worth my time.

This course is well worth investing in if you're getting ready to query, but aren't quite sure how to put your package together. It's an excellent confidence booster, too. And it's great if you're like me and have been querying for a while but haven't broken through. Once you've been sending a book out for a while, it's easy to think you don't need to learn anything new about querying. It's so easy to get really complacent. Taking a course like this has definitely shaken me out of my lull. I've regained my motivation, learned a thing or two about putting together a clearer synopsis, and faced up to the fact that yes, actually, I do need to do more editing before I resume querying (SO MUCH EDITING). The course taught me patience.

The course is split over six weeks, with specific work assigned each week. You can break it down into manageable chunks. I tended to do it in the mornings before work, although sometimes it did have to wait for the weekend. The best part has to be the forums, where you can meet your fellow writers and work with them to improve your query, synopsis and opening 500 words. Writing can be such a lonely experience, so I loved having a dedicated forum to log into where I could discuss the ups and downs of submitting. Only other writers can really understand the trials and tribulations of the querying process. If you sign up for the course, you absolutely must make the most out of the forums. I think you're missing out if you don't join in the discussions and the opportunity to get feedback on your work. It can be such a scary step - posting your work on a forum for others to see, but it can be just the step you need if you're hesitant to begin querying. And the course has plenty of advice for those of you who are nervous to make that big step, and those of us who are WAY TOO IMPATIENT OMG READ MY BOOK AGENTS! REEEEEEEEEEEEEAD IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIT!

I found the style of the written content really refreshing. It was breezy, friendly, and made excellent use of gifs. When was the last time you got to take an online course with gifs? I've taken a lot of distance learning this year for a few new qualifications, and this course was so much livelier and easier to engage with. It felt like reading an excellent series of blog posts, complete with videos from agents and authors offering tips on the submission process, and their experiences of it. And it's not just for those of us looking at the traditional agent path to publishing. There's advice on self-publishing or finding alternate routes to publication, such as entering competitions or submitting to smaller, dedicated indie publishers.

Our tutor, Jo, was helpful and encouraging, and I never felt like I was bothering her. She offered constructive criticism and made suggestions about my query that I never ever would've considered putting in the cover letter. I think I've gotten so used to the idea that my query has to only be about the story itself, that I leave out a lot of information about the creation of the story that's really important.

The great thing about it all being online is you don't have to travel anywhere further than your own computer to do everything. Yes, Writers' HQ also runs retreats in my hometown, but I know how expensive travelling to writing retreats and events can get. And what with the trains still being on strike down here on the south coast, getting to and from London can be a nightmare. Doing it all online via a website and forums means its far more accessible. And it's not just this Getting Published course. Writers' HQ have a huge range on offer. Definitely worth checking out to see if they have something that could help your writing develop further.

This course would make a great Christmas or birthday gift for yourself or the writers in your life. You can buy gift certificates at Writers' HQ's shop. Now would be the perfect time to suggest it to all the people who don't know what to get you ;)

You can find Writers' HQ on Twitter. They're well worth following, no matter where you are in the world :D


  1. This sounds like so much fun! I completely forgot that WritersHQ offers online courses. Definitely something I'll need to look into down the line.

    1. You should! An online course fits in so nicely with other responsibilities :) Well worth investing in, and there's a huge range to choose from.


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