v a shannon
I had been writing, in a very low-key way, for years when I enrolled on the Faber Academy writing course. How it came about was very odd; it really was the answer to a prayer. I had just started a new job with a financial services company, a horrible mistake as I had come to realise, being targeted by a group of mean girls and with a horrible boss. One evening, travelling home on the underground, it was all too much. I dreaded the thought of another day the same, and I literally closed my eyes and thought, 'please God, or Fate, or something, give me a sign! Help me change my life!' Just then, the chap sitting next to me stood up, leaving his newspaper on his seat. It was folded open at an advertisement for the Faber Academy writing course. And so I enrolled on it. And it was, indeed, the start of a life-changing process for me.
I never realised how much I wanted to be a “real” writer, until I looked the idea square in the face and made a conscious decision to do it. And I would never have done it, but for the encouragement I got on that writing course, both from my peers and from the tutors. But the thing about writing courses is that they are just the first step on a long journey. It wasn't until the course finished that I realised just how much I didn't know; and success certainly didn't come overnight!
It's taken me six years to go from my initial idea for the novel to publication. Partly because I had to combine writing with other things - earning a living, moving house, being knackered, drinking coffee martinis, having flu, going on holiday, visiting family, taking my cat to the vet - in general, having a life! But all the time I was also learning my craft, thanks in great part to the input I had from some of the UK's - and USA's - top agents and publishing houses who were generous with their time and advice.
Now I am excited to be able to share that hard-won knowledge, utilising my background in teaching, and my passion for writing. I hope that, in setting up my own writing course, new writers - from plot to publication, I can help other to change their lives and realise their own dreams of becoming published writers. new writers - from plot to publication - is designed to be affordable and flexible, accessible to those committed writers who have to juggle family, work and financial responsibilities as well. But most of all it is designed to be focused and professional, sociable, fun - and, ultimately, rewarding.