See what some of our students say about their writing course:
Hello Gilda. I hope you remember me. I just wanted to let you and Francie know that I'm still writing and have an article in today's Globe and Mail, in the Facts & Arguments section. I'm on this year's Community Editorial Board for the Kingston Whig Standard plus write occasional articles for publication. Also—my best project—I have written the web column, The Cartoonists on www.suite101.com for the past 4 1/2 years.
Surprise Visit by Steve Bell
Steve is a student of Joyce White's and stopped by for a coffee and to let us know how well his assignments are going. He's just started work on a new book.
"The course has been extremely helpful. I did have an idea what I wanted to pursue when I joined the course but had no clue that the world of writing was so vast. The tutorials have been very thorough in explaining the various markets and the best thing in the course is having a Tutor.
"I have had so many teachers in school, colleges, post graduation but I have never had an understanding, patient and caring teacher/mentor in my life. My tutor, Joyce White is an exceptional person who is always there anytime I need her. She never lets me feel that there is a time difference between India and Canada. Her patience and tolerance has really made the biggest impact in my performance."
Visit by Anne Lofting
Student Anne Lofting came in to the school office for lunch and to proudly show us her portfolio of published work.
"I just felt like telling you how much I LOVE this writing course. Francie is so wise and helpful. I mailed unit 5 to her yesterday. I had to put things aside for a time, work, family, having a teen.... I'm back now though and I look forward to excelling. I find this course is an excellent excuse to spend time writing!"
"I cannot thank you all enough for your help, support, advice, and encouragement. The writing school is by far the best around and I am thankful that I studied through you. I met a few obstacles along the way but, with all of your help, I came out the other side with many lessons learned (and a better writer as well!) Thanks for everything."
"I have finally completed my course in creative writing! When I started it, one of the final reassurances that convinced me to sign up was your 100% money-back guarantee if I didn't earn the amount I spent for the course. Well, I am extremely pleased to say that I have earned many, many times the amount I spent for your course. I have weekly features (not just a column!) in the Saskatoon Star-Phoenix, and have been published from coast to coast. I even have the wonderful luck of having papers and magazines calling me for stories, which I never even dreamed would happen for years. I am very glad I chose Quality of Course. Thank You very much!"
"Just reporting on another milestone success in my exciting writing career. I submitted an essay entitled 'My Numerous Stabs at French' to Macleans for their Over to You column. I received the following reply within 24 hours!"
Dear Ms Lofting,
Thank you very much for your 'Over to You' submission. I'm pleased to tell you that we would be delighted to run your article. I don't have a date for it just yet, but I'll let you know as soon as I've figured that out. In the meantime, is there a fax number where we can send you a copy of our rights form that spells out what we're buying? Also, at some point, someone from our photo department will be in touch with you to arrange for a head shot.
"Would you mind forwarding this message to my tutor, Michael Crawley? Thanks so much!"
"Hi Alex. Thanks so much! I'll let you know how things turn out; your future students may be interested. By the way, since taking your course, I've had the opportunity to publish in large publications such as the Western Producer, have a regular column in the Saskatoon Star Pheonix, and work contract as a technical writer. How's that for results from the course? So glad I took it!"
"When the last of our four children left home I decided to launch into a new career. As long as I can remember I have wanted to be a writer. It was 'now or never'. You can imagine how thrilled I was when a few weeks ago I received notice that I had sold my first story. It's hard to believe I'm actually getting paid $500 for writing a thousand words! I could never have accomplished this without Quality of Course and my tutor, Michael Crawley. Thank you so much. This proves it's never too late to make dreams come true."
—Sharon R. Mierke
"I'm sure you enjoy hearing stories from former students. It's certainly a tribute to the fact you have an excellent program and the tutors you choose care about their students. On June 15, at the Writer's Federation of Novia Scotia's annual general meeting, I was accepted into the Writer's Council."
—J. Paul Cooper
"I was unable to attend your seminar at our writer's group (Ottawa Independent Writers). For this I am truly sorry. I hear it was a great presentation and very valuable to many of our members. As a matter of fact, our president Bill Horne boasted using many of your suggestions in landing several article contracts. I thank you for your receptiveness and hope we may schedule another such class in the future."
"I just wanted to say I have my first article published. It's in the Weekly Journal in Orleans. It only pays $40 but I'm on cloud nine! I am also starting work on a second article okayed by the editor. This is awesome."
—Elaine Lindsay, Student
"Last summer I wrote a sports article for two local weekly papers. One was 100 words in length and the other was 200 words. It was apparently pretty popular because both papers asked me to write it again this year and both papers are giving me 300 words of space."
—Jenn Van Massenhoven, Student
"It's been an adventure. One that I strongly recommend to anyone dreaming of writing either for fun or money. It's been a pleasure working with Michael Crawley. He knows when to be brutally sincere and when to be a sympathetic and supportive mentor. I've enjoyed every minute of my two-year writing odyssey. Thank you."
—Lynn Carroll, Student
"It's been a long journey of hard work, tears, and laughter, but I finally did it. The Patriarch was rewritten under a new title: Seeds of Corruption. Thanks to your presentation last month, I met George Laidlaw who had sold two books. I took a note of the publisher's website, fired of a query that very day, and at 9:00 am on Monday, I received a reply: 'send the manuscript!' I did, and yesterday when I got home from the press oiw meeting at city hall, a letter of acceptance and a contract were waiting for me. And the best this is I get paid in us dollars! FYI, they deal a lot with new writers, especially those without an agent."
"I enjoyed every aspect of the course. The fact that my tutor was chosen for me on the basis of may rather lengthy self-profile contributed greatly to my success. Her helpful and encouraging critique on each assignment became more and more like two friends talking to each other, than simply tutor to student."
—Elizabeth Wyatt, Student
"Please accept my thanks for your thoughtfulness and generosity during my study time. I seemed to have disaster after disaster and your kind words helped me through the difficult days.
"I would like to send thanks to my wonderful tutor, Francie Thompson. She led me through the lessons, inspiring confidence in my newly learned skills. Her advice has been invaluable in the searching of markets and the persistence of getting published. Her friendly words of encouragement were essential to this unsure writer.
"With Francie's guidance, I have been published in local newspapers, several websites, the Globe and Mail newspaper, and had a feature article in Structured Cabling Magazine. I also have a continuing bi-weekly column on www.suite101.com, entitled "The Cartoonists". Thanks to Francie, I have completed a mystery novel manuscript, In a small Box of Chocolate, and a children's book. That's a lot of reading for one tutor!
"The personalized assignments are an exceptional springboard into the competitive world of writing. I cannot thank you enough for your dynamic course. I have learned so much about the craft of taking words, like rough clay, and forming them, word by word, sentence by sentence, into something that has a sense of feeling and meaning."
"When I started the writing course nine years ago I had no idea how far my new career would take me. With blind faith, relentless effort and continuous help and encouragement from my tutor, Michael Crawley, and from director, Alex Myers, I look back over those years with much gratitude to you. Writing has been a life altering activity. It has given me a whole other education, many thrills and new challenges. I love thinking of new ideas, researching them, talking to experts which have included government ministers, politicians, judges, doctors and university professors, and seeing the final results in print. It has truly enriched my life! Thank you for sticking with me!"
"I knew that I possessed raw writing talent but I lacked the knowledge to present my work in a professional manner and I needed guidance and instruction. In the space of a few months I have gone from unpublished to the proud author of three articles that an editor requested of me. Mr. Mirolla has proved to be an excellent instructor. He is encouraging yet truthful with his guidance. I am well satisfied."
—Kathleen Y. Rattigan, Quebec
"I am so grateful to The Writing School for getting me started on my writing career. It has been an interesting one—from writing speeches and scripts for the former Deputy Prime Minister, the Right Honourable Herb Gray, to being a runner up in two short story contests, and receiving development funding to write a screenplay. Keep your fingers crossed—I am currently writing my first historical novel, Secrets of Qumran. It is tremendously fulfilling to earn a living as a writer. Big thanks to you, Alex, and your professional team at The Writing School for helping me to achieve this lifelong goal. The lessons and direction from the tutors provided the focus I needed to become a serious writer. And to think, it all began when I responded to your newspaper ad!"
—Beverley Young, Ontario
"Backhome has sent the cheques and copies. Our World has published and paid for two articles and will accept more if I ever get them written,Tirade is still threatening to use at least six articles, and I have a short story at Zoetrop: All Story under consideration. When I get something written, it seems to find a home. Thanks again for your excellent course and helpful and positive comments. I will get some more lessons in soon."
—Terry Schultz, Alberta
"I produced Blood Runs Deep as my 'project' in the novel writing course. I'd written novels before, but nothing that was publishable. With the one-on-one guidance of my tutor (Michael Crawley) and the excellent course materials, I was able to break through and become a published novelist. I would encourage any would-be novelist to consider the course. It really helped me."
—R. Scott Mackey, California
"I graduated from your program and it's paid off many, many times over and I'm now making a good living from my writing. As a matter of fact, I'm teaching a workshop on freelancing at an upcoming writing conference where I'm planning to mention The Writing School as one of my stepping stones."
—Roxanne Willems Snopek, British Columbia
"Things are exciting here, the book sales are going really well. Indigo is looking to put Alpine Dove in all their stores across the country. There's been so much interest that sales of my first book A Place for Troy have really picked up too. Many people ask me about Quality of Course and I always take time to speak to them. It is the only way I can thank you for all you have done for me. I am off to Rimbey this month. The publisher of the Horizon has asked me to send more articles and says that since I am one of his regular contributors, he is going to set up contacts for book and guest appearances there. When I started my course I would never have dreamt all this could happen to me. It has been wonderful."
—Judy Crawford, Alberta
"Thanks to my course, I've now been appointed the manager for travel writing at suite101.com. I'm having so much fun with it all. If you'd like to see what I'm doing with my Canadian Tourism, Culture, and Travel topic, see here: www.suite101.com/welcome.cfm/5086. This has opened such doors for me. If you have writers who would like to make a few dollars a month and receive some writing credits, pass my email address along. It's a great opportunity for new writers. I'll forward some of my new articles to you soon. Best Regards."
"Please find enclosed my two articles that have been published in the Home Hardware magazine Home at Home. I appreciate being given the opportunity to 'showcase' some of my work. I am particularly grateful for the advice and guidance that I received from my tutors Marie Bourgeois and Francie Thompson during my enrollment in the course. Before coming to Quality of Course I knew something of the 'art' of writing but nothing of the 'science', i.e. the business. With the help of my tutors I have learned how and where to market my work. Many thanks again for your interest in my work and for the school's assistance in enabling me to become a published writer."
—Sandra Walton, British Columbia
"I began my course eight months ago and have learned so much. I decided to get down to the business of marketing—in other words, put my nerves on hold and go for broke. One week after sending out my article on Cape Ann, Massachusetts, I received email from Fifty-Five Plus informing me that they are including it in either their spring or summer issue. 'Thrilled' is not the word to describe how I felt. 'Stunned' is more like it. Can you imagine? This is the stuff of dreams—to be accepted on your first foray into the scary publishing world. I want to personally thank you and my tutor, Eunice Johnston, for your friendly advice, great attitude, and unwavering encouragement."
—Tina Ivany, Ontario
"I am extremely delighted with the creative writing course. Everyone has been very supportive. A special thank you to my tutor Michael Mirolla who turned my dream of being a published writer into a reality. I had no idea which path I should take, but Michael helped inspire a creativity and imagination that I didn't know I had."
—Debi van de Wiel, Nova Scotia
"I am delighted with the school! All the people are supportive, course materials are superb and my tutor is a published writer who responds to each of my assignments with professional insight and advice. I have just sold a feature article to Canadian Living Magazine. The money was great and the personal gratification tremendous. The school has turned my dream into reality."
—Lorraine Thompson, Ontario
"I am a student of the writing program. I am happy to say that an article I submitted to the Globe & Mail is being accepted. They faxed a contract yesterday."
—Barbara McAdorey, Germany
"The course is wonderful! It is so informative, covering all the bases of writing. I have already learned so much. My tutor is so kind. Her ideas have been really helpful. I love the fact that I have a personal tutor to advise and direct me. This is a great opportunity to make the most of the skills that one has."
—Judi Neufeld, Ontario
"I've landed a job on the net! I applied for the job on BellaOnline, an upcoming web magazine. I'll be the host for the Sports and Fitness site, concentrating on walking."
—Gisele Wright, British Columbia
"My article finally appeared on the web! If you surf to noahsays.com and type in 'what is white chocolate?' then click on the title, my story will come up. I hope to have several more articles on noahsays.com in the future. Thank you so much."
—Susie McLeod, Saskatchewan
"I started as a complete novice yet I already have one book published (Parachutes through Cormorant Books) and am half-way through a second. My excellent tutor puts in a great deal of time reading and critiquing my manuscripts. His encouragement and enthusiasm spurred me to write things that still surprise me. My heartfelt thanks for bringing me so far so quickly."
—Marianne Middleveen, Alberta
"...Not even half way through and I've got a regular source of income as well as making back my course fees...What a deal!"
—Robert Belisle, Quebec
"The encouragement was outstanding and you were right. After only fourteen months into my course my first article was published and I got $600.00 for it. A few small articles and I had my fee back."
—Reine Berns, Manitoba
"I wanted a course that allowed me to decide how much time I could spend on it, what was important for me to learn, and the areas of writing I wanted to focus on. With Quality of Course, I am very satisfied with the way things are going. I can't believe how much progress I have made. I am introduced to different genres of writing—which is important—but I am not required to write anything that does not interest me. I have numerous pieces in print, and I am constantly writing. I am taking some time off from my full-time job just to fulfill my obligations to two magazines, Homemaker's and The Navigator. Financially, it will be well worth it!"
—Jeanette Winsor, New Brunswick
"I am enclosing a copy of my story, which was published in the magazine True Love. I have received payment of $145.00. Also, find enclosed a copy of 'Falling Feet First' which True Love will be publishing in January. I wanted you to know how much I appreciate the support given by my tutor, Joan, and by your office staff who have been exceptional in their responsiveness to any concerns I've expressed."
—Janice Ruppenthal, Ontario
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