"I started writing because I wanted to do something life-affirming that was purely for me! I joined the Creative Writing for Beginners course just out of interest and to develop my skills. I enjoyed the course so much that when the Constructing a Novel course was launched the following year, I enrolled for that too.
"I enjoyed both courses: I found them challenging (in a good way) and my skills improved greatly as a result. I was impressed by the amount of course content, the videos and articles. I thought both courses were structured very well, focusing on different issues or aspects of writing each week. I found the interaction with other people on the course incredibly useful and confidence-boosting. Having not studied for several years, I was quite nervous about posting comments and sharing work at first, but it was such a lovely group that I soon lost these nerves.
"Barbara was a great Tutor. She always responded quickly to questions or when I posted work to her and gave very good, constructive comments. A few times, when I was suffering from ego-induced lapses in confidence (!) she bolstered my ego and kept me going. I suspect she put in more hours than she was asked to and genuinely seemed keen to encourage people in their writing.
"For any aspiring writers who might want to take part in the course in the future, I’d say Go for it! Don't worry if you don't have much previous experience of writing or if it's a long time since you studied; it's a friendly and non-judgemental environment and the fact that the course is on-line means that you can study at your own pace and when convenient to you. You'll be amazed at what you can achieve.
"I am still writing now, but have switched mainly to poetry. Of course, I may return to prose at some point in the future - maybe when I have more time. The skills I learnt on the two courses though, remain with me and hopefully improve the poetry I write."