Where can I get the best writing education for my buck?

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  1. mcbel profile image66
    mcbelposted 9 years ago

    Where can I get the best writing education for my buck?

    It's decided. I'm going to do it. Though my nose is still pinched tightly shut in fear of drowning in the cold water, I've made my decision to jump for it. For my entire life I've enjoyed nothing more than writing in it's many forms. I wrote columns for my high school paper, and short stories to hand out to friends between classes. After spending a year at a high priced pre-med school and getting an authoritative slap and finger-wave that said "this just isn't for you, man!" I'm taking my next paycheck to find the best (and also affordable) education in writing that I can find. But WHERE?

  2. KarenCreftor profile image84
    KarenCreftorposted 9 years ago

    Online and books.

    I find a lot of courses misleading or missing something. Make Google your best friend and particularly forums for writers are a great place for learning resources.

    Also learn by doing! Set up a blog and write. It's remarkable how much you will learn just from making writing a part of your everyday life. If you're not sure on how to set up a blog follow the link on my profile for easy tutorials smile

    Good luck on your writing career and hope this helps!

  3. cam8510 profile image93
    cam8510posted 9 years ago

    Great question,  mcbel.  From my own experience I have found that reading the great authors in the form and genre you write in is irreplaceable.  Beyond that, write something every day.  Joining a forum where other writers can constructively critique your work is extremely helpful.   Good luck to you.

  4. alancaster149 profile image81
    alancaster149posted 9 years ago

    Firstly do some serious reading. That only costs you the cover price of the books, plus P&P. What you read is for you to decide, the subject matter ranges from motorcycle technical manuals to 'War & Peace'. You decide on the parameters.
    I went to a writing group at the local public library until it folded. I realised the people who were there with me lacked a sense of direction and were mostly reliant on the others for some sort of guidance. The woman who took the group had us reading our work out aloud, or others reading out our work to the rest of us. You realise your shortcomings and get hints on sentence structure etc. 
    Before I joined the group I wrote a piece, ( 1,000 words, optional fiction or non-fiction to do with the Olympic site or the borough of Newham where I live) for a writing competition in the borough magazine. My entry took the first prize - see the Hub-page "A Coin In The Mud" - of £100, the runner-up joined the writing group with me.
    I had already begun my fiction writing before that, editing as I completed each book (on my fourth one now). If you know what you want to write, get it set down on your laptop, offer a printed version of it to someone to read and pay attention to what they say. He/she will be your reading public. Do lots of research, and I mean LOTS. I've got a library full of books about early Mediaeval England, Icelandic sagas, myths etc, covering Scandinavian and British history up to the 12th Century.
    If you can write a good yarn, know your material and are passionate about it, it'll show. Good luck.

    1. vishnum969 profile image81
      vishnum969posted 9 years agoin reply to this

      I agree with you, some serious reading and thinking is must for writing a good article.

    2. cam8510 profile image93
      cam8510posted 9 years agoin reply to this

      alancaster, Very well said.

    3. alancaster149 profile image81
      alancaster149posted 9 years agoin reply to this

      The title of the Hub-page is 'A Face In The Mud', not 'Coin'

  5. vishnum969 profile image81
    vishnum969posted 9 years ago

    Hi mcbel, frankly writing good articles can not be taught by a book or an individual. It is gained through some serious thought process and extensive reading of good authors. I myself read about some of the best authors of the world. Gradually, you will  understand the ingredients of a good writing habit. Before writing on some subject, you need have a good knowledge of the subject and the objective of your article and for all this a thought process is required.
    It is not a course, it is a learning process actually.

  6. LKMore01 profile image64
    LKMore01posted 9 years ago

    First of all, our community would like to congratulate you on clarifying and stating your goal. This is important for YOU. If writing is truly your life's purpose nothing will stop you from achieving what you consider "success". Define success on your own terms, whether it be writing a book or getting articles published. It's not easy making a living being a writer. In fact, that's why most artistic/creative  people give up or are forced to put their love on a back burner. That doesn't mean the fire inside you burns out. The desire will always simmer. It wakes you up.
         Read. Be curious. Question everything around you. Fall in love. Find adventure. Take risks. Observe. Go out into the world and live your life.Talk to people. Make mistakes. Listen. Listen to your inner voice. You don't necessarily need college or university as long as you have a fairly decent command of language. I hope you love to do research and fact check.  Spelling and grammar errors, that's what proofreaders and editors are paid to do. Be enthusiastic, persistent, passionate. I am excited for you mcbel!

    1. cam8510 profile image93
      cam8510posted 9 years agoin reply to this

      Loved this.  mcbel, you are getting your money's worth in all of these answers.

    2. LKMore01 profile image64
      LKMore01posted 9 years agoin reply to this

      Thank you, cam8510.  Wish every one well no matter what they choose to pursue in life.

  7. R. Martin Basso profile image70
    R. Martin Bassoposted 9 years ago

    Hi McBel
    My first sign that I should seriously pursue writing as a career came in college while pursuing my Bachelor's in music.  I was in my final semester and I had spent the semester penning a research paper. 
    Back then my outward appearance was anything but "professional" in my anti-establishment punk rock attire. So, when I handed in my research paper, a semester-long labor of love on a 16th century composer and prince, Don Carlo Gesualdo (coincidentally here on HubPages now), who happened also to be a homicidal maniac, my beloved paper was returned to me with a C- grade, and a hand-scrawled note from the professor accusing me of plagiarism!  Apparently, it was "too well written" for the likes of a punker.  I was able to prove I had written the paper but, nonetheless, I did not know whether to be offended by the accusation, or proud of the acknowledgement of my abilities... That experience taught me much about a great many things. 
    The point I am making is that when you make your decision, it comes about as a result of internal calling.  Kudos to you for following that calling; pursue your passion.  Note that my first bachelors degree was not in English, nor in any capacity of writing, but in music performance, classical theory and composition.  I did not attend college to be a writer; the "writer" part of me was discovered externally, possibly rudely, definitely by surprise.
    Today, all I do is write for a living. I am a ghost screen writer of scripts, for which my compensation is more than sufficient.  Chances are you have seen one of my films, but because ours is an industry that lives and breathes through signed NDA's, some projects are contractually not permitted to ever be disclosed as having been ghost written. That's okay; money is green regardless, whether overtly or contractually covertly earned.
    There are a great many schools out there and, if you have the capability to be accepted for enrollment, all will serve your needs well. Since you say you were previously in med school, I do not believe that acceptance into another school will be much of a challenge.
    Do you need college?  Once upon a time, no. Writers who were good were discovered. Today online access has leveled the field and given everyone access, thus exposure.  Now, the world is your competition, so yes, college today is needed more than ever.  Decide your college by what will be most personally rewarding to you. Keep your expenses down and your standards up, and you'll prevail.

    1. cam8510 profile image93
      cam8510posted 9 years agoin reply to this

      Good choice mcbel, and as I am sure you are well aware, there is lots of valuable information throughout all of these responses.  Good luck to you.  This whole ordeal could turn out to be the best thing that could have happened.  Let's all hope so.

  8. Diana Lee profile image81
    Diana Leeposted 9 years ago

    My biggest problem has been finding the time to keep reading and writing which are a must if you wish to succeed in this field. Practice, practice, practice makes you better at any trade you seek.  If you want it bad enough you'll find you are the only force stopping you.

    Study courses are great for keeping you focused, but if you love to write you are likely already educated enough to take up the craft. You just can't slack off and you need to practice everyday.  I have taken study courses for writing freelance and writing for children. I have the diplomas. What I have often lacked is the inspiration and energy needed to keep me hammering at the old keyboard.  Hub pages is a good place to practice.  Write and it will be read. Read what other writer's have to say about writing.  I suggest Stephen King's memoir On Writing, a great place to start.

  9. prokidwriter profile image96
    prokidwriterposted 9 years ago

    Congratulations on making the decision to pursue a writing education and career! I'm assuming you are looking for a degree, something along the lines of a BA or BFA? I'd start first at your state colleges and universities where in-state tuition should give you a price advantage. Look to see what they offer in terms of English degrees with an emphasis in creative writing, journalism or whatever type of writing you are most interested in. If you don't see anything of interest, look at private schools that will give you scholarships for your life situation (first in family to go to college, good grades, teacher-to-be, or whatever) and also look at colleges and universities known for their writing programs. You can search on the web or use the govt  "college navigator" tool to help you find programs. Finally, check your city for writing groups that will help you work on your craft with like-minded people. Join lunch-hour "brown bag" writing groups, check out NaNoWriMo online or other online writing communities. If you want to write for kids or young adults, check out SCBWI. Subscribe to writing magazines,to Publisher's Lunch for a free newsletter, go to a writer's conference - many colleges and universities sponsor them- and join or create a critique group to work on your own stuff and get feedback. be persistent and resist the temptation to write in a bubble. Be sociable! Be courageous! Be a writer! Best of luck to you and I hope you find the program of your dreams.

  10. tsadjatko profile image66
    tsadjatkoposted 9 years ago


    Good start asking hubpagers...although sifting the wheat from the chaff on hub pages can be a task in itself. You have the right idea, go to the source of your interest. I'd suggest that you narrow your writing interest down to several specific fields or types of writing you are interested in. Even if you feel you only want to be a novelist throw in some other writing disciplines that are on the periphery of your interest.
    Now research who the best writers in those fields are. Familiarize yourself with them, their backgrounds, their qualifications - you may have particular icons or writers who inspire you. Perhaps you can ferret out from interviews or writings what makes them tick, what they did to become successful, what schools they'd recommend if any. If you really love to write, write a paper on how you go about what I am suggesting..it may prove one day to be a part of your biography but in any event leave no stone unturned until you discover what road you are meant to take for that education. For something like writing "school" may not be the wisest choice. I know famous professors at colleges or successful people in the arts sometimes retire and mentor a small number of students who aspire to be proficient their field. Become proficient, be the best you can be and success will follow no matter how you get your education. But set your sights on some who are indisputably the best in their field and don't be in a rush until you have done this homework well.

  11. jaydawg808 profile image86
    jaydawg808posted 9 years ago

    I'd try a community college or vocational school. I've learned a lot from English courses at the community college. Especially creative writing.

    1. vishnum969 profile image81
      vishnum969posted 9 years agoin reply to this

      What did you gain from the community college?

    2. vishnum969 profile image81
      vishnum969posted 9 years agoin reply to this

      What did you gain from the community college? I think collegecolleges are the guiding platform, you can only take the guidance. It is up to the student's calibre and seriousness and how he is taking his academics and the labour he puts in to gain max

    3. jaydawg808 profile image86
      jaydawg808posted 9 years agoin reply to this

      I learned a lot from those college courses. And yes, it's up to the student.


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